Moel Siabod is one of the less visited mountains in Wales, and is located next to Capel Curig and the Plas-y-Brenin mountain training centre. The trig point on the summit is at 872m or 2,861 ft. Although not one of the Welsh 3,000s, the views from the top are superb
Our trip up Moel Siabod was with the Plas-y-Brenin on the navigation course, so we had not only to follow the trail, but also complete a set of challenges in terms of finding exactly where we were on the map.
Sticking to the walk, there are a number of routes, some more challenging than others. For example, the path up from Llyn-y-foel (a small lake right next to the mountain) is a scramble, while there is a walking path from Capel Curig itself.
We chose a mixture of the two, going up via one of the ridges (not the scrambling one, but we still needed to use hands occasionally) and down following the path to Capel Curig.
Note of caution
This is a proper hillwalk, with boulders, rough terrain, as well as some steep ground - even if you avoid scrambling, and it's made more difficult in rainy weather as both grass and rock become slippery. So be extra careful, check the weather forecast and let somebody know where you're going. Mobile phone reception is good higher up the mountain, but lower (though you're less likely to need it) some networks struggle, Vodafone in particular.
Layers, windbreakers and waterproofs are a must - weather can change very rapidly. On the day, we had everything from bright sunshine to driving rain and hailstones.
Food & Drink
Definitely carry enough to last 5-6 hours in case you're delayed - no refreshments en route! A flask with hot tea/coffee as it can get quite chilly once you're close to the summit. And especially if it's windy/raining
If you're using Ordnance Survey, you will need Explorer 17 and 18 sheets, but a better choice is probably a Harvey Map for Snowdonia which has more paths marked and covers the whole of the mountain.
The main reason for our trip to Wales was to do some trail rides on horse back, and the Gwydyr Stables were an ideal location for that, with miles and miles of forest and mountain tracks right at the doorstep.
There are horses to suit everyone, and some unusual specimen, like the polka-dot appaloosa that my friend was riding, or Ted, the big and furry Dutch drafthorse.
The rides were very enjoyable, the staff friendly, the horses adorable and the scenery breathtaking. What more could you possibly want?
Trail rides are on offer from one hour up to a full day ride, and you can even go on a pub ride, where you stop off at different local watering holes.
If you want to stay a bit longer, B&B accommodation is available on site at the farmhouse (see my accommodation tip for Ty Coch Farm)
Although Rugby was invented in England, the Welsh seem to have taken the sport to their hearts. Today I heard they had won an ninternational tournament in Dubai. The national team plays against many countries like New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, France , as well as England and Scotland. Their fans , both male and feamale,are devouted and follow then to matches when they can.
Schools teach the game, and in many towns Rugby Clubs are to be found. Apparently the wetter the day , and muddier the pitch, the more the players like it.
We just could not get over the amount of walkers in Wales. And good on them too. There were brilliant long term (days!) and short term (minutes to hours) walks everywhere. Bed and Breakfasts appeared to cater very well for walkers and the gorgeous countryside really makes you feel like it is the only way to exercise.
We didn't do it ourselves but no matter where we travelled if there was more than a puddle of water there was someone fishing in it! This guy was fishing in Monmouth. We didn't see him catch anything.
The Millennium Stadium was built over the hallowed Cardiff Arms park in 1999 and is Wales' National Stadium. It has seen many great sporting fixtures already and is an often used neutral ground for big football games between team from England.
The stadium is sited on the banks of the Taff River and is virtually Cardiff's centrepiece though the Castle is more correct to have this tag from an historical perspective.
Wales is one of only two countries where Rugby is the national game (New Zealand being the other). There is a huge amount of passion for rugby here with the some of my earliest memories of rugby being test matches at the Cardiff Arms Park (watched at 3am NZ time) when I was a wee fella.
The 'Arms Park' was demolished in 1997 replaced by the Millennium Stadium which was finished in 1999. You can still walk on Cardiff Arms Park as the Cardiff Rugby Club renamed their ground which is at the rear of Millennium Stadium's North Stand.
The stadium has had an interesting history. The site of the park was originally a meadow behind the Cardiff Arms Hotel. The land was sold in 1922 to Cardiff Athletic Club and the Welsh Rugby Union. In 1941, the stadium was hit in a blitz by the German Airforce.
Rugby is played everywhere in Wales with the big Southern cities (Newport, Cardiff, Llanelli and Swansea) being the driving force of the game.
The Welsh have produced three of the best ever players in the world - Barry John, Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett (the man with the best ever side step bar none).
A bit of trivia - Wales originally played in Black but changed to Red in the 1880's. Neath still plays in black and are possibly the original All Blacks??
The Millennium Stadium was built prior to Wales' hosting of the 1999 Rugby World Cup. It is the home of the Welsh Rugby and Football teams and it's a fantastic venue. Unlike stadia in other major cities, the Millennium Stadium is right in the centre of Cardiff. I have been here a couple of times to watch Irish sides play and the atmosphere is excellent. In recent years, the stadium has also hosted the FA Cup final during the rebuilding of Wembley.
Rugby Union is very popular in Wales and the national side are one of the top teams in the world. In the 1970s Wales were the best team in Europe but in recent years they haven't been doing so well. That all changed in 2005 when they won the Grand Slam.
Also on the agenda was an exercise in "Team Building" -- This involved dealing with an Un-Exploded Bomb - Judging my the pics then I think this is Better left to the Experts in real Life.
Although I didn't take part in the "Team Building" exercise, By All accounts it was fun !!
Equipment: All Provided and included in the £15 convention fee
There were two "Organised walks" also programmed into the weekend, Although I didn't personally go on either of these the comments that came back from those that did were Very favourable, There seemed to be something for everybody, regardless of age or ability, So, again, IF this sounds like your thing then come along on the next C2T Activity weekend !!
Another activity on offer was to go White Water Rafting on the River Dee, As you can see from the pics it was a Fairly Invigorating trip, Although I have to be honest and say that I didn't go -- This Time :-)
Trips were £35 per head for two runs -- Bargain !!
So If you fancy a stab at this with some Great company and some Expert tuition then you will just Have to join us !!
Pics on this tips page are courtesy of Mr Graham Darch -- Thanks Graham
Equipment: All Prvided in with the price
As I have said on the introduction page, I had my First stab at absailing on the C2T Convention Weekend, -- AWESOME !! Here is the pic of the advice before stepping into the Void -- This could be you !!!!!!
Looking for an All Action Packed Weekend, Well I've just come back from an Excellent one arranged by companions2travel in Llangollen, Wales, Full explanation in my intro, I had my first try at Archery and it was Bril -- Great instruction and Yes, I did manage to hit the target :-)
Equipment: Everything Provided
Having only kayaked on cannals before we wanted to taste the white water and this was the only company that would take you on a taster without having the kayaking stars. It was two days of fun and hard work. Morning spent on cannal developing your paddle and simple strokes such a ruddering, bracing and sweep strokes. You then move onto moving water and yep the first capsize of the day. You then progress into ferry gliding and stoppers with some more dippings!!!! Excellent fun. The next day was more of the same and some white water surfing all in all a fantastic time. Am now looking at taking the sport up!!!
Equipment: none its all there
This is a Victorian town home that has been nicely restored to a very comfortable and modern hotel....more
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Not a bad place but considering the jenivore hotel next door, which has rooms from £12.50 pppn, and...more
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