Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The VoFf Way - Introduction

Maentwrog might not be a seaside village but it is on the Wales Coast Path, at least until the new Pont Briwet is built further downstream. Having come this far inland, to the tidal limit, it would be a shame not to explore further. The Vale of Ffestiniog Way is an eighteen mile walk that goes up one side of the vale then on to the highlands behind Manod dropping into Blaenau and down along the other side of the vale to rejoin the coast path. You will be amazed at what you will see in such a short time.

The walk is in three segments:

  1. Maentwrog (Grapes Hotel) to Llan Ffestiniog
  2. Llan Ffestiniog round the back of Manod to Blaenau Ffestiniog
  3. Blaenau Ffestiniog to Maentwrog (Oakeley Arms)

You can start from either end but for me the more spectacular route is the steep descent of the quarrymen into Blaenau and then following the slate journey on or alongside the Ffestiniog Railway towards the sea. The top deck of the 1B double-decker bus from the Oakeley Arms to Llan Ffestiniog provides instant lift and great views.

The first and third sections are not difficult for anyone doing the coast path but the middle section should be treated with care, especially in misty and extreme weather conditions. A good map is essential. It is well worth reading the Mountain Safety Advice provided by the Snowdonia National Park. Click here.

If the weather is really bad there are low level footpaths linking Llan Ffestiniog with Blaenau and of course the first velorail in Britain .... but I suspect you can’t hire that for a one way journey!

We hope you enjoy your visit. For more information about the area, including places to stay and where to eat and drink, please visit the Vale of Ffestiniog website at www.VoFf.co.uk

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