The walk starts at the car park situated at the head of the Sychnant Pass, between Conwy and Penmaenmawr in Conwy County, North Wales.
The beauty of the walk is the opportunity for fantastic views with little effort. The start of the walk, at the car park, is already at an elevation of 540 feet (165 metres), and with the maximum height being 760 feet (230 meters) the climb involved is only 220 feet (65 meter). Even if you dawdle, the walk can be completed in less than 2 hours as the total distance is approximately 2 miles.
At the start of the walk, there are fine views of the Sychnant Pass and the foothills of the Carneddau Mountains, including Foel Lus, which towers above the villages of Capelulo, and Dwygyfylchi. Leaving the car park there is a slight descent before an ascent toward Alltwen (White Hill). Ignore Alltwen, it’s too high for us today (255m), and instead bear right at the top of the incline.
Continue in a northeasterly direction before heading more easterly where the track runs alongside a dry-stone wall. Keeping the wall on your right hand side, you will have fine views of the Conwy Valley and the hill of Tal-y-fan to the south.
Continue alongside the wall for 500 yards or so, before bearing to the left and following the track up the slope to the summit of Mynydd y Dref or Conwy Mountain, as we locals call it.
This is a bit of a scramble but it is doable for all except the most seriously unfit. The last time I climbed this slope I was accompanied by a 60-year old, a 75-year old and an 80-year old, and other than being slightly breathless it was no trouble for any of us.
The climb may be breathtaking but so too are the views from the summit: to the south the Conwy Valley; to the east Conwy Castle and the walled town; to the north Conwy Bay and the Creuddyn peninsula (the Great Orme and Llandudno); and to the west the Isle of Anglesey and the foothills of the Carneddau Range.
But while admiring the views don’t forget to check out what is underfoot, for the summit is home to the remains of Castell Caer Seion, an Iron Age Hill-fort, and a number of ancient hut circles.
Moving across the summit from the south edge to the northern edge you might be fortunate to encounter a few of the wild Carneddau ponies that inhabit Conwy Mountain and the hills of North Wales. “Wild” is not really the correct word to describe these friendly creatures, which are usually content to graze among the gorse and heather unperturbed by ramblers passing by.
September is the best month to make this walk as the heather and the gorse make a kaleidoscope of colour atop the mountain slopes.
Leaving the summit in a westerly direction the northernmost track leads to a pleasant hollow close to Pen-pyra, with a bench and viewing point, from where you can appreciate the purple heather and the fantastic views of Conwy Bay.
A number of well-worn tracks converge at Pen-pyra - follow the signposts for the North Wales Path along the track heading to the south west over the left shoulder of Alltwen and down to the metalled road traversing the Sychnant Pass. You will be rewarded with more fine views of the Welsh hills as you saunter downhill to the car park and your journey home.
Review Sychnant Pass to Conwy Mountain Circular Walk.