In early June, we drove just south along the river to Tal-y-Cafn, for a walk to Caerhun (walk #7 in Walking in the Conwy Valley). The main attraction is Caerhun Church, the site of a first century Roman fort.
The walk started by passing through a farm and into the woods, where we encountered a very obvious fairy arch:
When I was a kid going on walks with my parents, they would point out branches that arched over the trail. Those branches were fairy arches, and they led into the land of the fairies where everything became magical. It added an extra layer of imagination to our walks, and even now I keep an eye out for them when I’m in the woods.
From there we emerged into a field where the resident sheep are treated to a gorgeous view up the Conwy river:
And quickly we found ourselves at the church/fort.
I was especially fond of the church’s sundial and the stile going over the church wall (of course I went over it!). I learned that during funerals the pallbearers would carry the coffin into the lychgate, where it would sit until the priest arrived. Mourners arriving for the funeral would have to use the stile instead of the gate to enter the churchyard. While going over the stile I saw some people arriving at the church and quickly climbed down — but thankfully they were arriving for a wedding and not a funeral!
The rest of the walk was mostly a matter of going through fields and over stiles. (My narration of the guidebook included directions such as “we’ll go over this stile to another stile and bear left to a stile, continuing on until we see a stile up ahead.”) This doesn’t make it any less beautiful, although I’m not sure my photos really do it justice:
If you take this walk, a word of warning: There are two stretches just after the Roman fort and just before the end that go along a road with not a lot of room to move to the side when cars go speeding by. The rest of the walk is quite nice, but in all honesty the best bit is up to the fort, so you could make it a shorter walk to the fort and back to avoid that fuss.