Have you ever heard the sound of ice falling from a mountain? As we were hiking through the ice-sculpted Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia National Park, there was a deafening noise above us. Ice was falling directly above our heads. We all froze (excuse the pun).
Let me take you back to the beginning…
In March, my boyfriend, Mike, and I we were visiting friends near Liverpool who love nature and hiking as much as we do. Although I love exploring new cities, I’d choose the mountains over a city any day and my favourite hike so far would have to be in Sri Lanka. From our friends house, we drove to Snowdonia National Park for an epic hike.
There are many routes to choose from in Snowdonia National Park. We chose the Cwm Idwal, mainly because of the beautiful lake. We weren’t disappointed. If you get the chance to hike there, expect dramatic scenery, unpredictable weather and breath-taking rock formations. Cwm Idwal offers constant mountainous scenery and is the oldest National Nature Reserve in Wales.
The drive through the mountains was an event in itself. We arrived at the start of the hike around 10am which seemed to be the ideal time. We just managed to get a parking space and by the time we left, the lake was much more crowded. The whole hike took us around 3 hours. I would have liked to spend more time exploring so I hope to go back there one day. We saw many hiking groups taking various trails so it looks like there are plenty of routes to explore.
The walk to the main lake was fairly simple, taking around twenty minutes, so this is a good option if you want a shorter hike. As soon as we saw the glistening water, we knew we’d made the right choice with the route we’d chosen.
Side note: does anyone else find it incredibly awkward posing for solo photos? This one is of me before I posed with a goofy smile I much prefer candid photos!
There are a few routes to climb around the lake which are more challenging than the walk to the lake. We chose a route to the left and right around the lake. Around this impressive climb, there were continuous waterfalls and stunning rock formations.
We all commented on how it reminded us of scenes in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. If we were unaware of our location, we could have easily believed that we were in New Zealand (not that any of us have been there… one day!)
It was when we were near the top of our climb that we had this sudden crunching of ice. After spotting the ‘beware of falling rocks’ on our drive in, we knew there was a possibility that rocks could fall on us. Luckily, nothing more happened and it turned out to be only a tiny piece of ice falling in comparison to the thunderous noise we heard. It doesn’t look like much, but when you hear that sound from above your head, it’s pretty frightening.
We laughed it off, carried on and got back to appreciating the stupendous scenery surrounding us. It was a slightly foggy day but I think this mystically added to the landscape.
We saw some wild goats on the way. A group were crossing the path ahead of us and then leisurely started munching on grass to the side.
I’d definitely recommend this hike in Snowdonia, despite the possibility of falling ice (which turned out not to be as dramatic as it sounds). It was absolutely stunning and has made me wish I lived in Wales. I mean, imagine experiencing hikes like this every weekend. I’d be in heaven!
How to Get There:
The easiest way to get to Cwm Idwal is by car using this postcode:LL57 3LZ. There is also the option of traveling there by bus. It’s called the ‘Snowdonia Sherpa’ which you can get from the (fairly) nearby town, Betws y Coed.