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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK: WHERE…

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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK: WHERE IS IT? The following article appeared in T.P's Weekly some time ago:- Which is the most beautiful walk in Britain ? The holiday season is drawing rapidly to its close and thousands of holiday- makers have come or are coming home, their minds filled with the memory of the glory of hillside, moor, and fell, of sparkling cascade or sunlit glen, of the river tumbling in brown masses over its rocky bed, or of mountains lifting their hoary heads into the cloud. For one holiday taken thirty years ago a thousand are taken now, and for one mile of the countryside or seashore known to our fathers hundreds of miles are familiar by reason of the railway, the motor-car, the bicycle, or the primitive and humble human foot. And the question might well be asked Which part of the varied scenery of Britain offers the finest walk ? I give my vote for the walk between Barmouth and Dolgelley, and this I do after experience of much of the best scenery within the four. corners of our island. You remember the story of the two American tourists, who, after returning home, discussed their travels in England, and each claimed to have discovered j the most beautiful road in the country, At last they decided to write down its name. One wrote Warwick to Coventry," and the other" Coventry to Warwick." As I have said, I give my vote for the walk between Barmouth and Dolgelley. It opens with a view up the glorious estuary of the Mawddach, on which Shelley and his wife gazed on their fruitless journey through Wales while they were seeking a permanent abiding-place where they could dwell for ever." At Barmouth they found it not, and left by boat for Aberystwyth. Words- worth was charmed with the Mawddach estuary, which he thought compared with the finest in Scotland. On the" noble crystalline rock rising on the left Ruskin established his Guild of St. George. Away on the right rise many heads of the Cader range, culminating in the summit, 3,000ft. high, where the bonfire blazed on the Coronation Day of the late King. The walk lies along the right bank of the river, here nearly a mile wide. For more than seven miles up the estuary the tide flows. Twice a day there is formed a glorious marine lake, rich in its many coloured surface from the gorse and heather-clad hills above. Twice a day that lake laps hack gently into the sea, and its place is taken by a stretch of rolling sands hardly less beautiful, as the sunlight flickers over their million crystals or the clouds strike down a mass of shadowy gloom below, than the water by which they were covered a few hours before. Whether the waters be "out" or "in," the Mawddach estuary is a sublime sight that cannot be surpassed. Away on the other side of the river are the wooded hills of Arthog, with the bolcJ. escarpment of Tyrau mawr (the footstool of Cader) lifting behind them, like a wave of volcanic lava frozen solid just as it was about to fall over and bury the villages below. Cader itself is elusive and coy, showing its head but rarely from a crown of heavy mist. As the walk proceeds you notice the reddish streak to the eastward of the summit—the loose scree known as the Foxes' Path-a popular descent for mountaineers, though not&half so dangerous as it appears, and as they would make you believe. Presently the river turns sharp to the north, up the Ganllwyd Glen, to Tyn-y-groes, where the crushing mills are still heard pounding the precious Welsh gold out of the stubborn quartz. Dolgeliey, it is said, is more famous for its surroundings than for itself, and this is true. But our object is not to see the little Welsh assize town, where Owen Glyndwr once held his Parliament, but to get there, and this we have accomplished, over what is emphatically the most beautiful ten-mile walk in Britain. E.H.R.

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