5 unique formations you can’t miss on Glyderau walk, North Wales

Why do you go to the mountains?

For fatigue.

For views.

For adrenaline.

And to see something new. Unique.

(Not to mention for a knackered dog on the couch, yet few people have a dog nowadays and why to ‘drag’ him through the mountains)

So what do you say for a walk through one of the most popular mountain group in North Wales – Glyderau? You’ll have fatigue factor, views – it goes without saying, adrenaline… Well, really strong wind and you hardly stay on your legs while walking near the edge or even better – scrambling* with a dog. Although, the ridge is optional (you can choose a thousand other ways – the nature of the UK mountains), then wind… isn’t. But don’t be scared – sometimes it blows less. I was already 3 times on Glyders** and every time wind blew with different intensity. Just be prepared for it.

Okay. But what about ‘something new’?

Come, I’ll show you.

Let’s go together and see a mountainous bit of North Wales and 5 unique formations you can’t miss while hiking Glyders:

1) Devil’s Kitchen

HE is there. And HE cooks. HE appears only when the landscape around darkens, and you expect HIM the least.


Starting walk up the Glyders from the Ogwen Cottage, soon after reaching lake Idwal (Llyn Idwal in welsh) in the distance you can see the silhouette of the dark, inaccessible ridge.

Approaching closer you can easily spot the chimney. This is it. Devil’s Kitchen. His kingdom. And you just look at it!

In your place I would run away like hell … But no. You go on. You want to see the devil himself. Well, you won’t see him. It’s devil. He’s smart.

Pardon? How do I know he’s there?

On cloudy days (when a normal person sits in his armchair with hot tea in hand, but you wander through the mountains like a fool) clouds overlap the chimney and that give us the impression of smoke going out from it. Call it what you want – an optical illusion, overactive imagination, spectacle of the nature. I know one thing. HE is there and HE cooks. And certainly not a hot tea.

2) Tryfan

It’s definitely one of the most unique formations you want to see on Glyderau walk. Because what attracts more attention than … a steep, awe-inspiring mountain? I’ve already mentioned Tryfan on the occasion of writing about Ogwen Valley and surely I’ll mention it more than once in the future.

So what is in this mountain that delights every single person?

Sometimes you only need to look at the photos (yes, all views from Glyderau walk):

And sometimes not.

If you’re not convinced to see Tryfan in real so far, maybe you’ll do it after these three facts:

  • in 1907 first two George Mallory’s british rock climbs took place on Tryfan (then in 1924 he set off to conquer Everest)
  • they say Sir Bedivere from Arthurian legend rests there
  • On Tryfan’s top you can meet Adam and Eve, say hello and even jump on them

Still not? What about scrambling to the top of the Tryfan’s North Ridge? Yes! Finally! But more about it another time.

3) Glyder Fawr’s summit

You know that feeling when you reach the summit and don’t really know … where it is? At Glyder Fawr you’ll find it immediately. If you’ll follow the right path of course and look for the characteristic formation there. Here it is:

I don’t know its name, I don’t know its origin. I only know that it exists and resembles a comb. I didn’t try to use it for my hair, but instead I sat on its back and tried to yell over the wind.

I have to admit that I was almost louder!

4) Castle of the Wind

Speak of the devil… I mean… Wind! Have you ever visited ruins of a castle? Or a castle itself? For sure. But have you ever climbed its ‘walls’? Certainly not!
On the top of Glyder Fach you can do it. And after all, not because the top itself is a …castle. Or at least that’s what they say.

Yes. This strange formation with pointed stones is the Castle of the Wind (welsh Castell y Gwynt). Why the name? Well, I guess it is not difficult to guess. Fortunately, the weather is not always so bad

…So there are still lots of knights bravely traversing the ‘walls’. Maybe soon you’ll become one of them?

5) Cantilever Stone

This is another formation, which you can’t miss while walking Glyders. Cantilever Stone is a solid rock (although it doesn’t look like!), placed by nature near the top of Glyder Fach. Before we reached it, I didn’t know that can accommodate a group of standing on it people. At the beginning I thought, naively, that maybe that is the one:

Then, after a while, maybe this one?

Only when I finally reached it I knew I couldn’t mix it with anything else:

By the way, did you know the stone is so popular that even Disney was interested in it?

6) Bonus – Strange stone.

This is the last, bonus attraction as it appears on Glyders occasionally and over several months drastically changed its size. We have also found that within a few seconds it transports itself in a completely different place or all of the sudden collapse between other rocks. We don’t know its name or origin. We only know it appears on Glyders from time to time and somehow always around Llamateurs. Let us know if you found it if you’ll try the walk and where exactly.

Time to go home! I know. The trip was so quick. It is our last step, but I don’t want to leave you with nothing. Please, take some views with you:

Did you fancy the walk? Which formation seems the most appealing to you? What view you’ll keep in mind today?

*Walk in steep terrain using hands and feet

**Glyderau (Welsh), Glyders (English) – a mountain range in Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. In a post we’re talking about the route including the two highest peaks – Glyder Fawr (1,001 m; 3,284 ft) and Glyder Fach (994 m 3.261 ft).

Comments: 18

Jolanta August 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Bravo guys 🙂 interesting subject

Laura @ Sometime Traveller August 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

The cantilever stone is my favourite! Can’t believe it can hold a group of people, definitely doesn’t look sturdy enough for that!

Hannah August 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Thanks for sharing these, will have to check them out

Bethanny Sudibyo August 21, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Such a majestic view! It must have been so beautiful in real life <3

Clare August 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm

It looks beautiful there, I really need to see more of the UK. I always go abroad when there is so much to see at home 🙂

Conor August 22, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Beautiful. I was meant to go to Wales on so many occasions but never got round to it…. better add it back to the to do list!

The Castle of the Wind looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones!

Hope to see you guys hiking in the Highlands sometime 😀

    Emilia Mlak September 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Let’s make a deal – we’ll come to Highlands, but first you need to see Wales… 🙂 Deal? 😀 And yes, I saw some Starks in there…

Alex Datsev August 23, 2016 at 1:48 am

Great pictures you guys! Thanks so much for sharing! Do you take the doggies on all your trips!

    Emilia Mlak September 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks Alex 🙂 No, we don’t take them everywhere, but try to hike with them as much as possible

melody pittman August 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Wow! The scenery, the views, the rocks, and especially the dogs. 😉 Incredible beauty.

    Emilia Mlak September 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you very much, Melody 😉 Our dogs love this comment 😛

Julius from Traveltipy August 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I love hiking so I am sure I would love all these places! However, I would perhaps skip Devil’s Kitchen as I am scared 🙂

    Emilia Mlak September 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    If you love hiking you definitely would 🙂 And yes, skip it – it is scary!! 😀