Graham arrived home after a fortnight away on Saturday, and to celebrate on Sunday we had a lazy lie-in, followed by a gentle(ish) stroll on what may or may not have been the Panorama Walk above Barmouth and the Mawddach Estuary.
I do think the Mawddach is one of the most picturesque places ever – from above. And there are lots of ways to see it from a high viewpoint, what with the two Precipice Walks and the walk we did today, which is actually partly a part of the Mawddach Way. There is a walk up there somewhere that is called the Panorama Walk, and what we did may or may not have been (at least part of) it. Whatever, it was certainly panoramic!
There’s a short, sharp bit of steep uphill after you’ve parked the car at the end of the very narrow winding lane above Barmouth, but once that’s done, the walk is actually quite gentle, along an ‘unsuitable for motor vehicles’ (although three cars passed us as we made our way up!) metalled road with grass growing up the middle. As you work your way up, you pass underneath Barmouth Slabs (a popular rock-climbing spot), and start to get great views looking out at the mouth of the estuary itself, over the marvellous railway bridge.
After passing what appears to be an inhabited house, or perhaps a holiday cottage (how do they get a vehicle up there?!) – you work your way around the heather and gorse-strewn headland, and start looking out to sea with views across Shell Island to the Llyn Peninsula, before ending up looking back along the estuary again – but inland this time – and down into pastoral valleys, filled with winding stone walls and wandering sheep. The gorse is blooming beautifully now, and although the heather is starting to fade, there are still big patches of hillside where the purple and yellow sit together – a colour combination that positively sings.
It was a gloriously warm day, perfect for picnicking, watching Speckled Wood butterflies and picking juicy blackberries along the hedgerows, followed by a pint of lovely local beer – in this instance, Glaslyn from the Purple Moose Brewery – in the garden of the pub.