Tal-y-Fan is turning out to be one of my favourite walks – for several reasons. Firstly, it is the nearest peak to my house – I can jump in the car and be walking up it ten minutes later. Secondly, as I can see it from outside the house, it is easy to see what the conditions are like, and since it is only 2000 feet in height and near the sea, more often than not it is cloud free when everything around is covered. It makes a satisfying round – perfect for an afternoon – lasting about three hours – and depending on the choice of route, can be arranged to end at a particularly good pub! There are so many different routes up it – but my favourite is definitely this one – from the lovely village of Rowen, situated in the beautiful Conwy valley. I particularly like the transitions this route gives – village to fields, farms and woods – with the views opening up as you gain height and onto the hills. There’s a real sense of history – following initially the old Roman Road which led over the mountains to Abergwyngregyn and then along the coast to the Roman fort at Segontium (Caernarfon).
Despite the lack of height, the summit views are excellent – looking north across the coast – taking in Anglesey and Puffin Island, Llandudno and the Great and Little Orme;
Eastwards, the whole sweep of the Conwy valley, the towers of Edward I’s fortress at Conwy, as well as the distant Clywdian hills;
and to the south, the Carneddau and the distinctive shape of Moel Siabod.
On the descent you pass a Bronze Age standing stone and the tiny isolated fourteenth century church of St Celynin. As you drop down further towards Rowen, a steep path takes you through the lovely woods of Parc Mawr. To see my route click on the link below.