Geo-Trips :: Day 2 of 2 exploring the moors of the Migneint

Western Migneint - day 2 of 2

A walk from a campsite near Cefn-garw farm building, Sun, 13 Jul 2014 by Richard Law

preceding legThis trip is part of a series.

A second day around a little-frequented area of the western Migneint. This is a wild, wet moorland, completely uninhabited by humans, and with very few sheep by Welsh hill standards.

We’d camped in the valley below Cefn-garw farmhouse, hoping that the stream would provide fresh, clean water for cooking & drinking. Not so – the drought conditions over the last few weeks had been a bit of a mixed blessing; whilst the moors were pretty dry, the stream was a sluggish trickle, and even Iron-guts Law couldn’t bring myself to drink from it without boiling first.

Anyway, from the farm buildings, we dropped into the valley of the Afon Serw, and followed it upstream, until forced to climb back onto moorland in order to make for a circuit of Llyn y Dywarchen. This featured in one version of my plans as a possible campsite, but inspection established that there’s precious little suitable ground near the shore, so we’d done better in the river valley in reality. After that, we walked (ie staggered through the pathless heather & grass) for about 3 miles before dropping into the valley of the Serw again at the lonely Trawsnant, a Grade II listed farmhouse, for lunch. It’s uninhabited now, but clearly used as a shepherd’s shelter at lambing & shearing times. More hard toil up the south-eastern bank of the river gained Foel Wen, from where another bog-plod goes southwards to the very steep southern side of Arenig Fach. 20 breathless minutes saw us at the trig and Neolithic cairns at the summit, from where shorter grass and vestigial paths lead back to the A4212 near Uwch-Mynydd Farm

Be warned – this is tough country to walk in, and after wet weather, would be harder still.

On the map below, the grey line is the GPS track from this trip. Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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SH7941 : Wild camp beside the Afon Serw by Richard Law
Wild camp beside the Afon Serw
A mid-trip campsite in the valley of the Serw, with Cefngarw shelter on the... more

SH7942 : Rocky outcrop near Cefngarw by Richard Law
Rocky outcrop near Cefngarw
From below, it looked like a quarried face, but closer inspection suggests it's... more

SH7942 : Sheepfolds to the east of Cefngarw by Richard Law
Sheepfolds to the east of Cefngarw
The builders of the walls here have cleverly incorporated a series of natural... more

SH7942 : The disused sheepdip at Cefngarw by Richard Law
The disused sheepdip at Cefngarw
High walls and a deep trench, which would have been used to dip the sheep as a... more

SH7942 : Cefngarw farm and barn by Richard Law
Cefngarw farm and barn
The buildings appear to have been re-roofed reasonably recently (last 20-25... more

SH7842 : Open land west of Cefngarw by Richard Law
Open land west of Cefngarw
One of the few areas of upland around these parts that isn't deep heather or... more

SH7842 : Moorland to the northwest of Cefngarw by Richard Law
Moorland to the northwest of Cefngarw
Relatively short improved grassland in Cefngarw's in-bye fields, which gives way... more

SH7841 : Gateway in the Cefngarw fence by Richard Law
Gateway in the Cefngarw fence
An open gate in the in-bye fencing around Cefngarw. To be fair, most of the sheep... more

SH7841 : The Afon Serw by Richard Law
The Afon Serw
Upstream view of the Serw, which drains an extensive area of the western Migneint... more

SH7741 : The Afon Serw by Richard Law
The Afon Serw
A stretch of the peaty and slow-moving Serw, which drains a large area of the... more

SH7741 : The confluence of the Serw and the Nant Derbyniad by Richard Law
The confluence of the Serw and the Nant Derbyniad
The Afon Serw comes down from its lake to the north on the right of this picture,... more

SH7741 : Cairn on a small hill above the Serw-Derbyniad confluence by Richard Law
Cairn on a small hill above the Serw-Derbyniad confluence
Looking eastwards across the vastness of the Migneint, to Arenig Fach on the left... more

SH7741 : Rudimentary shelter on a hillside by Richard Law
Rudimentary shelter on a hillside
Built into a small hollow in the bank, this stone construction was presumably made... more

SH7742 : The upper Afon Serw by Richard Law
The upper Afon Serw
Although it drains a large area of wet moorland, this stream runs quite deep and... more

SH7641 : The infant Nant y Groes by Richard Law
The infant Nant y Groes
High on the course of this stream, where it's little more than a trickle through... more

SH7641 : A weird tree by Richard Law
A weird tree
An 'escaped' spruce, presumably blown as a seed from one of the nearby... more

SH7641 : Best to walk around that bit... by Richard Law
Best to walk around that bit...
Bright green in a place like this usually means deep moss or bog, and that is the... more

SH7541 : Moorland above the B4391 by Richard Law
Moorland above the B4391
On the southern slopes of Moel Llechwedd-gwyn, looking south-west to the forestry... more

SH7541 : Across moorland to the Moelwyns by Richard Law
Across moorland to the Moelwyns

SH7541 : The Moelwyns and Cnicht from Moel Llechwedd-gwyn by Richard Law
The Moelwyns and Cnicht from Moel Llechwedd-gwyn

SH7542 : Carreg y Ieirch from the southeast by Richard Law
Carreg y Ieirch from the southeast
Across rather boggy & featureless grass slopes, to the rocky spur of Carreg y... more

SH7542 : The summit of Carreg y Ieirch by Richard Law
The summit of Carreg y Ieirch
The summit area is a substantial, flattish, grassy plateau, with no clear highest... more

SH7642 : Llyn y Dywarchen by Richard Law
Llyn y Dywarchen
This large lake lies in a shallow depression on the moors, just over 500m high.... more

SH7642 : Boundary cairn by Richard Law
Boundary cairn
A small collection of stones on the historic county boundary between Caernarfon... more

SH7642 : The upper Nant y Wyn by Richard Law
The upper Nant y Wyn
A small stream draining from the peaty moorland east of Llyn y Dywarchen, and... more

SH7642 : Best to give that bit a wide berth by Richard Law
Best to give that bit a wide berth
A very damp piece of ground. That bright green colour invariably means moss or... more

SH7742 : Deepest Migneint by Richard Law
Deepest Migneint
Not actually all that far from the road to the north, but this is typical moorland... more

SH7743 : Across moorland to Llechwedd Mawr by Richard Law
Across moorland to Llechwedd Mawr
Heathery and grassy moorland on the northern side of the infrequently visited... more

SH7743 : Towards Cerrig Lladron by Richard Law
Towards Cerrig Lladron
Rough heather moorland in the western Migneint, with the rising ground of Cerrig... more

SH7743 : Ruined shelter on Llechwedd Mawr by Richard Law
Ruined shelter on Llechwedd Mawr
The remains of a small shepherd's hut tucked into a slight dip on the hillside on... more

SH7743 : Llechwedd Mawr summit pile by Richard Law
Llechwedd Mawr summit pile
It's hard to call these three or four boulders a cairn, but they're at the 491m... more

SH7843 : East of Llechwedd Mawr by Richard Law
East of Llechwedd Mawr
Deep heather and long grass, the occasional peaty bog and a few peat hags. Hardly... more

SH7843 : Extensive moorland towards the Arenigs by Richard Law
Extensive moorland towards the Arenigs
Migneint moorland stretching for miles to the Arenig hills.

SH7843 : The upper Nant Llwyni Hywel by Richard Law
The upper Nant Llwyni Hywel
A small stream that drains a boggy saddle between Llechwedd Mawr and Bryn Glas,... more

SH7943 : Bryn Glas to Bryn Mawr by Richard Law
Bryn Glas to Bryn Mawr
The upper part of Bryn Glas, which is itself part of the southwestern spur of the... more

SH8043 : Down the fenceline above Trawsnant by Richard Law
Down the fenceline above Trawsnant
Down the steep hillside of Bryn Mawr, high above the valley of the Afon Serw and... more

SH8043 : Track to Cefngarw by Richard Law
Track to Cefngarw
Once a mere footpath, but now capable of taking a quadbike, if not a Landrover.... more

SH8043 : Trawsnant from the southwest by Richard Law
Trawsnant from the southwest
From the path that leads eventually to Cefngarw; Trawsnant is apparently a former... more

SH8143 : The western slopes of Foel Wen by Richard Law
The western slopes of Foel Wen
After the relative richness of the Serw valley below, we're back into the deep... more

SH8143 : At the top of Foel Wen by Richard Law
At the top of Foel Wen
Not much to see here, just more of the grass and heather that typifies these... more

SH8143 : Tiny pool on Foel Wen by Richard Law
Tiny pool on Foel Wen
The map marks a small pool, and sure enough, here it is. So small you could... more

SH8143 : The start of a re-forestation? by Richard Law
The start of a re-forestation?
This one small and lonely rowan tree is finding a purchase in the peat of the moor... more

SH8142 : A small woodland beginning by Richard Law
A small woodland beginning
These scattered rowans and spruces are finding a living on the moors of Cefn... more

SH8142 : County boundary stone and fenceline by Richard Law
County boundary stone and fenceline
The stone is on a line marking the boundary between the historic Merionydd and... more

SH8142 : Along the old county boundary by Richard Law
Along the old county boundary
The line of the historic boundary between Merionydd and Denbighshire, which runs... more

SH8141 : Fenceline above Cefn Côch by Richard Law
Fenceline above Cefn Côch
A sheep fence running up from the moors of Cefn Côch onto Arenig Fach.

SH8141 : The upper part of Arenig Fach by Richard Law
The upper part of Arenig Fach
Toiling up a steep part of the little Arenig, using the fence as a guide to the... more

SH8141 : Rather steeply downhill by Richard Law
Rather steeply downhill
Steep slopes on the northern side of Arenig Fach, looking down to the moors of... more

SH8141 : That's the hard work done... by Richard Law
That's the hard work done...
A fence corner at the top of the steep pull up from Cefn Côch. At long last,... more

SH8241 : Bronze Age cairn, shelter and trig on Arenig Fach by Richard Law
Bronze Age cairn, shelter and trig on Arenig Fach
A stone-built trig pillar and a rough drystone shelter at the summit of the hill.... more

SH8241 : The southern ridge of Arenig Fach by Richard Law
The southern ridge of Arenig Fach
Looking down over Y Foel, with Arenig Fawr on the far side of the valley.

SH8240 : Incipient path forming on Arenig Fach by Richard Law
Incipient path forming on Arenig Fach
Not quite through the heather stems yet, but it'll not be much longer before boot... more

SH8240 : Summit cairn on Y Foel by Richard Law
Summit cairn on Y Foel
An outlier of Arenig Fach, Y Foel provides a grand viewpoint for Llyn Celyn to the east.

SH8240 : Gateway in the ffridd wall by Richard Law
Gateway in the ffridd wall
A convenient gateway in the upper wall above Rhyd-y-fen farm, and much easier than... more

SH8240 : Ruined shelter at Grib Las, below Y Foel by Richard Law
Ruined shelter at Grib Las, below Y Foel
Quite a substantial set of walls for a sheepfold, to be fair, and the area in the... more

SH8239 : A4212 Trawsfynydd to Bala road by Richard Law
A4212 Trawsfynydd to Bala road
The new road, which replaced the original narrow track along this side of Arenig... more

SH8239 : The old road, past Uwch Mynydd by Richard Law
The old road, past Uwch Mynydd
A stretch of the old, singletrack Trawfynydd to Bala road, now bypassed by the... more

All images © Richard Law and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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