Llyn Cwellyn

Llyn Cwellyn (Pron. Klin Kle-ken (sort of)) is a water reservoir just South of Mount Snowdon. It runs West from the Snowdon Base Camp (where my sisters and I set up camp) alongside the Beddgelert Forest. It is the site of many Wild-man spottings or so the annuals of the internet declare. 

The Wild-man or British Bigfoot is a hotly debated phenomenon – is there enough uninhabited land in the UK to hide such a creature? The 2012 National Eco-System Assessment of the UK says that only six to eight per cent of the UK is built up. Which according to the U.K. Bigfoot Society,  is compelling enough evidence to say ‘yes’. I think true believers are probably on medication, but I also love myths and mysteries and those feelings that defy logic – that fill our heads with magic sparks and help us see a land anew. One look at these forests, swirling in mists, left you feeling our Sasquatch cousin was really out there. You felt very far away from anything – even reason.

The footpaths on the O.S. map looked substantial, but when we came to walking them it was clear they had not been used for many years. They were overgrown and numerous trees had tumbled over the paths. They looked like fallen eaves after a building fire.

We crawled and squatted and climbed over these limbs; ducking through small spaces between these massive branches. We ended up with yellow lichen stains smattered across our hands and clothes.

Yet it wasn’t the severe sense of abandonment that set us at great unease. It was the stillness. No birds sang nor insects swarmed. Camping beside a lake in the middle of summer in a heavily forested area of bog and moor is usually the perfect breeding ground for midges –  yet there was nothing. 

My heart started to beat hard. It was irrational, but a sense of fear had started to run through me like electric. We continued on, staring hopefully at the map. We continued on because we could see two interlocking paths on the map running parallel to each other. We hoped to reach the end of one and then walk back on the other. But we never found it for all our searching…

The sun was falling low in the sky and the gloom was rising. The depths of the forest were black. Out of the dusky murk of densely grown spruces and pines, a bright white light shone through marking the clearing of Llyn Cwellyn itself. The light flooded the sky – now I just felt watched, like two peeled eyeballs were following my every move across the gravelly shore. 

There were old signs of human inhabitance: a fence long fallen and rusted, jutting out into the water; towards the other end of the shore was a stone wall, and, littered amongst the slate-like debris of the shore side gravel, was the possible signs of charred wood. But it was more than that – the foliage was bent in unusual directions, stones were moved in unusual patterns. Were there footprints in the mud? 

A sudden but colossal shift in the foliage caused us all to stop what we were doing and turn round sharply. It was as if a tree had collapsed – it might well have done – but this crash was accompanied by a sick inhuman shriek. 

We clustered around each other and looked into the darkness. I picked up a stick. There were monsters in this wood. 

We waited a bit – shallow breathing. Swore we saw moving shadows in the brush or a smidgen of red fur disappearing through the trees. 

Eventually, we made our move. Couldn’t wait out the beast no longer, and the stillness of the lake was becoming equally as unnerving. Tramping carefully, we made our way back into the shade and the coolness of the trees, and scurried back to camp as quick as we could. 

But I wasn’t afraid that evening, awaiting the Sasquatch. I was angry. I would not recommend staying at the Snowdon Base Camp. It was expensive, the bathroom block, although well built, was not well cleaned; a fire alarm blared for 30min before I was forced to drive to the pub and tell them to come and fix it. And to top it off, that night, I was awoken at midnight by loud music coming from the car park. 

My mother had hissed across from her tent when I got up, ‘don’t you dare.’ I don’t think she’s even seen Eden Lake. Either way, I did.

In a pink fluffy jumper and my flip-flops, I rapped on the window of a Renault Clio. I was met by a gaggle of dishevelled teenagers on what I presumed was some sort of youth trip gone wrong. I told them they weren’t allowed to play music – it was the rules. They turned it down, and five minutes later I think they went to brave the tent. None the less,  a well staffed and cared for campsite wouldn’t allow such late arrivals. 

I mean, I was ready to shank a big-foot with a tree branch. 

But interrupting my sleep is risky business – I have no humour for it. So look on my wrath, ye youths, and despair. Look out for a beast of pale red hair, grouchy in demeanour, whose footsteps slap on approach. It’ll rap on your window and spoil your party without even a care.

On another note:
This wasn’t the first time I’d had to complain about other people on a campsite. The first time, however, those teenagers were setting fire to a forest and 20min later two fire engines, a helicopter flyby and a police car arrived. The boys scarped and my sisters got to ride around in the fire engine. But that’s a different story…

Links: Report British Bigfoot Sightings



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