I first discovered the Cregennen Lakes nearly ten years ago. It’s an uncanny place. One definition of that word is ‘strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way’ and it was exactly that. It felt like another area removed from the pleasantries of Welsh countryside, distant Barmouth and the sandy beach. Primal, deserted, thick with a mood I didn’t comprehend.

When I returned to the Cregennen Lakes I remembered it. I’d forgotten. Exploration is like that. You drive around new places and forget exactly where you’ve been. I do anyway because I don’t pay much attention to maps, names, or keeping a record. I used to do that with the Lake District a long time ago thinking if I wrote diary-like accounts it would, alongside photographs, capture and retain the feeling. Those walking years were my best. It was such a joy to discover the Lake District. A wonderful holiday based at Eskdale, summer trips to Patterdale, climbing Pillar, Red Pike, for the first time. I had a similar few years with Snowdonia, beginning at Llyn Idwal where I first walked as a schoolboy. That led eventually to Cadair Idris, behind this view, and the Rhinogs.

The Cregennen Lakes never feel the same. They’ve been smiling and sunny, not moody and dark, a place where I’ve resolved to wild camp and not yet done so. But, as the saying goes, first impressions count. You remember the first time.


Snowdonia Mountains: Cregennen Lakes

Wednesday April 6, 2016