Slate grey

Today we went up into North Wales proper for the first time since moving here.  The forecast wasn’t great, but we thought what the heck – and anyway, if you wait around for sunny days before doing anything, you never will.

Cloud sits on top of Cadair Idris

Cloud sits on top of Cadair Idris

And, of course, it was grey and wet and rainy. The clouds were sitting on the tops of the hills as we wound our way northwards, but it didn’t matter because we were going somewhere where grey and wet rain actually suits the scenery: Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Well, truthfully, we were going through Blaenau rather than making it our destination, but we stopped long enough for me to get a couple of photos and I’m determined to go back on a not-quite-so-wet day and see if I can get some more pictures that better show the drama of the enormous cliffs and scree above the town.

Tin buildings in Blaenau

Tin buildings in Blaenau

I also rather liked a charmingly barmy tin workshop and shed that happened to be just opposite where we parked.

Anyway, we went onwards, to the village of Tanygrisiau with its bonkers thin, winding road, ducking underneath the 7ft bugger-all inches railway bridge (that’s the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway), to take a walk up through the slate quarries to the lake at Cwmorthin.

Fast-flowing water

Fast-flowing water

More falls

More falls

What with all the rain, there was some pretty spectacular fast-flowing water – not to mention falls – to be seen, though that didn’t deter one trials biker who was determined to get through the stream.

On yer bike

On yer bike

An old cottage on the edge of the lake - with monkey puzzle tree

An old cottage on the edge of the lake – with monkey puzzle tree

It was windy and wet, the mist was lowering over the hills, and the ruins of the old quarry workers’ cottages were spooky and atmospheric in the cold, grey light.

A row of ruined cottages

A row of ruined cottages

By now the weather had turned really nasty and the rain was beginning to get a bit too persistent for our liking. So we decided to call it a day and headed to Betws-y-coed for some retail therapy and a pub lunch.

Ruined cottages again

Ruined cottages again

But the slate mines and quarries at Cwmorthin definitely merit another visit. You can get inside the mines and there are all sorts of old workings and bits and pieces to be found in there, apparently. Now that’s definitely something you could do on a rainy day!

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4 thoughts on “Slate grey

  1. After Shetland I’d have thought anything that North Wales could throw at you guys would be tame. I’d forgotten about the lure of the retail therapy and the pub! I especially love those tin sheds and the well made corners on those cottages.

  2. I was just going to ask where you’d moved from but looks like Shetland from the comment above?
    I really love the Welsh slate-mining/quarrying areas in misty and wet weather as I think they’re really atmospheric and it really does suit them. I especially like the area between the Moelwyns and Cnicht – the buildings above Stwlan (possibly those in your photos) and below Moel yr Hydd.
    Lovely waterfall photos again,
    Carol.

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