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Birds, Boots and Butties in Abergwyngregyn

The best place to go walking, birding and enjoy a good cuppa!

With Alan hard at work at a Leica optics demo and the sun shining brightly over North Wales, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss for Ruth to check out one of her favourite walks. Together with her sister Sue, the girls decided to make sure that one of the walks in Ruth's series of walking books called 'Birds, Boots and Butties' was still up to scratch.


Designed to take readers step-by-step on a walk through some of the best countryside North Wales has to offer, the walks are all aimed to share great birding locations and the best places to round off your walk with a refreshing cuppa and piece of cake. And the walk up to Aber Falls and back along the hilltops is one of the best. The walk starts alongside the Afon Rhaeadr fawr (Large Falls), always a good place to look for Dipper and Grey Wagtail, and then meanders through an area of open woodland. This land is managed as a reserve to encourage some of North Wales' classic woodland birds, and sure enough, there was a handsome male Common Redstart, right on cue. Fascinating to watch a Great Tit and Blue Tit both fighting over a prime piece of real estate in the shape of a hole in a tree. Each time one bird left, the other lost no time in taking up residence until 'thrown out' by the returning bird. We left them to sort out their differences and headed up to the falls themselves, looking impressive even though we've not had much rain here lately.

Aber Falls

The shortest route is to retrace your steps but much more interesting is to continue onwards past Rhaeadr bach (Small Falls) and take the North Wales Path along the hilltops back towards the coast. Spring has truly arrived : we passed Wheatears perched up on the dry stone walls, and almost every tree seemed to have a Willow Warbler calling from its top with the buds unfurling into shocking lime green leaves. The views from the top towards the Carneddau hills is dramatic and best enjoyed on a clear, still day like today.

Aber Falls 2

As we followed the path back towards the coast, Buzzards mewed overhead and Meadow Pipits showed off their parachute displays. The views as you look over the Lavan Sands are spectacular: to the west along the Menai Straits towards Beaumaris, straight out towards Penmon Point and Puffin Island and to the east towards Llandudno and the Great Orme.

Menai Straits

Then we dropped down steeply into the pretty little village of Abergwyngregyn and lunch at the wonderful cafe Yr Hen Felin. If you like tasty homemade food in the shape of Red Onion and Cheese Scones topped with bacon and poached egg, or maybe Lemon Drizzle or Melting Chocolate Cake, then this is the place for you. And of course, food tastes so much better after a few hours' walking. Suitably fortified, we walked back up the valley alongside the river to our starting point, still looking out for that elusive Dipper as we went.

Lavan Sands

So we're glad to report that the walk and the cafe are just as good as ever, and migrants are aplenty in this area. This is just one of the walks in the series of books called Birds, Boots and Butties that Ruth has written, with more in the pipeline. So if you'd like to know the best places for walking, birding and homemade cake, look out for these books in booksellers in North Wales, or drop us an email at, and we'd be delighted to post you a copy.


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