Monday, April 02, 2018


There is a group of three hills near the north coast of the Lleyn Peninsula known collectively as Yr Eifl. Our Welsh neighbours take great delight in hearing us misinterpret this as meaning 'The Rivals', when anyone with even the faintest grasp of their language knows that this means 'the forks'. I had been aware of their commanding appearance since holidaying on the peninsula over 30 years ago, but had never got round to climbing them. So when I came across a holiday cottage on the internet, several months ago, which was less than a mile from the most easterly peak it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, so Saturday 24th March saw me setting off from that cottage to make good this gap in my 'mountaineering' experiences.

Tre'r Ceiri, or Town of the Giants, stands just 1,591 ft high and is the site of Wales' biggest and best preserved Iron Age fort. It was occupied before the Roman invasion, and from what I can gather, remained in indigenous hands throughout the Latin occupation. The remains of over one hundred stone huts can still be seen as can a large part of the perimeter wall:-

Although it will be obvious from the above that visibility was poor on the day, navigation was not a problem due to the compact nature of the 'rivals'.

From there,it was barely a mile to the highest point, Garn Ganol (also the highest point on the whole peninsula) at 1,841 ft, which was the site of a trig point incorporating some unusual ironwork, in memory of an unconsummated love affair:-

Picture half inched from the 'Trigpointing UK' website.

The low cloud obscured all views from there, but this photograph, taken from the third top shows most of Garn Ganol, with Tre'r Ceiri in the left background:-

The third top, Garn For, is the lowest of the three at 1,457 ft, but, perched so close to the sea, is perhaps the most dramatic:-

From there I descended seawards to the Welsh Language Centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn for bara brith and coffee, then stopping off for a pint of something stronger in Llithfaen before returning to my accommodation. Not a lot of miles, but some rough ground, a fair bit of climbing and a long delayed outing finally completed, all without any transport, other than my Salomons.

I took this shot the following day from the coastal path near Morfa Nefyn, about 4 miles west, which is the  view that had stayed with me all those years:-

Yes, 'The Rivals' are definitely worth a visit if you're ever in that area - just don't ask me to pronounce any of the placenames!

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