The Blue Lakes

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Blue Lake is a lagoon in the old Golwern Slate Quarry above Fairbourne. It is accessed by foot only through a dark, wet tunnel.
Starting place: Friog Starting ref: 61735 12317 Distance: 1.5 miles Grade: Easy Walk time : 1.5
The quarry is fascinating but you need to take great care with children and pets. There are tempting things to do, however, there are high cliffs, loose rocks and the pool is very deep. It is possible to look over the edge and see the rocks below the surface disappearing into the depths, (the pool is coloured blue by the amount of dissolved natural materials within the lake).
From Friog, just off the main Tywyn to Fairbourne main road, (please note there is limited parking in this area). Walk up the Ffordd Panteinon and turn right after, about half a kilometre on a way-marked path next to a wooden stile and gate. Follow the rough road up into the hills and after 300m you will see a path off to your right under a slate bridge. Follow the path under the bridge and around to the left, you will arrive at a large open area with the remains of old mining machinery, walk to the machinery and to your right you will see the mine entrance with a glimmer of light at the end of it, this leads to the Blue Lake.  
The mine tunnel is quite wet even in summertime so water proof shoes or boots are required. Three quarters away through the tunnel you will see a turning to your right; this will take you on a path that runs parallel to the lake. If you follow the path straight on this leads to the bottom of a sheer cliff and small open area. In the summer this makes a great area for a picnic, but remember to keep children clear of the water, the lake is very deep and has a sheer drop on its edge.  
There are paths that run around the quarry and make excellent viewing points from where you can look over to Barmouth and the surrounding hills, as well as the quarry itself.  
To follow a different route back down to the road, turn right from the mine entrance and follow the path which leads to a road, follow the road down the steep hill and you will arrive back at the main gate.  
Posted: 14:22:24 - 17/01/2011

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