Cwm Pennant Hostel: A hidden retreat on the edge of Snowdonia
Fresh air, stunning landscapes, adventure sports and friendly people… Wales has many hidden gems which are beckoning to nature-loving backpackers!
Cwm (pronounced a bit like coom) in Welsh means ‘valley’ and so whenever included within a place name, you can usually guarantee beauty. So, when Cwm Pennant Hostel, located just southwest of Snowdonia National Park, joined Backpax Travel earlier this year, we instantly knew it would appeal to backpackers looking for an off-the-beaten-path, picturesque, destination!
Nestled in the Cwm Pennant valley, a narrow glacial valley bordered on three sides by mountains, this friendly hostel first opened its doors to guests in 2008. Originally an outdoor centre, Cwm Pennant Hostel has 56 beds in total; 4 x 4-bed rooms, 1 x 6-bed room, 1 x 8-bed room, 1 x 10-bed room, 1 x 16-bed room. Whether you come as a group or as a solo traveller, you will be very well accommodated for. The building is a converted coachhouse and was also used for rope making back in the day! In the revamp many of its original features have been retained, with exposed beams adding to its olde-worlde charm.
Set in large wooded grounds, with an orienteering course, you can enjoy eating alfresco when the sun shines or cosy around the fire pit under the stars on a dry evening. And when you’re ready to explore, don’t miss the beaches of Black Rock and Borth-y-Gest, as well as Isle of Anglesey and Caernarfon Castle both found a bit further north. Enjoy some great walks into the Nanttle Ridge and Moel Hebog, or visit Portmeiron Village just a few miles away, also known as ‘little Italy’ (see our previous article). The Sygun Copper Mine in Beddgelert and the Brynkir Woollen Mill both give you a taste of local history for those wanting to delve into the area’s rich past.
Calling all adventurous souls who like keeping active! Try a spot of bouldering at Porth Ysgo, near Hells Mouth or opt for coasteering where you jump from low cliffs before scrambling back out onto the craggy rocks. The latter is very much a weather dependent activity and best done in the summer months. Canoeing is another popular activity both in local rivers and about 45 minutes away at Anglesey’s inland sea – a great base for developing those canoeing skills. National Cycle Route #8 passes just 200 metres from the hostel for those who like 2 wheel adventures, or if you prefer a vertical challenge, there’s plenty excellent climbing nearby at Tremadog (Upper Tier). And last but certainly not least, Coastal Path walking offers breathtaking seascapes whilst tightening those glutes!! Make sure you take plenty of breaks to soak in the views…
Once the evening draws in, you can chill out and rest your weary legs in the hostel’s homely lounge. Take your pick from an array of board games, choose something to read from their book shelf or share travel stories with your fellow guests.
Cwm Pennant Hostel would love you to visit. Step off the beaten track, enjoy some good hearty home-cooked food, embark on some outdoor activities, absorb the stunning landscapes and experience a warm Welsh welcome.
For more information visit www.cwmpennanthostel.com