Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Walks
Date: 5th Apr 2012
Distance: 2.2 miles
Ascent: 320 feet
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
With: Lisa, Rhiannon, Val & Dave
Start Grid Ref: SH789800
A lovely short walk visiting the site of Deganwy Castle on The Vardre with stunning views of Conwy Bay and the northern Carneddau.
Route Summary: Bryn Lupus Road - Plas Dolau - The Vardre - Plas Dolau - Bryn Lupus Road
1. The holloway west of Plas Dolau
2. Approaching the twin summits of The Vardre
3. The grassy slopes of The Vardre
4. Great Orme from the meagre ruins of Deganwy Castle
5. Looking across Deganwy to Conwy Mountain
6. Conwy Marina
7. The snow covered tops of the Carneddau
8. Val and Dave on The Vardre
9. The higher of the two tops of The Vardre
10. Deganwy Castle once stood astride the two tops of The Vardre
Walk Detail: We took advantage of the fact that this was the first nice morning we'd had for four days to go out as a family on this short walk.
Starting from Bryn Lupus Road on the outskirts of Llanhros it was a fairly simple walk which included a stretch along an old sunken way known as a 'holloway' which in times past would have been one of the main approaches Deganwy Castle.
The Vardre is a mainly grassy hill with large patches of gorse and two prominent limestones outcrops that form twin summits. Deganwy Castle used to sit astride the two summits and would have been a formidable fortress before its final destruction in 1277.
The highest point is not on an actual right of way though there were at least a couple of paths leading to the top. The final climb was quite steep but before I could even suggest that we find a way up Rhiannon suggested we climb to the top. Perhaps the only thing more pleasing than the fact my four year old daughter wanted to get to the top of the hill was her expression of pleasure at the view when we did get to the top.
Since the castle remains are rather meagre it is in fact as a viewpoint that The Vardre excels. The view north over Llandudno to Great Orme was impressive but the view south across the Conwy Estuary to Conwy Mountain and the northern snow-topped summits of the Carneddau was just superb.
After enjoying the views from the top and re-fueling Rhiannon with a quick snack we descended from the top on a broader path before descending to the outskirts of Tywyn where we then followed a series of paths back to the open hillside where we had a picnic before walking back along the holloway and Plas Dolau farm to the start.
This was another super little walk with one of the best sub-1000ft views that I've yet seen. It was the perfect length for Rhiannon and so was an excellent choice for a family walk. One of the highlights of our holiday.