Planning for Snowdonia – March ’23

In a few weeks’ time, I’ll be heading north to Snowdonia for a few days, just as I did in this same month last year. In this post, I’m going to share some of the walks I’m looking to embark upon. Each of which will be new to me.

In total, I have four walks in mind, which fits well within the five-day allowance of my stay. I’d quite like to climbing Cadair Idris again (which I did back in 2017) but I am prioritising new experiences. Below, I’ll be using some of my own photos from 2022. Having recently been stung by an expensive copyright infringement case after borrowing someone else’s photo in 2019… I don’t wish to chance repeating a similar mistake.

Nantlle Ridge

Aran Fawddwy, March 2022.

I’ll be staying in Betws-y-Coed for this trip and perhaps I’ll talk a bit more about that at the end. But this walk, starting from Beddgelert Forest, will be one of the closest to my accommodation. I believe it’s one that’s grown in possibility, while it is nothing to compare to Crib Goch. On an OS Map, I can see the village of Nantlle to the north but there’s no specific label for the ‘Nantlle Ridge’, as you would find with Crib Goch or perhaps, Striding Edge.

For this walk, I actually have two routes in mind:

10 miles from Rhyd Ddu

11.25 miles from Beddgelert Forest

Rhinog Fawr

If you go for a walk in North Wales and your boots remain dry, you’re doing something wrong!

For years, the Rhinogydd have been known as one of the most ‘wild’ and untouched pockets of Snowdonia National Park. Again, awareness and popularity have probably risen, with more people looking to spend time outdoors and a wealth of people taking to social media and sharing their quests to find solitude away from the masses.

I won’t lie, I have some trepidation about taking on a walk, here. I’ve heard that it can be very boggy and that waymarking may be in short supply. In reality, I’ve survived boggy landscapes before and, if the worst comes to it, I could probably use the assistance of GPS on my phone.

Again, I currently have two walking routes in mind:

One from Trail Magazine

Another from Trail Magazine

Cnicht and Moelwyn Mawr

View from Treks Bunkhouse, Llan Ffestiniog.

A year ago, I could peer across the valley from the kitchen window of Treks Bunkhouse and see Moelwyn Mawr. Cnicht (not unlike the English word for ‘Knight’) stood close by, although I’m not sure how aware of this I was.

Cnicht is also known as ‘The Welsh Matterhorn’ and if you observe its physical appearance, you can immediately see why. Even if it stands at less than 700m above sea level! I’ve see many routes suggesting a ‘there and back’ walk that might only consume a couple of hours. That’s one reason I’d not considered it before. But below, you’ll see a link to a pleasing route that also takes in the summit of Moelwyn Mawr:

9.5 miles from Croesor car park

Arenig Fawr

From the sunny summit of Carnedd Moel Siabod, March 2022.

This is a walk I was looking to do in 2022. But on the one day I’d reserved for it, there were weather warnings of snow and ice. A particularly dark and cloudy sky loomed over North Wales. I recall the bitter bite of the wind, as I went for a rest day in one of the other towns. No such snow fell during the daytime. But, as I awoke the next morning on my day of departure, every cwm and mynydd had been blanketed in the white stuff.

I’ve heard good things about Arenig Fawr and I believe there’s even a bothy, somewhere close to its summit. I don’t know of many of those around Wales. My fingers are crossed for better weather on this occasion. If I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I could look to tie Arenig Fach in to the same walk.

7 miles from Country Walking Magazine

8.5 miles from Trail Magazine


Car park of Treks Bunkhouse, Llan Ffestiniog.

I’ll be staying at a bunkhouse in Betws-y-Coed and, fingers crossed, I get access to the private, single room that I believe I’d paid for. I was very close to this place a year ago, when I spent two nights in the Glan Aber Hotel. But of course, bunkhouse accommodation is considerably cheaper than in any grade of hotel.

I was looking forward to staying at Treks Bunkhouse again, where I spent three nights last year. But they are fully booked for the duration of my stay – not chance of having the place to myself again! Also, it looks as though they now only accept group bookings and not individuals… Which would make sense for their own reasons.

In fact, while I was searching for accommodation for this upcoming trip, I found that the vast majority of independent hostels and bunkhouses now ONLY accept group bookings. I don’t know whether this is a recent change. But it does appear to make things a bit harder for the solo traveller. All we ask for is a private room with a bed and otherwise shared facilities.

Another idea I had was to visit the Peak District instead. But I couldn’t find a single independent hostel that would take me on my own. Of course, there is still the YHA and their preference for green-coloured… Everything! But I’ve done that only once. I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience and I’d be reluctant to go again unless I’m part of a larger group.

We shall see how I get on this year. I’ve little doubt that I’ll enjoy the walks and as many as I can do. Should the weather turn against me, I could look for low-level walks around Betws-y-Coed. I know the area well enough to know that it caters for all of my ‘basecamp’ needs (food, etc.).

If you have any thoughts on the routes I’m proposing or any part of the above, please comment below.

Thanks for reading.


Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

2 thoughts on “Planning for Snowdonia – March ’23”

    1. Hi Ruth,
      Indeed, that is my only concern. I’ve seen the photos and I’m heading to South Wales today, where there might still be snow on top.

      I hope you have a good year ahead.


Please leave your comments below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: