Maeneira, O how I miss thee

DSC00688This will be the first year since 2009 that I’ve not visited the Carneddau and Maeneira. For those that don’t know, Maeneira is an abandoned farmstead (built c. 1800), above Tal-y-Bont on the Afon Dulyn.

P1020581High above the Conwy valley and sheltered on the west by one of the ridges that extends from Carnedd Llewelyn, it’s an idyllic spot, especially when the sun is shining. Its rough pasture provides superb camping on either side of the Afon Dulyn.

DSC00702I first camped there in 2004, although I’m fairly sure that I’ve walked past it well before that, noting its potential as a place to camp. In 2004, the weather was quite gloomy, but even so it had a magic about it.

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I returned five years later with Alan Sloman. We had a glorious walk over Carnedd Llewelyn ending at Maeneira. It was a crisp March day with deep azure sky. A camp at Maeneira was a perfect end to a perfect day.

DSC00689One remarkable feature of Maeneira is the trees that grow on top of some of the boulders and rock outcrops. I don’t know whether they are natural or have been deliberately planted there, but they add to the magic of the place.

DSC00686I’ve spent about thirteen nights camping there all told. It always surprises me how it changes. Sometimes there’s deep, lush, green bracken on the hillside, sometimes it’s bare. One magical trip, the hillside was covered in purple foxgloves. Other times, it’s surrounded by brown, dead bracken.

P1000378Mostly I’ve camped in the shelter of the walled fields on the western side of the Afon Dulyn, often beneath a rocky outcrop with a tree growing out of it. It’s a lovely sheltered spot. Last year, I decided to camp on the eastern side, where there is a tussocky unenclosed pasture.

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While it is a beautifully peaceful spot, it must have been a hard life living there and scratching a living in the hills. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful place. There must have been some sadness when the farmhouse was abandoned.

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For one reason or another,  I’ve not managed a trip to the Carneddau this year. Hopefully, next year, I will be able visit my beloved Maeneira again.

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15 thoughts on “Maeneira, O how I miss thee”

  1. It’ll still be there next year Robin. If I get my act together next year, its one of the places I would love to go back and revisit. I had a grand weekend last time I was there although as I recall you had a bad case of flu. Here’s hoping to a meet up in good health and good spirits in 2015 🙂

  2. Well I can attest what a stunning area it is. I quite fancy doing the same as I did last time, camp at Maeneira 1st night and on Carnedd Llewellyn 2nd night (otherwise it might be a bit far for an overnighter unless I do an early start late finish). Something to look forward to in 2015!

  3. It’s a peaceful backwater. I aimed to stop there back in March but I arrived so early and the weather was so settled that I pressed on and camped within 20 metres of the summit of Foel Fras (see my Twitter header photo). I don’t know why such an accessible part of the world is so neglected – but it suits me that it is. I’m sure I’ll pass through there soon when the snow is on the tops.

  4. I really liked that spot, Robin. It was a wonderfully calm place. Easy to get to, and just far enough away from the beaten track to have privacy and quiet. I was going through a difficult time when we went there and it helped me a lot.
    Let me know when you’re thinking of returning, Sir.
    🙂

  5. It’s been wonderful reading the account of your trips. This was my home area for many years and now I live in flat Norfolk( not my choice) I certainly know what ‘hiraeth’ means. My favourite lake was Dulyn, absolute peace nothing between you and heaven a place to sort your troubles out. I loved Cwm Eigiau and often dreamed of living in Cedryn (still do!) I’ve been there in all weathers and seasons and have talked with folks whose ancestors farmed and lived up there.

    Thank you for the brilliant photographs and to find someone who feels the same about the area, made my day!!.
    Regards Elizabeth.

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