is it? Tal y Fan is located between Penmaenmawr to the north
and the Conwy valley to the east, and is on the northern edge of the
Carneddau range of mountains in north Wales
How long will it take ? : Allow 2 to 3 hours. Main walk
is 3.3 miles / 5.0 km. Add another 1 mile if visiting the neolithic
What's the attraction? : Glorious views of Great Orme, Menai
Strait, Anglesey, the Carneddau range, the Conwy valley and the option
to visit some neolithic burial sites.
Essentials : If you are
doing the short route you will need a car !
Rating : This is a moderate walk. Although this is
a short walk it is not advisable to undertake unless you are an experienced
hill walker or feel confident of having fine weather.
Car Parking : Parking is available
in the small Car Park at Bwlch y Ddeufaen ( Pylon Pass)
Directions : [ Map
of Bwlch y Ddeufaen to Tal y Fan location ]
Take the B5106 down the Conwy Valley from Conwy to
Tal y Bont for approx. 6.25 miles / 10 km. Turn right in Tal y Bont and
pass through Llanbedr-y-cennin travelling approx. 3 miles / 5km to Bwlch
y Ddeufaen. The last section of the route is a very steep and narrow
road, beware cattle and sharp bends.
are other routes to the top of Tal y Fan but the route I am describing
here is the easy one. It involves taking the car to Bwlch y Ddeufaen
which is itself located at 427m or 1,400ft. which only leaves a climb
of 601 ft to reach the top of Tal y Fan. This not only gives you the
advantage of fantastic views for little effort but also enables you to
say that you have climbed a mountain ! (The criteria for a mountain
is a minimum of 2000 ft above sea level. Tal y
Fan is 2001 ft, 610 m. Indeed my grand daughter Eve can boast
that she climbed her first mountain while only 5 years old.
Exit the Car Park and back track along the lane (the Roman Road from
Chester to Caernarfon) for approximately 3/4 mile stopping a few yards
before the sharp right hand bend in the road at Tan-y-Braich. Here, on
your left, you will see a high stile. Cross the stile and follow the
right of way to the col between Tal y Fan and its neighbour Foel Lwyd.
At the top of the climb cross another stile and bear right, and follow
the track along the north side of the wall to the summit of Tal y Fan.
Here you will see glorious views: to the north west Menai Strait, Penmon
Point, Anglesey and Puffin Island; to the north and in the foreground
the upland plateau above Penmaenmawr, with the limestone headland of
the Great Orme on the Creuddyn peninsula as backdrop; to the east the
Clwydian hills and the Conwy Valley; and to the south the Carneddau hills
of Snowdonia and the National Park.
The dry stone walls lead out in all directions, over the hills and
far away, and it never ceases to amaze me when I consider the effort
that must have gone into constructing these boundaries over the centuries.
What we look on as places of beauty and recreation must have been viewed
in a harsher context by men who would spend their lifetimes
toiling on these barren hillsides.
To vary the route the return journey can take in the adjacent summit
of Foel Lwyd. Walk back along the route to the col and then continue
on the north side of the wall for approximately 1/3rd of a mile to Foel
Lwyd. From the summit continue along the ridge following the wall. You
will have to climb over the wall where it turns to the right and continue
down to Bwlch y Ddeufaen. On reaching the track below bear left and
return to the Car Park.
But there's more!
If you are interested in ancient burial chambers and standing stones
the area around Tal y Fan has them in abundance. I can strongly recommend
a short detour to visit the 5,500 year old neolithic burial chamber,
Maen y Bardd (Stone of the Bard). To visit Maen y Bardd pass the high
stile mentioned at the start of the walk at Tan-y-Braich and instead
continue east along the roman road. At the road junction carry on straight
ahead (toward Rowen) for some 1/3rd of a mile. On your left you will
pass the renovated homestead Cae Coch and after a few hundred yards more
a large standing stone. Maen y Bardd is further down the lane on raised
ground to the left of the track.
Buy the Ordnance Survey Map:
Outdoor Leisure OL17 (1:25,000) or the Landranger Sheet 115 (1:50,000)