Day 210 Mile 210: Conwy Rivers Project part 4/10 Afon Hiraethlyn

Day 210 Mile 210: Conwy Rivers Project part 4/10 Afon Hiraethlyn. Today finds me running alongside the Afon (river) Hiraethlyn, sometimes Erethlyn in old Welsh and it is beautiful. What started as a relatively mundane run down a farm track has taken me into the back of Bodnant Gardens and the scenery has been so enhanced by the planting and care lavished on the area as to give the impression that I have stumbled into some magical kingdom in the early morning light.

The gardens were founded in 1874 by Henry Davis Pochin, a Leicestershire-born Victorian industrial chemist who acquired fame and fortune inventing a process for clarifying rosin used in soap, turning it from the traditional brown to white. These were developed by five generations of one family, they was gifted to the care of the National Trust in 1949. The garden spans 80 acres of hillside and includes formal Italianate Terraces, informal shrub borders stocked with plants from around the world, and The Dell, a gorge garden, a number of notable trees and a waterfall.

This stretch of the river has such a different feel to all of the others I have met with so far on this adventure. There is a manicured beauty to the landscape and a forthright grandeur to the ramrod trees, tended grass and considered planting. It is an incredibly impressive place, and the amount of time invested in it (both in the short and long terms) is truly awe inspiring. A little part of me cant help but feel that this slightly misses the point of the welsh landscape. They have created a place of great majesty and beauty here, in one that had it already, a bit like building a roller-coaster on a mountain so that people can be elated by the feeling of going downhill quickly.

However the place is astounding and it is wonderful to run in a completely different environment through winding paths passing show-standard flowering plants from across the globe whose names surpass my parochial botanic knowledge and just bask in the beauty of a place understood only on a surface level of pure amazement.

On a side note, good luck to all the people doing the North Wales Half Marathon today which goes through the village in a bit! 🙂

For more background on the Conwy Rivers Project please have a read of the blog post first published on 16/5/17 here.

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 2203.3 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

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