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The Berwyn Mountains

The Berwyn Mountains

Visitors to the Berwyn Mountains often start their journey here as it’s highly accessible by car. Parking is either free of charge or just a couple of pounds contribution to conservation efforts. There’s a café there too, with toilets and also a visitor’s centre – all good news if you fancy a quick trip out without the full-scale expedition!

You may never have heard of the Berwyn Mountains, but that’s one of its great merits. Compared with Snowdonia, this exquisitely beautiful mountain location receives far less press and far fewer visitors, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy the rare opportunity for virtual isolation as you walk or climb.

Located on the other side of the Vale of Llangollen not far from Tower Hill Barns, this stunning natural location provides some excellent opportunities for getting to grips with the Welsh countryside and its secret beauty.

If you’re a lover of waterfalls, you won’t want to miss one of the Seven Wonders of Wales that’s located here. The spectacular Pistyll Rhaeadr has been described as ‘the hidden pearl of Wales’. It’s a 75 metre drop over which flows the Afan Disgynfa river. Surprisingly, this isn’t the tallest waterfall in Wales, but it’s certainly one of the most picturesque and well-loved, and it’s also designated a site of special scientific interest.


If you’re a lover of waterfalls, you won’t want to miss one of the Seven Wonders of Wales that’s located here. The spectacular Pistyll Rhaeadr has been described as ‘the hidden pearl of Wales’. It’s a 75 metre drop over which flows the Afan Disgynfa river. Surprisingly, this isn’t the tallest waterfall in Wales, but it’s certainly one of the most picturesque and well-loved, and it’s also designated a site of special scientific interest.

For experienced climbers and casual walkers

For more seasoned mountaineers, challenging summits in the Berwyn mountain range include the impressive Cadair Berwyn, which reaches to 830 metres. Moel Sych nearly matches that, with a height of 827 metres, and at 784 metres, Cadair Bronwen is close behind. If you begin at the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall, you’ll be ascending the main Berwyn Ridge, which includes Cadair Berwyn and Moel Sych.

On the way up you’ll enjoy some breathtaking views, with streams, cliff edges, moors and valleys. The walk is moderate to challenging difficulty, and because this is a very natural and wild environment novice climbers need to remember that there aren’t safety rails to stop you slipping. In wet weather you’ll want to take even greater care. Remind your guests to prepare for radically changing weather conditions, and definitely choose footwear for its practicality and comfort.

Another common sense point to mention is not to rely on your phone to give you directions, but take a map with you too; the batteries last longer!  Walking in the mountains can be physically taxing, and at times hazardous, but it’s extremely rewarding as well. Just make sure you’re fully prepared and informed before you set out.

The Berwyn Mountains Incident – a possible UFO collision?

By the way, if you’re interested in some sci-fi related local trivia, back in 1974 this area was the location of the mysterious Berwyn Mountains Incident. It happened in January of that year – a UFO was thought to have collided with the mountains. Witnesses spoke of a falling bright light  and an extremely loud bang, followed by a glowing fireball that was visible in the skies for the remainder of the night.

Confirmed sightings of the fireball came from as far afield as Scotland, Somerset, Manchester and Norfolk. Some called it the ‘Welsh Roswell’.  For some the mystery remains unsolved, but over the years, many sceptics have dismissed the event as nothing more than a meteor or a naturally occurring earth tremor causing a large landslide. You can decide for yourself!

Diverse and rare wildflowers and plants, as well as birds of prey

Aside from possible alien life forms (!) the Berwyn Mountains are home to some diverse and rare plants, as well as birds and wildlife. You’ll probably spot swallows, curlews and perhaps a kingfisher by the water’s edge. Wild flowers, rare heathers, peat-forming mosses, and cloudberries are among the indigenous inhabitants you might meet, whether you’re in the depths of the valleys and lowlands or up on the summits. It’s a great location to spot birds of prey too, with buzzards and red kites, as well as black grouse, short-eared owls and peregrine falcons.

All in all, with their close proximity to Tower Hill Barns, it’s well worth adding the Berwyn Mountains to your itinerary.

We would like to say a big thank you to Bill Allsopp who took the photo of The Berwyn Mountains while visiting our local area. This is Bill’s story of his stunning photo!

I travelled to the Berwyn Mountains during the winter to see the Pistyll Rhaeadr falls; the road was so heavily snow covered we could not complete the last few miles of the journey. The return trip was made in March and as we rounded a corner above Llansilin we were struck by the view. We paid a visit to Pistyll Rhaeadr then returned to the view and  waited for sunset which was dramatic as you see. I took a series of pictures with a Leica M9. There is obviously much more beautiful scenery to see and I shall be back at some point.

Bill Allsopp Photography
Web: http://www.billallsopp.co.uk/

 
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