In a nutshell. A hideaway village ringed by hills and forests – well worth seeking out.
The most spectacular way to get to Penmachno is along the narrow mountain road from Ffestiniog that suddenly plunges into the secluded Machno Valley (if you don’t have a head for heights there’s easier access from Betws-y-Coed).
The village, clustered around an 18th-century bridge over the Machno, has a church containing a noteworthy collection of early Christian burial stones.
Walkers can also head a few miles north to the beauty spot where the Machno and Conwy rivers meet in a series of dramatic waterfalls.
The Conwy Falls are particularly spectacular, tumbling through a steep wooded gorge before flowing into the Fairy Glen near Betws-y-Coed.
Penmachno is a place of pilgrimage.
In the hills to the west you’ll find a shrine to Welsh culture.
It’s just a modest stone farmhouse, yet its symbolic influence is huge.
Ty Mawr Wybrnant, cared for by the National Trust, was the birthplace in around 1540 of William Morgan who went on to become the bishop who first fully translated the Bible into Welsh, thus securing the future of the language.
Restored and furnished in 16th-century style, the house contains Bibles donated from all over the world – plus, of course, the original 1588 translation, which has been called ‘probably the most important book in the history of the language and literature of Wales’.
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