Travel Diaries: Wales Tour – Mount Snowdon, on a Late Summer’s Evening

Setting off in the late afternoon, you are not expecting to conquer the summit of Snowdon, as the trecherous darkness can fall very swiftly.  Instead, you can cherish having a little piece of this most beautiful mountain to yourself, away from the tour buses and crowds, just as the sun begins to set and the low cloud bank descends.

We hiked with our four young children (ages 11 down to 5) from Pen Y Pass to just before Crib Goch, using the Pyg Track, for a several thousand foot high picnic tea with a view.

Pen Y Pass is already itself rather high, and very quickly we were rewarded with far reaching views out towards the lakes Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn.

The Pyg Track winds its way steeply up the mountainside.  Large slabs of rock cross tiny streams and, in places, the path disappears entirely and we picked our way up over the boulders.

As we near the Crib Goch junction (where if we were to continue with the children on a sunny day, we would rejoin the miner’s route) the path becomes suddenly easier; an ancient stairway of mossy stones.

We found our spot, just beyond here – with the sharp peak of Snowdon in the distance.

We watched the grey clouds sweep across the valley, until the tops of the mountains disappeared from view, and then made our way safely back, under a glimpse of remaining blue sky.


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Travel Diaries: Norfolk Tour – Windswept Shoreline and the Famous Cookies of Salthouse

Along the North Norfolk coastal road is a tiny little village called Salthouse.

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Cookies, the Crab Shop, may not sound very veggie friendly, but they do make a good salad too.  Everyone we spoke to on our campsite was also scheduling in a visit.  Nextdoor is a post office and delicatessen, and we picked up a little tin of Salthouse sweets for our family’s Christmas Day hamper.

Just down the road from the crab shack is a bumpy route down through the marshes to the shore.  Over a ridge of pebbles, and the vast beach is before you.

The children search for “skimmers” (round, smooth pebbles to skid across the water) and although it may not be the best place for building golden sandcastles, Salthouse is perfect for bird watching and it does provide an exceptional palette for pebble art.

It is a wild, rugged, windswept place.  We have been there in every season – to watch the low winter sun setting in early January, or walk barefoot in the waves in late July.  A constantly changing scene, though always beautiful.

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