Neil PirieOur Pirie Family Website


Shropshire and Snowdon
Expedition 2015




Welcome to my Shropshire and Snowdon Expedition page.

The University of Surrey Society of Change Ringers (USSCR) summer tour this year was based around Oswestry in Shropshire, and so was the core of more exploring in Shropshire, an ascent of Snowdon via the Ranger Path and a day at Caernarfon Castle.

While the rest of the country seemed to be experiencing torrential rain, glorious blue skies were very welcome in South Shropshire in August 2015 as I camped at Greenway Touring Park at Shawbank near Craven Arms. Amongst my wanderings was a trek to the nearby Norton Camp hillfort. This hillfort appeared to be just a huge round meadow bordered by trees, but further investigation revealed that the ramparts were hidden in the trees that had overgrown them.

Although I lived in Ludlow for about 7 years as a child, I do not recall ever visiting The Wrekin. At 407m high it's not the tallest of the Shropshire Hills - it is 8th tallest - but it is the one that most people seem to have heard of. So the time was right to visit The Wrekin and its own hillfort. Even larger than Norton Camp, the Wrekin hillfort was easily reached via the Shropshire Way which passes through the ramparts and into the hillfort at Hell Gate and Heaven Gate. The summit afforded views across the patchwork of fields of Shropshire and Staffordshire, although I couldn't see Snowdon 71 miles away. Afterwards I had a wander about nearby Ironbridge which I had visited during the Wenlock Olympian Half Marathon last year.

For the USSCR summer tour I camped at the excellent Royal Hill campsite next to the River Severn at Edgerley, not far from Oswestry. It was a bit out in the sticks but having the Royal Hill pub on your doorstep had its benefits. We rang at 15 towers in North Shropshire and Wales, including All Saints Gresford in Wales which is unusual in having two separate rings of bells, an 8 and a 6, in the same tower.

After the tour, I headed for Snowdonia and pitched my tent at Cwellyn Arms campsite next to the picturesque Llyn Cwellyn. The Snowdon Ranger Path provided a pleasant walk up Snowdon and eventually crossed the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Passing clouds periodically obscured the summit which was heaving with visitors but the views were as spectacular as ever.

The following day the rain caught up with me. I had been told that as a toddler I had visited Caernarfon Castle with my family, so while in the area a second visit seemed in order. I can recall seeing the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969 on TV at school in Ludlow, so I was interested in seeing Caernarfon Castle where it happened. I have a set of the stamps of Caernarfon Castle that were issued too. It is a fine castle with much to explore but I was surprised how narrow it is. My memory was of the castle as cab be seen from the south west across the River Seiont but, as you'll see from my photos, behind that facade is a long thin castle. It's still very impressive though.

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Craven Arms, Shropshire

A relaxing time at Greenway Touring Park, Shawbank, Craven Arms
A relaxing time at Greenway Touring Park, Shawbank, Craven Arms
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Meadow inside Norton Camp hillfort, Craven Arms
Meadow inside Norton Camp hillfort, Craven Arms
(Note Titterstone Clee in the distance.)
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Peacock butterfly in the meadow inside Norton Camp
Peacock butterfly in the meadow inside Norton Camp
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Medley Park Farm and Shawbank, Craven Arms
Medley Park Farm and Shawbank, Craven Arms
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The Wrekin, Shropshire

The Wrekin Hillfort
The Wrekin Hillfort
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Looking back at Hell Gate, Wrekin Hillfort
Looking back at Hell Gate, Wrekin Hillfort
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Heaven Gate, Wrekin Hillfort
Heaven Gate, Wrekin Hillfort
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Walking up to the Wrekin summit
Walking up to the Wrekin summit
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Plaque on the summit of the Wrekin (407m)
Plaque on the summit of the Wrekin (407m)
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View in the direction of Snowdon, 71 miles away
View in the direction of Snowdon, 71 miles away
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View in the direction of Wenlock Edge, 8 miles away
View in the direction of Wenlock Edge, 8 miles away
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View towards Staffordshire
View towards Staffordshire
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360 panorama of the Wrekin summit (407m), including the triangulation station and cairn.

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Note: swipe the image left or right to rotate the view.

360 panorama of the Wrekin summit



360 panorama from the rocky outcrop above the Needle's Eye, near the Wrekin summit.

The Buildwas Power Station at Ironbridge can be seen in operation to the SSE. It closed in November 2015.

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360 panorama near the Wrekin summit



The Iron Bridge, Ironbridge Gorge
The Iron Bridge, Ironbridge Gorge
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Edgerley, near Oswestry, Shropshire

Royal Hill campsite at Edgerley
Royal Hill campsite at Edgerley
(That's Wales on the other side of the River Severn, with the five peaks including Moel y Golfa (403m) and, at the right-hand end, Breidden Hill (367m) topped with Rodney's Pillar.)
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Snowdon Ranger Path and Snowdon

Cwellyn Arms campsite
Cwellyn Arms campsite
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View of Snowdon from the Cwellyn Arms campsite
View of Snowdon from the Cwellyn Arms campsite
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Morning mist on Llyn Cwellyn
Morning mist on Llyn Cwellyn
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Peace on Llyn Cwellyn
Peace on Llyn Cwellyn
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A time for reflection
A time for reflection
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The start of the Snowdon Ranger Path
The start of the Snowdon Ranger Path
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Looking back to Llyn Cwellyn and the Cwellyn Arms campsite
Looking back to Llyn Cwellyn and the Cwellyn Arms campsite
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Llyn Ffynnon y Gwas and looking up to Clogwyn Du'r Arddu
Llyn Ffynnon y Gwas and looking up to Clogwyn Du'r Arddu
(You can just see the path on the left zigzag steeply up to the shoulder above Clogwyn Du'r Arddu.)
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The view down the valley to Llanberis
The view down the valley to Llanberis
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A Chinook helicopter flying around Cwm Clogwyn
A Chinook helicopter flying around Cwm Clogwyn
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The Snowdon Mountain Railway
The Snowdon Mountain Railway
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Looking down to Llyn Cwellyn again
Looking down to Llyn Cwellyn again
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The Snowdon Ranger Path crosses the mountain railway line
The Snowdon Ranger Path crosses the mountain railway line
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Looking down at the Pyg Track and the Miners' Track
Looking down at the Pyg Track and the Miners' Track
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Looking down at the knife-edge of Crib Goch
Looking down at the knife-edge of Crib Goch
(Note my shadow, bottom right.)
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Walkers approaching the Snowdon summit
Walkers approaching the Snowdon summit
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Getting cloudy at the summit
Getting cloudy at the summit
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Getting cloudy at the summit
Getting cloudy at the summit
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360 panorama of the Snowdon summit (1085m) and assorted visitors

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Note: swipe the image left or right to rotate the view.

360 panorama of the Snowdon summit




Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle seen from the south west across the River Seiont
Caernarfon Castle seen from the south west across the River Seiont
(The familiar view of the castle.)
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Looking west along the length of the castle from Eagle Tower
Looking west along the length of the castle from Eagle Tower
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Eagle Tower, seen from Queen's Tower
Eagle Tower, seen from Queen's Tower
(Note the stone heads decorating the battlements.)
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Looking towards Chamberlain Tower (left) and King's Gate (right) from Watch Tower
Looking towards Chamberlain Tower (left) and King's Gate (right) from Watch Tower
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Looking east from the end of the inner ward
Looking east from the end of the inner ward
(Note the circular dais of slate used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969.)
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Eagle Tower, seen from Well Tower
Eagle Tower, seen from Well Tower
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This page was last updated on 5 March 2018.

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