February 2015

A pick of the paths up Snowdon

Llanberis PathLlanberis is the kick-off point for its namesake path, and the town has many attractions.

One of these is the Electric Mountain, which pumps water from the lake up to a reservoir above at night (the off-peak period), then at times of high demand e.g. the end of Coronation Street or an international football match, it lets the water run down to turbines to generate enough electricity to cope with the extra demand. There are tours starting from the main visitor centre (these are very popular, and you may have to wait at busy times).  Other spots to take in include the slate museum, the lakeside railway, steam and motorboat rides on Llyn Padarn, Dolbadarn Castle, the miners' hospital...

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February 2015

Choosing between two Cairngorms colossi

Is Ben Macdui worth writing home (or a blog post) about?Many would say not; Scotland’s second-highest summit is merely the highest nubbin on a flattish plateau in the Cairngorms.

No wafer-thin ridge or heady climb to get the pulse racing, just a trudge along a wide, rock-strewn path. It may reach 1309 metres, but you can get a railway or ski lift up most of its height, if you walk over from Cairn Gorm. But while it lacks a certain drama for hillwalkers (it’s a very different proposition in winter conditions), this big beast does have one thing that counts – an unsurpassable location. Across the vast chasm of the Lairig Ghru lie the giant bite-mark valleys of Coire Bhrochain and An Garbh...

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January 2015

An island with plenty packed in

Most people’s first thoughts about the Isle of Man will probably relate to motorbike racing, particularly the TT races.

Or maybe its the ‘Three legs of Mann’ symbol, or perhaps its position as a tax haven within the British Isles.  Sunset at Port Erin But from a walker’s perspective, this is a gem of a place. It has rolling hills, lofty sea cliffs, lonely beaches and glorious glens. There are sensational sunsets (if you’re lucky) and it is the only place in the British Isles from where you can view the seven kingdoms all at once (again, if you’re lucky). Throw in a steam railway, a mountain railway, electric and horse-drawn trams, and more heritage than you can shake a stick at...

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