Llandudno Spring Holiday
Day 1 - The Great Orme Summit Walk - B & C Walk
Leaving the hotel, which sat majestically overlooking the Llandudno promenade, both B and C walkers headed for the Great Orme, the larger of the two limestone headlands jutting from the Llandudno bay. It stands some 207 metres high at its summit, which was the objective of both walks.
The B walk took the gradually climbing Marine Drive, a toll road that circles the Great Orme with pleasant views out to the Irish Sea, and a flock of Great Orme goats closer inland, the group reached the Happy Valley Cafe for the morning break. Meanwhile the 'C' walkers took a more direct route to the summit taking a steady climb up past the man made ski slope, through St Tudno's churchyard and up steeper paths to the summit visitors centre and restaurant.
'B' walk continued along Marine Drive, which circumnavigates the Great Orme, leaving the road at the old Toll Gate building and climbing the Zig Zag path towards the summit. Here the two groups met, exchange notes, discussed tactics and rested. 'C' walk then heading down the Zig Zag path towards home while 'B' walk continued upwards for a group photo at the Trig Point and a welcome lunch.
Then having taken in some fantastic views across to Conwy, with yachts moored in the estuary, and sweeping sandy beaches exposed by the receding tide, it was back down retracing the path previously taken by 'C' walk.
Day 2 - Llanfairfechan to Capelulo - B & C Walk
The coach took 'B' and 'C' walkers to Llanfairfechan (expertly pronounced by Derek - I suspect after much private practice) where we were off-loaded for the start of the walks. 'B' walk took an immediate climb up to the start of the Carneddau Range. Although promised to be a 'short, sharp climb' it turned out to be more like a 'longer, sharper climb'. (One of the perils of being unable to recce holiday walks.) Never the less, it was a challenge worth taking when looking back at the magnificent views. A gloriously sunny day, coffee was taken on a grassy bank looking down across the bay to The Great Orme in the distance.
The walk then continued on a more level path across moorland populated by what appeared to be wild horses - fortunately very much in the distance. Eventually, we started the (rather steep) decent into the village of Capelulo.
At the same time the 'C' walk took a more gradual climb out of Llanfairfechan to the top of the moors and arrived shortly after the 'B' walk at The Fairy Glen pub. Unfortunately, the pub was a little overwhelmed by 40+ walkers dropping by for lunch and soon ran out of food. Those not fortunate enough made do with packets of crisps and energy bars.
Here the 'C' walkers were collected by the coach for an afternoon at Llanfairfechan. The 'B' walk had another long, steep climb out of the valley and back up to the moors, picking up the North Wales Path and more glorious views. Upon reaching Llanfairfechan, the walkers followed a torturous route to the coach park (direction given by a driver, not a walker!) but were rewarded with multi-flavoured ice cream cones.
Day 4 - Abergwyngregyn and theTwin Falls - B & C Walk
(Day 3 was a day free of organised walks, most took the opportunity to visit the fabulous Bodnant Gardens, on what turned out to be another sunny and less windy day.)
Thursday was back to walking and this time both walking groups were heading for Aber Falls. Starting at the village of Abergwyngregyn, Both walks set of first walking a beautiful valley route alongside a fast running river and gently climbing out of the shady tree cover to follow a clear, well maintain path to the spectacular Aber Falls.
A bit of competitive nature reared its not so pretty head as the 'B' walkers struggled to maintain the lead position with the 'C' walkers, starting a little later, always in view and closing the gap.
Having enjoyed the impressive falls the path continued back along the other side of the valley where the 'B' walk turned off taking the North Wales Path around the slope of the Moel Wnion hill, while the 'C' walk continued along the valley path.
Although plenty of paths shown on the map, on the ground there were none to be seen, apart from the main track 'B' walk was following. This meant a change of plan and we stuck to the track going much further than planned before turning back towards Aberwyngregyn. Having covered almost 9.5 miles, aware that the 'C' walkers (who had continued along the Aber valley back to the coach) would be waiting - oh and tempted by the award winning cafe waiting for us at the village, we decided to end the walk there and await the coach.