Cwm Eigiau, Tal-y-bont, Conwy


Best at / for: summer sunrise.

Best avoided: no sunsets as valley is steep sided.

Parking: free parking about 3/4 mile away at foot of the valley.

Access: extended walking required.

Notes: good hiking / wild camping opportunities nearby.


Cwm Eigiau can best be described as “bleak” in winter, and from a scenery perspective, other than in high summer it does come second to the Ogwen valley, from which is separated by the high ridge-line of the Carneddau peaks.

But in summer, oh my! It’s the perfect antidote to the crowds thronging the Ogwen, Snowdon and Moelwyn peaks and valleys.

Drive up from Tal-y-Bont to the free trail head car park and set off walking. Llyn Eigiau is just a 15 minute walk, and even this close to the parking I’ve wild-camped in complete solitude.

Heading further up Cwm Eigiau takes you into even greater solitude and the 10km hike up to Carnedd Llewellyn from the north side is magnificent.

Or you can take the trail off at right angles to the road and head up to Llyn Melyn and Llyn Dulyn – the latter even has WWII aircraft wreckage!

None of these valleys are great for golden hour light, except sunrise around mid-summer. The valleys are steep sided and shady. But when high daylight sun breaks through the clouds and lights up patches of the rocky ridges it’s sensational for the landscape photographer. Tranquil and epic at the same time.