Waun Y Llyn, Hope Mountain

The ‘mountains’ in Wales might not be the highest ones ever but they sure offer spectacular views. And Hope Mountain in Flintshire is no exception.

I started my circular walk in Coed Talon, trying to include some local industrial history along the way. From the Railway Inn, I followed the disused railway line towards Llanfynydd. What is now a quiet and peaceful wildlife corridor including Wood Pit, a wetland nature reserve, was once part of the Mold-Brymbo railway line and a very noisy and bustling place. The area was heavily mined and trucks transporting coal, oil and stone from the nearby works and mines used the tracks. A far cry from the sound of birds chirping away and woodpeckers that greet you now.

hope mountain railway

If it looks manmade, it probably is. The disused railway line.

A far cry from the sound of birds chirping away and woodpeckers that greet you now.

After leaving the old railway line it was uphill to the top and Waun Y Llyn Country Park.

Waun Y Llyn has always drawn people up here. The panoramic views over Snowdonia, Liverpool and far beyond are amazing especially on a sunny day like this.

People used to take a bracing walk up here from the fashionable spa in Caergwrle 100 years ago. Though it would have been less peaceful up here back then.

 

hope mountain stone stile

Love this kind of stile: hole on the left for dogs, steps on right for humans

 

In the 19th and early 20th century, the hard silica sandstone of Waun Y Llyn was quarried and taken down the hillside by tramway to Coed Talon where it was ground into silica powder, used in glass making. Millstone grit was also quarried from the mountain and used for buildings and millstones for mills int the Alyn Valley below.

 

hope mountain winding top

Remains of the stone base of the top winding house.

hope mountain winding house

Winding house at the bottom

 

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Llanrwst – A ramble in the Snowdonia National Park

“So what are your plans this weekend?”, I was asked on Friday afternoon. “It’s supposedly quite nice on Sunday so probably going for a walk.” “Whereby?” And I just couldn’t remember the name even though I had looked at maps the previous evening. “Something with a double ‘L’.” Well, that narrowed it down. But we got there in the end, as at least I could describe where it was.

The name I couldn’t recall was Llanrwst, a small and beautiful town situated at the river Conwy and famous for its narrow 17th century stone bridge, reputedly built by Inigo Jones. Nearby Gwydyr Forest provides some lovely walks and mountain bike tracks and is a gateway into the Snowdonia National Park.

Pont Fawr bridge

Pont Fawr bridge and Tu Hwnt Ir Bont Tearooms

I used the opportunity to walk around Llanrwst for a bit, as it is one of these town I usually just pass through on my way to some place else.

People were enjoying the warm autumn day

People were enjoying the warm autumn day

Loved this house

Loved this house

On my way to the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall up the tree covered hill I passed Gwydir Castle. It’s a lovely place I had visited a couple of years ago.

Gwydir Castle, a fine example of a Tudor courtyard house

Gwydir Castle, a fine example of a Tudor courtyard house

You can hear the waterfalls long before you see them and it’s quite a steep, and in my case muddy, way down.

I even made it without loosing my footing on the muddy path.

I even made it without loosing my footing on the muddy path.

Hafna Lead Mine is quite imposing the way it sits on the steep hillside. The mine closed in 1920 and is unique because it had its on smelt house, built in the 1880s.

The Gwydir hills are riddled with tunnels where the miners extracted zinc and lead ore.

The Gwydir hills are riddled with tunnels where the miners extracted zinc and lead ore.

Because of the toxic fumes from the smelting the furnace chimney was set above and away from the mill.

Because of the toxic fumes from the smelting the furnace chimney was set above and away from the mill.

After going up the hill all the way it was down again, passing Pen-y-Gwaith cottage which was apparently a training base for Metropolitan Police Cadets in the 1960s.

I had the woods to myself

I had the woods to myself

Another cottage nearby. From here on it was downhill again.

The woods almost looked mysterious. The picture doesn't do it any justice.

The woods almost looked mysterious. The picture doesn’t do it any justice.

The reward for my efforts so far. Beautiful views towards Snowdonia.

The mountains of Snowdonia in the background with Llyn Glangors in the front.

The mountains of Snowdonia in the background with Llyn Glangors in the front.

Llyn-Glangors-2

Llyn Glangors

Mountain-Sheep

Picnic with a view. For the sheep…

Mountain

…and for me.

Before heading back I wanted to see Llyn Geirionydd but after all the peace and quite before there were just too many people for me there so I didn’t stay long.

Llyn Geirinonydd is quite a popular destination, judging by the amount of cars in the car park.

Llyn Geirinonydd is quite a popular destination, judging by the amount of cars in the car park.

My way back led me through more stunning woods and another lake.

The light was magical.

The light was magical.

Interesting shapes wherever I turned.

Interesting shapes wherever I turned.

Llyn Sarnau. Didn't quite look like a lake actually.

Llyn Sarnau. Didn’t quite look like a lake actually.

Another picturesque cottage.

Another picturesque cottage.

It was a lovely day and I enjoyed myself immensely. And I’m sure I won’t forget the name of Llanrwst again.