What can yo do after walking 10 or more miles along the Welsh Coastal Path when it is 27C? Go for a swim of course. But, and this is the crux of the matter, according to Aunty you don’t go just anywhere. For this small exercise it had to be a wild swim in a mountain lake in Snowdonia. Now that should be easy, I hear you say., after all there are hundreds of lakes in Wales. And you would be correct to say that, but Aunty had a few requirements. Apparently not any old lake would do, and she presented me with a list.
- It must be easy to get to. I think the phrase was “l’m not trudging for miles up a mountain to get to the lake!”. So that narrowed down the options a little, but it did mean that a number of my favourite lakes were knocked off the list immediately. So well.
- “It can’t be muddy”. Now that’s a reasonable request, and one I was very happy to comply to. I don’t like slithering though smelly mud either, and it certainly doesn’t do my dignity any good when I go head over heads into the smelly stuff.
- “No steep banks, and a nice level access into the water”. This might be a little more difficult. Glacial lakes in Wales come in all sizes, shapes, depths and easy access for a dignified entry into the water by elegant ladies is not always for part of the design requirements when ice is gouging out the land underneath glaciers.
These requirements did limit the number of available lakes somewhat, but we found one that could do. So a little warm after our walk we drove up the Glaslyn Valley and stopped on the shores of Llyn Gwynant, changed into our swimming stuff and took the plunge. And boy was it great! The last 2 months of hot weather had warmed the water considerably. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward too much to an icy cold dip – memories of past wild swimming in freezing cold water came to mind. When you’re a teenager it’s much easier to tolerate it then when you’re the wrong side of 55.
Llyn Gwynant lies on the south east flank of Snowdon, which broods high above the lake. Cwm Gwynant is beautiful and must be one of the most photographs valleys in North Wales. The lake is fed by water from the flanks of Snowdon via Llyn Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw and the bulk of Moel Meirch,. In winter this is tough country, but today it was glorious, and we couldn’t think of anything better to do that splash about in the water.
A little side point Llyn Gwynant was used as a filming location in the 2003 film ‘Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life