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Through the Conwy & Lledr Valleys
to Blaenau Ffestiniog & Porthmadog

Part 3 - The Lledr Valley  [Part 1 - The Conwy Valley]  [Part 2 - Betws-y-coed]  [Part 4 - Vale of Ffestiniog]

The Lledr Valley - Dyffryn Lledr

Pont-y-pant hotel stands high above the bridge over the River Lledr.
It was near here that the Roman road 'Sarn Helen' crossed the river on its southwards way.
The River Lledr rises near the head of the Crimea Pass high above Blaenau Ffestiniog and
flows northwards to join the River Conwy east of the Waterloo Bridge at Betws-y-coed.

Below the bridge pure crystal waters tumble downwards to join the River Conwy within a few miles.

Dolwyddelan Station next to the village school and convenient for the church and village inn.

Saint Gwyddelan's church.

Dolwyddelan Castle

Dolwyddelan Castle, a square stone keep, dating from the thirteenth century, remains
of the castle built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth ('Llwelyn the Great')
overlooking the village.
It is in the care of Cadw and open to the public (April to September) daily.

Twin Peaks in the far distance beyond Capel Curig.

There is, running southwards from Dolwyddelan station, a hidden valley, the route a Roman road,
which is a section of the notable Sarn Helen. After about half a mile the track brings one
to "Tai Penamnen" an archaeological site that was formerly a Welsh manor house
 dating from the 15th Century. Beyond this point the track gets progressively more wild.

Rough grass and derelict walls overgrown with ferns and moss.

and modern conifer plantations.

The hidden valley ends in a glacial bowl with a steep climb for the Roman road southwards.
Today we must walk as the Romans did, or else return the way we came to Dolwyddelan
 and continue southwards by train or on the A470 via the Crimea Pass to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

A couple of miles south-west of Dolwyddelan, the curving ever-climbing railway comes to
Roman Bridge (Pont Rufenig) station - the most southerly station in Conwy County Borough.

This ancient bridge has for ages been known as "Pont Rufeinig". Its true origins are unclear.

A final view of Roman Bridge station in its idilic setting on a minor road well away from the A470.
Travel onwards from Roman Bridge to Blaenau Ffestiniog by train is through the Ffestiniog tunnel,
which at two miles long is the longest 'single track' railway tunnel in Britain, else back to the A470.

NEXT  [Part 4 - The Vale of Ffestiniog]

Photographs © 2004/7 by Noel Walley.  Updated December 2008.

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