Our favourite trails
Trails we love to run, hike or plod along!
This month we venture into Wales, discovering the trail running route our ambassador Kat Roberts loves to run time and time again, in the principality. Kat will take you on a journey, from Conwy Castle to the summit of Tal Y Fan.
Over to Kat...
“Or Castell i’r Copa”
From Castle to Summit!
Distance - 13.9 miles
Elevation - 920m
My go to local run starts at Conwy Castle.The eastern edge of the Snowdonia National Park. My family town, in which I have many very fond memories of growing up. Those of you who know the area will know Conwy castle as the starting point to the notorious Dragons Back multi day staged race. Built by Edward I around about 1283 - 1287 a historical and very popular point of interest within the castle walls…. Basically a fantastic place to start as you cannot miss it!
Take in the sights of Conwy
From here you then run along the coastal path, taking in Britains smallest house, lived in by Britains tallest man once upon a time. Depending on the time of year you run past, you may be greeted by a woman dressed up as a traditional welsh Lady. You will handrail the Conwy Estuary, Afon Conwy known to be one of the most beautiful rivers in Wales due to it’s diverse landscape and incredible wildlife. Remain on the costal path until you join onto the road.. once you have crossed over the railway you will start to make your way into the mountains…
Time to head off into the mountains
You will make your way up a gradual incline that is muddy and rocky underfoot. Once you pop up from this section of the path you will take a right then join onto the wider path and carry on climbing up… don’t forget to take a look back from where you started. The views are a delight!
Running up the nose to Mynydd Y Dref
The next section is undulating and underfoot is a good well used trail that can get muddy during the damper seasons. You will then experience a short sharp up. Here you can go straight up the nose which is rocky underfoot and will allow you to play around with your footwork or if that isn’t for you on your right hand side is a muddy path that will 'scurt' around the nose. Both ways will take you up to the summit of Mynydd Y Dref (244m).
Don't forget to take in the views
This is where the mountains meet the sea. On one side you will see the Carneddau and on the other you will be able to see as far as the Great Orme and even Puffin Island. The summit is rocky and on a dry day is 'bomber' to move across, on a wet day just be slightly more aware of your footing. This is usually my go to snack break before I start to descend.. I mean running is all about the snacks with views right?
Drop into Synchnant
We now have a descent.. taking in a mixture of dusty compact trail in which you can pick up speed to some more technical trail to keep you thinking.. either way full send mode activated! Once you hit the access road by the farm you will follow the gravel track all the way down towards Sychnant Pass. Once you arrive in Sychnant you will see a small valley with only a couple houses... that is Capeleulo and further in the distance you will just about see the sea.
Cross over the road and just before the gate is where you're going to pick up a muddy path on your right. Now this is where my favourite part of the path starts. You are now going to stick on this path for a while and traverse the Hills to your left. Once you have done the short climb up, you will then pick up the narrow dusty path… beware some days you can find yourself stuck behind some 'welsh traffic'.
The Witches Lake
When you reach the wall line and make your way up you will find the gravel access tracks. Now take the path passing ‘Llyn Y Wrach” the witches lake, until you reach the wall.
At the wall take a right and keep it on your left hand side. This is now a section of the Cambrian way. At the path junction take the path on your right, you will pass a farm on your left. Keep moving across the grass, this can be boggy terrain until you start to work your way up. You will then start to make your way onto a rocky path passing through the disused quarry. Keep on moving up and there you will see a wall on your left. Keep hand railing until you make it to the summit. You will move over sections of rock, bog and mud until you make it up onto the plateau. There you will see a stile and a trig over the other side.
Welcome to the gateway of the Carneddau!
Tal Y Fan - 610M in height and the shortest mountain in Wales. It is one of the 4 Marilyns that make up the Carneddau. This is a Mountain I have been out running over in rain, snow, extremely poor visibility and occasionally sunshine! It is also the mountain I can see from the front of my house, I love it!!
Time to head back for a pint or a coffee
This route is an out and back route… so now make your way back down sending it through the grassy and muddy terrain. Pick the paths back up and make your way back down the way you came to Sychnant pass.** Follow the track back up and instead of going the exact same way there is a track that heads up through the big gates (often open all year round) then stick to that track. You will then follow a really lush gradual descent back to where you started. From here I usually head into Cowny and will finish with either a Pint at the Albion Pub or a Coffee at Dylans Bakery.
**Alternative - feeling like you still have a little bit more in the legs? Then I usually will take the path back up towards Mynydd Y Dref and head straight up Allt Wen.
Enjoy! Don't forget to tag us in your images or videos @sidasuk #sidascommunity
What kit does Kat use?
Sidas cedar dry bags for after the run.
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