To Snowdonia and Beyond
Blogger Elliott Waring on his best walks in England and Wales
We were glad to stumble upon Elliott Waring — a genuine British adventurer who knows his British wilds. When he’s not walking or biking, he’s running his blog See Outside, where he documents his adventures in the hopes of inspiring others to get out and explore. Here, Elliot rounds up his top five walks in England and Wales.
The Snowdon Horseshoe, Snowdonia
The Snowdon Horseshoe is widely regarded as one of the top ridge walks in the UK. It takes in the eastern peaks of the Snowdon Massif — among the main mountain groups in Snowdonia — skirting around Llyn Llydaw lake on the infamous, razor-sharp ridge known as Crib Goch. The route heads over both the summits of Garnedd Ugain and Snowdon, Wales’ two highest peaks, before traversing the mountain of Y Lliwedd, often overlooked due to its close proximity with Snowdon. The route is definitely one of the more challenging in the area, but it feels like a proper day in the mountains, with lots of hands-on scrambling and some of the best views in Wales.
This is one of my favourite walks in Snowdonia, partly because it’s much quieter than the Snowdonia Massif which sits in the neighbouring valley. The route starts on the shores of Llyn Ogwen lake, from where you climb up the north ridge of Tryfan. The peak is marked by Adam to Eve — two twin monoliths a metre apart. It’s thought that if you make the leap of faith between the two, you’ll be rewarded with the ‘Freedom of the Tryfan’. Ahead lies the prominent Bristly Ridge, a grade 1 scramble on the north face of Glyder Fach. Once you’ve made it to the top, the route flattens out, revealing unique rock formations like the great Cantilever Stone which juts off the mountainside (pictured).
Mam Tor, Peak District
Rolling hills and plenty of gritstone make the Peak District National Park a great place to get lost in nature. But one of my favourite spots, mainly for photographic reasons, is Mam Tor. From the top, you can see the winding Winnats Pass twist towards the village of Edale, cutting through the lush green hills on each side. It’s best on a misty morning.
The Old Man of Coniston, Lake District
The Old Man of Coniston holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my grandfather — the man who introduced me to the mountains — is laid to rest. It was his all time favourite mountain and he climbed it over a hundred times. It sits in the Furness Fells of the Lake District, with dramatic views over the village of Coniston and the lake of Coniston Water beyond. The mountain was once a place of extensive slate mining, and you can see many of the abandoned quarries on your way to the top.
Anglesey Coastal Path
I live close to the North Welsh border so have spent a lot of my time exploring the Welsh wilderness. It’s easy to assume that all of the great walks are in the mountains, but the coastal path that skirts the Isle of Anglesey is one of the best walks in the UK for me. Whether you decide to take on the whole 220 kilometres over a few days, or just tackle a small section for an afternoon stroll, the route — packed with designated campsites and plenty of spots for wild camping — offers a great place to walk in the fresh ocean air.