The Sychnant Pass
The Sychnant Pass, Dwygyfylchi
The Sychnant Pass is a deep cleft between Alltwen, to the north, and Maen Esgob, to the south. Along this section of the North Wales coast, the uplands of Snowdonia press close on the sea, so the pass was the most practical route for the turnpike road west of Conwy built in 1772. The steep climb from the west was taxing for the horses, and in 1830 Thomas Telford engineered an almost level road around Penmaen Bach, the rocky hill between Alltwen and the sea.
The concrete track leading north from the car parks at the pass runs below Carreg Felen (“Yellow Rock”), an outcrop formed of volcanic lava from c.450m years ago. Iron stains are responsible for its distinctive colour.
The best route down if you’re on foot is the old track, a little below the current road. As you descend, don’t forget to shout at the scree slope opposite, to hear the echo!
Use the image below to identify features visible from the Sychnant Pass. “Sych” is Welsh for dry, “nant” means stream or valley. Water rarely flows along the bottom of the cleft.
To hear how to pronounce Sychnant, press play:
Or, download mp3 (48KB)
To hear how to pronounce Capelulo, press play:
Or, download mp3 (35KB)
Dwygyfylchi means "two circular forts". There are prehistoric remains on the uploads to the south. To hear how to pronounce Dwygyfylchi, press play:
Or, download mp3 (41KB)
Foel means hill, Llus means bilberries. To hear how to pronounce Foel Lus, press play:
Or, download mp3 (33KB)
To hear how to pronounce Alltwen, press play:
Or, download mp3 (42KB)
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