N. Wales visit this Spring

We’ve just booked a short family break at Pwllheli for early spring.

Can anybody recommend a ‘must do’ SOTA? I don’t envisage having a lot of time available, it is a family break after all!

I’ve only visited Wales once and that was for a quick in and out activation of Snowdon GW/NW-001 over ten years ago.

I’d probably be using my MTR CW rig and 20m dipole.


GW/NW-064 Mynydd Rhiw, almost a drive on.
GW/NW-068 Carneddol, looks to be 15mins walk.

Both very close to Pwllheli.

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Nantlle Ridge is an excellent day out bagging two 6 point summits GW/NW-024 Trum y Ddysgl and GW/NW-020 Craig Cwm Silyn. One of my favorite day activation’s.

Being restricted to time with a bit of height I would suggest GW/NW-022 Moel Eilio is a lovely summit. If you don’t want to travel too far from Pwllheli then GW/NW-075 Yr Eifl is easy to climb and has a great take off.

NW-066 is a nice walk. Stony top with a good shelter having done it fairly recently.

Just some ideas.


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Thanks Jonathan, I was looking for the local perspective, so I’ll check out your suggestions.

I’ll have to order a map, I like to have maps of the places I visit as a bit of a keepsake.

My XYL suggested we could have a family trip up Snowdon on the train until she did some research into the train fare! Looks like if we go, we’re walking!

73, Colin

Hi Colin.

I agree with Jonathan about the Nantlle Ridge. I’ve done that with my MTR. It’s a great hike.

But if you get good weather for a lovely day out with the family I’d suggest Bardsey Island. Please see this thread.

I have a page on my blog that covers most of Pen Llŷn as well as the one on Bardsey.

One I’d recommend for a gentle day with the family, especially if the weather is good, would be to do Garn Boduan in the morning, and then head to the beach at Morfa Nefyn, with lunch at Tŷ Coch, further along the beach. It’s a sheltered bay and can be quite scorchio (for Wales) in the summer, and thoroughly pleasant in springtime.

Of course if you want a train ride I am bound to recommend the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog! Whilst it doesn’t take you directly to a SOTA about half-a-dozen are along the way. You might take it as a route planning exercise whilst enjoying a beer. :wink:


Hi Colin,

I’d recommend Garn Boduan and Garn Fadryn, both are Iron Age Hillforts, fantstic and mysterious places and quite close to Pwllheli. All the other summits are great too , but a little further away.

I’m local to the area, but now living on the IoW.



Thanks guys, plenty of good suggestions to research there!

I guess it’s funny that a bloke with the surname of Evans is asking for advice about a trip to Wales :smiley:

73, Colin

Thanks for the suggestion of Garn Boduan Rob and Simon.

The walk was a little bit longer than I expected but we all made it to the top, including my 3yr old son. I worked 8 stations in about 7mins using MTR#267 and 30m dipole.

The sun was shining and the views were fantastic! Luckily, unintentionally, I’d taken our picnic in the backpack, so we all sat at the summit in the sunshine eating our goodies!

Sign describing the interesting hill fort

The view from the picnic spot :smiley:

73, Colin


Looks smashing Colin. Very lucky with the weather - bit of a change from the weekend!

My XYL said she wanted to take the kids swimming this morning at the holiday park’s pool. I’m not a fan of swimming, I haven’t been in a pool since I visited Florida in 2002! So, unexpectedly, I had some free time this morning.

I decided to try to squeeze in a quick activation of Carn Fadryn GW/NW-058. The drive to the former chapel at Garn Fadryn took about 25 minutes, and, without stopping to admire the lovely view, it took me 21 minutes to reach the trig point.

Again I used the MTR 2 bander and 30m/20m dipole on 4m pole. Although my phone was showing full bars of signal, I couldn’t get data to work, so although I tried many times, I couldn’t spot myself. It had been such a rush decision to do some SOTA that I hadn’t set an alert. Business was slow but eventually I worked a French station who seemed to be looking for a general QSO. It was fantastic to have two S2S contacts into HB9. After 5 QSO’s the callers dried up and even a change to 20m (still no spot) produced no further QSOs. At one point, I had extreme QRM from two Hawk jets that circled the summit three times at about 1000ft, one pass was obviously a ‘flying lap’ :smiley:

I was back at the holiday caravan for 1230 local to have some lunch with the family and hear about their swimming.

GW/NW-058 Trig point, mast can also be seen

MTR #267 30m/20m

Wx was mostly sunny

73, Colin


A shame you didn’t get spotted, I’m sure Robert (SP8RHP) would have done if asked :slight_smile:
10Mhz looked reasonable on RBN!
You’ll scrap that dipole some day :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

They are darn handy though, mind you I suspect Colin would have found a Vert a better choice for the footprint on that summit :wink:


I had no trouble pitching the 30m dipole right at the summit, and besides possibly spoiling a photo or two, my antenna had little impact on any body else.

I don’t think I’ll be scrapping my dipoles in a hurry! :smiley:

73, Colin

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Hello Peter G4ISJ and Colin . I have a complete QSO with Colin MW1BUU/p at 30m 10.118MHz 10.15 559/449 :slight_smile: Complete.

Best regards de Rob(ert) Vy 73 !.

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Thanks for the QSO Rob!

My Wales trip is almost at an end, currently having lunch in Llandudno, then heading home, reverting back to M1BUU.

Tomorrow I go to Carlisle, but only SOTA activity will be chasing only.

Hoping to activate G/DC-001 in Devon towards the end of next week, hopefully I’ll work you again then.

73, Colin (MW1BUU)