Misty, very quiet and remote with an eerie feel.
It is exactly 4.3 miles walk from Ashcoast House to Llyn Cwm Silyn, but on a misty, quiet day this remote footpath feels like it is a world away. Last time we did this walk it was the day before storm Ophelia was scheduled to hit North Wales. Perhaps it wasn't surprising that we didn't see many people on the way there or back. It was eerily quiet high up on the open plains. The calm before the storm.
Inspired by the Kate Humble's 'Off the Beaten Track' program on the BBC, where she goes skinny dipping in Llyn Cwm Silyn, we decided to revisit this Llyn on the high plains above Talysarn in the shadow of the Nantlle Ridge.
The BBC host Kate Humble, star of the popular Springwatch series, has a new series called 'Off the Beaten Track'. In this easy to watch series Kate and her trusted companion, Teg (the amazingly beautiful and well-mannered Welsh Sheepdog), travel through Wales. Each episode starts with fantastic panoramic views of the Welsh countryside with Kate's narrative: 'You might think this is the Canadian forest, the African savanna, the Scottish mountains but this is my adopted home Wales'... Beautifully said.
In the last episode Kate and Teg travelled to Snowdonia in North Wales, but true to the title of the series, they were quite literally 'Off the Beaten Track'. Llyn (Lake) Cwm Silyn, in the shadow of the Nantlle Ridge was their destination. At the lake Kate and Teg were joined by the artist Natasha Brooks, who regularly swims, naked, in Snowdonia's many lakes. Without further ado Kate and Natasha stripped off completely (no need to worry as the BBC cameramen skillfully protected their modesty) and plunged into the grey cold waters of Llyn Cwm Silyn. Brrrrrrr.... while Teg stood on the shore and watched. You clever Teg, I am with you all the way, that water looked way too cold for a swim.
So on a sunny and mild Saturday in January, we walked up to the shores of the Llyn Cwm Silyn. This is a nice and easy walk from Ashcoast House. Most of the way you are walking on narrow and quiet country roads. You won't encounter many cars especially as you start climbing up 'Lon Tyddyn Agnes', a narrow steep tarmac road. As you gain altitude you will have fantastic views of the Nantlle Ridge to your right and Talysarn village and Dorothea lakes to your left. If you look behind you, you will see all the way to the sea, Dinas Dinlle beach and Anglesey shoreline. The vast empty landscape, looking towards Snowdon and Nantlle Ridge, is quite awe-inspiring.
Finally, we reached the shore of Llyn Cwm Silyn. It was sunny but cold with a strong wind blowing and yes like Teg, Kate's clever Welsh Sheepdog, we decided not to go for a swim and instead marvelled at the amazing views whilst having a sandwich.
Another nice thing about this walk, it's downhill all the way back to Ashcoast House.
Distance: 8.6 miles / 13.84 km (Return)
Duration: A leisurely 3 - 4 hours (Return)
Grade: Very easy - Good for dog walking - Except the very last section good for cycling
Start: Ashcoast House - Nantlle Road Talysarn LL54 6AE