Nant Gwrtheyrn to Tre'r Ceiri

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Walk Synopsis

This walk takes Derek and his guide through stunning scenery on the Llŷn Peninsula.

From the abandoned quarrying village of Porth-y-Nant, now known as Nant Gwrtheyrn or just Nant, to the most fascinating feature of the walk, the Iron Age fort of Tre'r Ceiri.

Remarkably the ruins of the ancient stone huts still survive, clinging to the southern most peak of the summit of Y-Eifl.

The walk ends at the beautiful and secluded Nant Gwrtheyrn Welsh Language and Heritage Centre, a former granite quarrying village on the northern coast of the Llŷn Peninsula.

Derek's guide was local professional photographer Glyn Davies who has been capturing this beautiful part of West Wales on camera for many years and kindly allowed us to use his photos here.

Start of the walk

The walk begins at the car park located at the top of the hill which leads down to Nant Gwrtheyrn, and next to a forestry plantation. The car park has a memorial sculpture in it - dedicated to the local quarrymen of the three western Eifl quarries.

Head south east from the car park keeping the stone wall on the right until you reach a view point with a panoramic interpretation board.

1. View point over the Llŷn Peninsula

Head off east-north-east through low heather and along indistinct sheep tracks until you join a clearer path which comes up from Llithfaen and part of the Llŷn Coastal Path.

Then go through a kissing gate and follow the path in a north-easterly direction over a stile, up past a hill fort information board, over rough granite stones through a gap in the ramparts.

The summit is now visible. Keep to the right hand side of the hill fort with the ruined hut circles on the left until you reach the summit, or take a closer look at these remarkable ruins but take care not to disturb the stone walls.

2. Tre'r Ceiri hillfort

Tre'r Ceiri hillfort stands 450 metres above sea level on an exposed peak of Yr Eifl on the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd and is one of the best preserved and most densely occupied hill forts in Britain.

Its stone ramparts survive in places to near full height and enclose over 150 visible stone houses.

Early investigations in 1904 and 1906 involved the clearance of many house interiors and the discovery of a number of important artefacts.

Image by Glyn Davies photography

From the summit continue down along the ramparts keeping them on your right, passing a small doorway in the walls also on your right.

Keep walking until you see a larger gap and exit through the ramparts here at the west gate.

Drop down the trail for around 50 metres until you come to an information post, directly in front of you. From here veer right and pick up the path across flat, quite often marshy ground between the two hills.

Eventually the path begins to climb diagonally in a north-westerly direction up towards Garn Ganol.

The path is fairly easy going on flat terrain through the gorse. Follow the path between the boulder fields until you eventually spot the trig point on the summit.

3. Summit of Garn Ganol

Yr Eifl has three summits, each quite separate from each other. The peaks are also known as The Rivals in English, but this is merely an anglicised form of Yr Eifl, meaning "the forks" or "the strides" (Welsh: gafl, plural geifl).

On a clear day, the views from Garn Ganol, (the highest summit) reach as far as the Isle of Man, the Wicklow mountains in Ireland and the Lake District, as well as the entire sweep of Cardigan Bay to the South.

Image by Glyn Davies photography

The view of Yr Eifl is especially striking from the south west coast of Anglesey, for instance from Llanddwyn Island. The three peaks are Tre'r Ceiri (1,591 ft), Garn Ganol (1,850 ft)) and Garn Fôr (1,457 ft).

From the summit head off in a north/ north-easterly direction for 50 metres or so before turning north-westerly and following the track towards a wide Landrover track at Bwlch yr Eifl.

Turn left and follow the track in a south-westerly direction towards the starting point and car park.

You can end the walk here but for filming purposes, Derek continued down the road, stopping at the hairpin bend to look at the views of the disused quarry and the old lost village of Nant Gwrtheyrn.

4. Views over the quarry

The Nant's peaceful period came to an end when companies began excavating granite from the surrounding mountains in the nineteenth century.

Growing cities such as Liverpool and Manchester needed solid roads that could cope with the increasing traffic. The answer at that time was to build roads with sets - cobble stones shaped from granite.

In 1861, Porth-y-Nant quarry was opened by the Kneeshaw and Lupton Company from Liverpool.

The sets were taken by ship from the beach below the quarry to Liverpool, Manchester, Birkenhead and also further afield.

Continue down the road until you reach Nant Gwrtheyrn Welsh Language and Heritage Centre.

5. Nant Gwrtheyrn

The Nant Gwrtheyrn Welsh Language and Heritage Centre now occupies this former quarrying village on the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula.

Image by Glyn Davies photography

It's sometimes referred to as 'the Nant' and is named after the valley where it is located - Nant Gwrtheyrn ("Vortigern's Creek"), which lies in isolation by the sea at the foot of Yr Eifl.

Continue down towards the sea passing Caffi Meinir, then through a kissing gate ending at a viewpoint overlooking the beach and Caernarfon Bay.

The local environment

Image by Glyn Davies photography

The whole of Llŷn has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The village of Nant Gwrtheyrn has also been Grade II listed by CADW as Buildings of Special Architectural and Historical Importance.

However, buildings are not the only points of environmental interest at the Nant. The entire valley is one of the most beautiful locations in the whole of Wales and at the same time, provides habitat for all kinds of wildlife and plants.

BBC Disclaimer: The Weatherman Walking routes and maps are intended as a guide to the TV programme only. Routes and conditions may have changed since the programme was made. The BBC takes no responsibility for any accident or injury that may occur while following the route. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear and check weather conditions before heading out.


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Pictures from the walk

Derek on the summit. Image © Glyn Davies photography

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