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Snowdonia Walk
Aran Fawddwy northern approach

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Arans Lake Bala

County/Area - Gwynedd

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.4 miles / 13.7 km    Ascent - 2450 feet / 742 metres

Time - 6 hours 40 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference SH815223
Lat 52.785226 // Long -3.758504
Postcode LL40 2BH (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Aran Fawddwy northern approach

Aran Fawddwy, lying to the South of Lake Bala, is the highest summit on a long ridge. Rising to 905 metres above sea level it offers wonderful views over much of Snowdonia. The most popular approach is the southern route from the Cwm Cywarch with the eastern approach along the ridge also gaining in popularity. This route starts from the north and offers some challenges with navigation with the relevant OS 1:25000 map a necessity. The route is described in less detail than with other walks primarily to deter less experienced walkers who should not be attempting this walk.

The start of this Snowdonia walk is the small parking area at grid ref. SH815223 on the lane south of Esgair-gawr farm just off the A494 road from Bala to Dolgellau. After parking, walk southwest up the lane for approximately 700 metres to grid ref. SH812217. Turn left on a clear track rising in a southerly direction to reach the edge of Coed-y-Brenin forest. Just after entering the trees, turn left onto a clear path to reach a wider track after about 100 metres. Careful navigation is now required with frequent reference to your map.

Turn left on the main track and follow this for about a mile to reach an open area at grid ref. SH 828208. Fork right here following the marker arrow. The track zig-zags uphill to reach the end of the forest at grid ref. SH833206. Cross the stile into open hillside. From here an indistinct path leads uphill with a stream to your left. After 600 metres, the path bears left away from the stream and eventually reaches a fence. Turn left along the fence now following the main ascent route and continue to the summit of Aran Fawddwy (grid ref. SH862224) from where you can enjoy the extensive panorama.

Retrace your steps down the path beside the fence used for the ascent. Continue for about a kilometre to grid ref. SH855216. There is an intermittent path heading north, which roughly follows the route detailed on the OS map. However, I had problems keeping on the path and with careful use of my map made my way down to the edge of the forest at grid ref. SH837221). Cross the stile and follow a narrow track heading just west of north to reach a wider track and turning circle (grid ref. SH836223). After 600 metres go straight across a wide track and continue ahead along a grassy path to exit the forest at grid ref. SH826223). You soon join an improving track that descends to Esgair-gawr farm and a lane. Turn left along the lane back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2811 Rhobell Fawr and Ddualt from near Rhydymain - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 1499 Rhobell Fawr and Dduallt from Llanfachreth - moderate - 12.0 miles/19.5 km

Walk 2551 Rhobell Fawr from near Rhydymain - moderate - 5.7 miles/9.3 km

Walk 1190 Aran Fawddwy from Cwm Cywarch - mod/hard - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 3055 Glasgwm from Cwm Cywarch - moderate - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 1255 The Aran Ridge from Cwm Cywarch - hard - 11.2 miles/18.2 km

Walk 1400 The Arans from Cwm Cywarch - hard - 14.0 miles/22.8 km

Walk 1107 Waun Oer and Maesglase - mod/hard - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 1646 The Precipice Walk near Dolgellau - easy - 3.5 miles/5.7 km

Walk 2059 Castell Carndochan near Bala - easy/mod - 2.5 miles/4.1 km

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