I discovered Nany Yr Arian whilst on my mountain biking adventures earlier this year. It wasn’t a favourite trail of mine mainly because of my skill level and it didn’t have a nice flow to it like the others. However, I was grateful to learn that it also has a walking and running track too – if you visit prepare for incredible views!
Of course, not even I would run if the lot from 28 days later were after me but I’d gladly walk (fast). One weekend in Wales, we picked up our favourite yellow Labrador Bella and took her for a walk with us around Nany Yr Arian. Since, it’s a working forest there are lots of sticks to throw for her and as you can imagine the endless hills knackered out a usually bouncing 4 year old Labrador.
The sun was shining (it mostly does in Wales) but the winds were strong which only got gustier as you climbed higher. We started with an easy graded yellow route which goes near one side of the lake, up and over and gives you the chance to see the mighty Kites (which were too high up to photograph) at feeding time. Since moving to the countryside, I’m always fascinated by birds of prey. They’re majestic and I find it random to see them sitting on the fence whilst watching the cars go by. They’re one of the main attractions at Nant Yr Arian as well as a whole host of other birds, ducks and geese.
After an hour’s walk, we took Bella for a much needed drink in the dog friendly café that they have there. It’s a wooden building that looks over the lake and is home to many little birds glued to the bird feeders. Can I just say? The clotted cream and jam scones are magnificent and they do a great latte too! (Where’s the picture you ask? My stomach got there first!)
After a much needed rest, we were keen to explore more of the place. We progressed on to a slightly challenging red route. It wasn’t actually that hard, it just had some gradient in it. It’s completely worth climbing up higher and walking around the ridge. It’s home to lots of wild flowers and crickets (which I managed to see for the first time). I didn’t spot any Kites though as they seem to be on the other side of the park. This side of Nany Yr Arian is not as windy because there are lots of woodlands that you trek through – this walk is 2 1/2 hours long and on a sunny day it’s very enjoyable! There are chairs dotted about the place so if you fancy a rest with an incredible view, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
There are also a few interesting signs to tell you the history of the place which I won’t spoil for you. The giant chair was my favourite which if you climb up to sit on, you’ll be rewarded with even more magnificent views of the mountains across. It was a great day in all.
Bella albeit panting quite hard loved it too! If you do take your dog bring some water, I’d also suggest wearing walking boots or trekking trainers because the gravel path can be slippery on the way down.
What’s your favourite walk? Have you been to Nant Yr Arian before?