Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 5, Part 2

The group continue their journey to Pont-y-Gromlech and see an artist painting the mountain scenery. They pass the Gwastadnant toll gate and travel through Llanberis noting the Church and The Vaynol Arms. 

Llanberis Pass

DD/DM/1113- Picture of Llanberis Pass from the original diary 'Two hundred and fifty miles through North Wales on a wagonette'

We got back to the road again and proceed on over Ty Hyll [Ugly House] bridge, and then the road runs at the base of rocky heights with the river on the left flowing through meadows, and gradually the bed or the stream becomes rugged at a bend in the road where we enter a charming place we see an artist sitting on the rock in the centre of the river painting the old romantic and pretty bridge of Ponty y Gyfing [Pont-y-Gyfing] the water tumbles beneath over ledges and masses of rock forming a number of cascades whilst in the back ground is it not for the peaks and ridges of Snowdon which present a magnificent appearance directly in front and apparently stretch across the vale, this view of the monarch of  Welsh mountains being considered by many the best that is obtained at any point. 

We travel on mile after mile along this wild looking plain until we come to a bend in the road and immediately to our right is the Pen y Gwryd Inn, a lonely public house situated in a bleak wild looking country one mile from the top of the Llanberris [Llanberis] pass, it is reputed to stand on higher ground than any hotel in Wales, just past the Inn there are two roads right and left, the left or lower road leads to Beddgelert whilst the one we proceed by, the right, a higher road leads to the pass.  We make a gradual ascent of the hill where we make a collection of the various mosses growing on the rugged stone walls. Looking back we see our former tourist Dr Fletcher trotting down the road to Beddgelert, and on looking more to the right in the hollow see the Beddgelert Road running through a deep vale with the sun shining brightly on the green fields and a strip of the Gwynant Lake at the foot of an off shoot of Snowdon.  We reach the top of Llanberris pass where there is an Inn and a few cottages, here a path branches to the left for Snowdon. We keep on down the steep road and gradually the rocks become wild on either hand presenting a romantic aspect especially those on the right which are grand and irregular and using to a great altitude.  The view of these rocks are very impressive, we cross the old bridge and meet another fine four in hand coach, also a number of shows travelling through the pass, these hailed from London and Leicester. 

Just before we get to the pony y Gromlech [Pont-y-Gromlech] bridge, the rocks are high and wild, here we see another artist painting views of the mountain scenery, immediately this side the bridge on the left is a clean little cottage, round about it are huge masses of fallen rock called “The Cromlech”.  Large blocks lie on the mountain side, on every hand above are some peaked crags, again on the left we pass a foot bridge which crosses the torrent close by, a rill descends down the crags from the wild recess of Cwn Glas presently the Llanberris lakes, Llyn Peris, the upper lake and Llyn Padarn, the lower lake and Dolbadarn Castle appear done the vale, forming a fine subject for a picture.  For some distance further the cliffs are very wild. When we pass through the Gwastadiant [Gwastadnant] toll gate the savage features of the pass soften and a few cottages and fields are passed, we make a sharp turn and then the head of the pass is hid by a mass of rock.  We pass the entrance to the pass, also the old village and church of Llanberris, this church and village is 2 miles from the present new village of Llanberris opposite the Vaynoll Arms. A fair has just been held and the road is pretty well blocked with the rear guard of the shows we had just previously met in the pass, these were waiting for the chain horses to return to help them over past here. 

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