Cwm Idwal, Valleys Pont Pen y benglog, Conwy County - Wales where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales

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Ogwen Valley Pont Pen y benglog Conwy_County Wales
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Cwm Idwal is a hanging valley in the Glyderau range of mountains in the Snowdonia, National Park, North Wales. The Cwm (or valley) lies between the mountains of Pen yr Ole Wen (to the north), Tryfan (east), Glyder Fawr (south), and Y Garn to the west. The lake of Llyn Idwal lies within the cwm, below the towering cliffs of the Devil’s Kitchen. | The Devils Kitchen, or ‘Twll Du’ - ‘The Black Hole’ gets its name from a sinister plume of steam that can be seen rising from a cleft in the cliff face. This is due to the natural phenomenon where moist air comes in to contact with the rock face, which forces it upwards where it condenses to form swirling clouds. It is said that the Devil beckons weary travellers into his kitchen, and they are never seen again. | Llyn Idwal itself is the source of another legend this time concerning the Welsh Princes of medieval times. During the 12th century, Owain, prince of Gwynedd, decided to entrust the care of his son Idwal to Nefydd Hardd. Nefydd was envious of clever Idwal because his own son Dunawd was untalented. Dunawd drowned Idwal in the lake and Owain banished Nefydd from the kingdom of Gwynedd and named the lake Idwal in memory of his son. It is said that no bird flies over the lake’s surface and that a wailing voice can be heard when there is a storm in the Cwm. | As with the rest of Snowdonia Cwm Idwal is popular with hill walkers and rock climbers, but it is also of interest to geologists and naturalists, given its combination of altitude, its north facing aspect and the terrain. In a 2005 poll conducted by Radio Times, Cwm Idwal was ranked the 7th greatest natural wonder in Britain. | The Idwal slabs and the cliffs around the head of Cwm Idwal are exceptionally popular with rock climbers, particularly with inexperienced climbers, and the Devil's Kitchen is renowned for the ice climbing opportunities during the winter months. | Inexperienced hill walkers could do worse than visiting Cwm Idwal. The trail to the lake has been paved with rough stone and indeed the lakeside path holds nothing too daunting - yet offers fantastic views of the Snowdonia hills.
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