Mynydd Mawr from Rhyd Ddu

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Welsh is a fairly logical language, once you have found a way through what seems like a maze of consonants: 'Mynydd' means 'Mountain' and 'Mawr' means 'Big', hence 'Mynydd Mawr' is 'Big Mountain'. Approaching from Caernarfon to the north or Beddgelert to the south, Mynydd Mawr seems to live up to the title – in fact the north-facing side is also known as Elephant Mountain for reasons that become obvious if driving in from Caernarfon.

Despite the impressive name, the mountain isn’t really that huge; at 698 metres altitude it is much more at home amongst the hills of the Nantlle Ridge than the higher hills of the Snowdon range, the Carneddau or the Glyderau. That being the case, one of the best start points for Mynydd Mawr is the village of Rhyd Ddu. As well as being the start point for both the Nantlle Ridge and Mynydd Mawr, Rhyd Ddu is also the home of the excellent Cwellyn Arms, a welcome bonus in this case.

However, the pub trip has to be earned, which isn't too arduous a task. The walk starts from the car park of the Welsh Highland Railway at the south end of the village of Rhyd Ddu. Temptation is immediately presented, as the route goes right past the Cwellyn Arms, but don't worry, it will still be there on the way back! The route then leads off on a trail through part of Beddgelert Forest before heading upwards towards the subsidiary peak of Foel Rûdd. From there a broad ridge sweeps you along to the summit of Mynydd Mawr.

The easiest way back to Rhyd Ddu is simply to reverse the outward route. Although I'm not normally a fan of this sort of linear route, this really is a walk of two halves and the views going back are sufficiently different to make the return as interesting as the outward section. There is however, scope for exploration for those who like to go it alone.

Mynydd Mawr is a mountain that looks like a mountain but doesn't require a mountain of effort to get to the top. In good conditions the views are great and the food and welcome at the Cwellyn Arms completes a great day out.

Wales - North Wales - Gwynedd - Snowdonia

21/04/2019 - Jaime STEVENSON

Just done this walk and it is STRENUOUS , it is not a family type moderate walk by any means. Well worth it for experienced walker.

11/07/2015 - Aodhan O'Bradaigh

Seemed tougher than the average 'moderate walk'. A great walk though. Fantastic views!

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