From Betws y Coed, head west, after Swallow falls but before the Ugly house (how dare they) turn left.
Passing the Roman fort Caer Llugwy look out for small left turn for a farm called Bryn Gefeilia, I parked at the bottom of the farm lane with plenty of room.
As I was putting my boots on a man walked past looking at me with some interest, through the open window he said "good mornin, going canoeing are you?"
I looked around vainly looking for something that might have given him that idea, but finding nothing I replied " no just going for a walk" .
This seemed to satisfy his curiosity he mumbled something about an empty campsite and he was off up the lane towards the farm.
After donning my entire waterproof collection, for it was one of those days that occur all too frequently in these parts, I followed the curious man up the lane. As I neared the farm he was coming back down the lane with his bag of farm produce and stopped to speak to me again, first he mentioned the weather, then asked me if I was going up Moel Siabod, I looked back slightly incredulously and answered " in this weather?'
Do you know your way around? was his next question, what is this twenty flippin quetions?
I lied and said yes not wanting to describe my uncanny sense of direction and near awsome map reading skills. He said good morning and off back down the lane he went.
Passing through the farm the footpath now takes over, through a somber crowd of wet calves and on to a three way crossroads, we turn right.
The wind is now directly thumping me in the face and little wet bullets sting it all over, I look sideways and see where i'm going out of the corner of my eye. Wales!!!
A small footpath turns left, ignore it and on to a gate and stile then another crosspaths, turn left again. It is off to the right of this track that the two hut circles are situated but I cant find them either, in this weather I'm not particularly bothered, I will be surprised if I can find the cairns.
Ten minutes on, the path impersonates a lagoon, its a muddy lagoon not in the slightest bit blue.
My internal alarm goes off and I start looking to the left just in time to make out a small bump rising out of the boggy hillside, even though there have been other bumps this one seems the one, as I get closer I can see stone and the spirit of Homer takes over as I let out a loud Woohoo!!!
If this cairn was anywhere else but high in the mountains it would have more visitors, it's tall, it's
stoney and a big cist proudly stares skywards, I do like a good cist, I could have kissed this cist I was that elated at finding it, Anneka Rice would have died trying to find this treasure. The spectacular view was curtailed to about 150 yards, there was no hint of the big mountain hidden so completely by the ground-clouds.
The other cairn was doing its best to stay hidden for a little while longer, as I waded through grassy bogs to the nearest likely looking bump, then to the next one and the next one, when finally I saw it, it was ahh there you are you cheeky little scampster, I do hope I'm not the only one who speaks to the stones when i'm alone.
Lower down a slight slope, and not as big as its near neighbour, this cairn is also full of charm. A small wall has been half heartedly built from its cairn material. But its main point of interest is its well preserved cist, still with its capstone but this is slowly being covered by the little wonder that is Sphagnum moss. Not fifty yards away two large rocks jut out of the squelchy ground, from the perspective of the cairn one of them looks like a standing stone.
It was about now that the batteries packed up, after only a dozen pictures, that'll teach me to delete the old ones whilst on site, its time to go, to a shop with batteries then on to some other little known treasure of Snowdonia.
Sometimes it rains in Snowdonia. No, really, it does. But there's rain, and then there's proper North Walian rain, the sort which appears to defy Newton's laws by rising straight out of the ground... Needless to say today features very much the latter. Time to delve into the 'bad weather list', then.
All this water (apparently) falling from the skies does have some benefits, however. Apart from being the fountain of all life on Earth - a small point - I would be very surprised if any traveller could gaze down at the foaming Afon Llugwy from Pont Cyfyng and not utter an involuntary 'I say, that's rather splendid'. OK, perhaps that's a little self censored, but this is a family web-site after all. And there's more where that came from.... park just south of the bridge and walk back down the road to the old chapel and you'll locate a rocky track (public footpath) climbing the wooded hillside beside several cascading streams. I follow this and eventually emerge from the trees onto the open moor... and into the full fury of the weather. Hell, the conditions are truly atrocious, but, to be fair, even I can't exactly get lost here. Although whether I'm following a track or stream bed is perhaps a moot point. Crossing a crossroads - as you do - (the right hand track is private, leading to a quarry, according to a sign daubed in white paint on a boulder) my own quarry, the large Bronze Age cairns of Cefn Glas, are soon visible to the left, beyond a stile.
The setting, clearly wild and uncompromising on the best of days, is positively 'otherworldly' this morning. Assuming it is morning. Hard to tell, what with the mist. Of Moel Siabod there is no sign, just a wall of swirling vapour to the east, from whence horizontal shafts of water slam into my back without pause. Which might have been a downer if the cairns had have been rubbish. Luckily they are not. Oh no... Of the pair, the southern monument is by far the larger and more impressive, utilising the slope of the landscape to great effect and boasting a well preserved, albeit open, cist, one side panel of which has collapsed into the horizontal plane. The northern cairn is smaller and somewhat trashed in comparison, yet also contains a surviving cist, home to a rather annoyed frog. I assume the annoyance is with me and not the very 'frog-friendly' conditions. Luckily for him I'm not French and make do with some rather soggy chicken tikka thingies for lunch. Curiously there is a large glacial erratic beside this cairn. Whether this influenced the siting of the monument or not we'll clearly never know.
To be honest I found these 'Blue Ridge' cairns a treat to visit. With Moel Siabod rising above on a clear day to add that extra dimension, they may well blow you away, metaphorically speaking, without having to endure such extreme conditions. Then again it's hard to have a more 'authentic' Snowdonian experience than today. Incidentally the map shows hut circles some way to the north of the cairns. Huh, perhaps I mistook them for ponds.....
To the east of Moel Siabod (872m tall)and a few hunderd metres north of Afon Ystumiau are two Bronze age cairns. The S.W cairn is 16m across and almost 2m tall with a large stone cist at it's centre, the N.E cairn is slightly smaller at 9.5m across and only half a mtre tall, but also with a cist at it's centre.
A little to the north are some perhaps related Bronze age hut circles.