Conwy in North Wales is famous for its castle and medieval city walls which still enclose the town. It rightly attracts hundreds of visitors every day.
Yet the mountain that bears the town’s name is also well worth a visit. Spectacular views over the River Estuary and the Menai Straits are on offer for those that wish to explore…
We started our ascent from car park on the Sychnant Pass Road, the ‘back way’ between Conwy and Penmeanmawr, avoiding the busy A55.
The car park is not big. Then again, it doesn’t need to be. There are only a few dog-walkers and hikers who use it.
After parking up follow the path heading north, as if heading towards the sea (which you can’t actually see).
To our left we are confronted by the slopes of Alltween (255 metres) the first of the crop of small mountains that nestle on the promontory we are about to explore.
The scree is steep but can be avoided by staying to the right and approaching the top of the mountain round the side. It’s worth a detour to reach the top, as you are rewarded by great views over the Menai Straits to the coast of Anglesey.
After taking in these views you can return down the hill, either using the path you came up on, or another that takes you down a little further.
Either way, you end up rejoining the original path. Directly in front the second hill presents itself. This is Penmaen-bach (245 metres), perhaps most famous for the tunnels that pass through it on the A55.
Don’t climb Penmaen-bach but take the right hand fork and follow path as it slowly climbs.
The land is open and you are now confronted by a series of paths and tracks. Don’t worry too much which option you choose. Simple head in a north-eastern direction up onto the ridge that leads to Conwy Mountain (Mynydd y Dref) itself.
You soon pass through an ancient hill fort and can only image how cold and bleak it must have been to live there centuries ago.
The top of the mountain is not far. It’s not very high. Only 244 metres. But the views it affords are magnificent. You perch over the town of Conwy to see Deganwy on the other side of the river and the sanded estuary before it.
Dogs and their walkers appear as small dots that slowly move across a beach below you. At low tide the canvas of yellowy-white sand stretches out across the bay.
You can see Llundudno’s west shore and the famous premonitory of The Great Orme, that rises to its left.
Inland, the foothills of the Snowdonia mountains present themselves inviting your eyes to look further and higher into the distance.
We returned to our car using the same route.
Others can follow the path past the summit and down into Conwy itself.
Before and after Pinewood Farm there are options to cut this route short and turn right to meet up with Sychnant Pass Road, and then walk eastwards, back towards the car park.