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The Big Acoustic Walk

Course Overview


There's always been a strong connection between the mountains and acoustic music. The peaceful sanctuary of our mountains has inspired countless classic melodies and spawned many a well-known lyric. From haunting ballads, to passionate anthems, our rugged mountainscapes lend themselves willingly to new melodies according to the changing seasons.

Whether you are a musician, vocalist or just an enthusiastic listener, this weekend celebration of acoustic music and mountain walking is a great opportunity to share your love of walking and music with other outdoor enthusiasts and musicians.

You'll arrive on the Friday evening where you'll be able to sign up to the following days activity you'll be able to choose from guided walks, ranging from 'very gentle' to 'highly challenging' so you can pick the level of walk you'd like. Afterwards you'll be able to mingle with fellow music enthusiasts in the bar and 'jam' to your hearts content.
Following a hearty breakfast, on Saturday morning you'll head out onto the hills to enjoy the walk of your choice in the company of our guides and instructors.

Returning off the hill, you'll join the other groups for well-earned tea and freshly baked cakes in the comfort of our Snowdon Bar whilst enjoying the fantastic views of the Snowdon horseshoe. You'll enjoy a hearty evening meal after which there will be an 'Open Mic' Evening where (if you choose to) you can take the stage and play a number or two for your fellow walkers. Of course, if you are not a performer at heart you will simply be able to sit back and enjoy the show or retire to a corner of the bar to string a spontaneous tune together with fellow musicians.
In keeping with long held musical tradition, there will be plenty of locally brewed real ale on offer too, with our own Brenin Beers topping the bill.
During the evening you'll be able to select a guided walk at the level of your choice, for the following morning. On Sunday, after fuelling up on breakfast you'll head out on your chosen walk in the beautiful Welsh mountains and as always you'll return to Plas y Brenin for tea and cakes before leaving us.

So why not tuck your Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin or Ukulele under your arm, your harmonica or drumsticks in your pocket and get your best singing voice in tune for this year's second 'Big Acoustic Walk'.

Experience Required

no experience necessary

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Here are examples of walks that maybe offered during the weekend, these may be different on the day depending on weather conditions and how everyone is feeling. Be rest assured there will be plenty of choice and our guides will make sure you enjoy two fantastic days out in the mountains of Snowdonia.


Low level walks approximately 3-5 miles with a few hundred metres of ascent. You generally be walking on well-trodden footpaths. Take along some money for a possible cafe stop.

  1. Llanberis Slate Quarries/ Padarn Country Park

  2. Crimpau

  3. Valley Walk to cafe in Betws y Coed

  4. Walk round Llyn Idwal


Higher level walks with a plan to ascend a peak. The distance will be up to 5 miles with an ascent of approximately 500m, walking on tracks and footpaths.

  1. Yr Aran

  2. Cnicht

  3. Y Garn

  4. Moel Siabod


High level walks with a plan to ascend one of Snowdonia's substantial peaks. These walks will typically take in a variety of terrain both on an doff marked footpaths. The distance covered will be approximately 5 miles plus, however the amount of ascent will exceed 600m if conditions allow. Due to the nature of the terrain you will require a good level of hill fitness.

  1. Carneddau

  2. Glyderau

  3. Snowdon

  4. Tryfan

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Warm outdoor wear - at all times of year e.g. walking trousers (shorts in summer), thermal layers/base layers, fleeces, good quality walking socks

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Walking boots

  • Rucksack liner (e.g. rubble bag or dry bag)

  • Day rucksack (min 30 litres)

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch Bag/Box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Head torch (winter months)

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

The following items are available for you to borrow free of charge from our equipment stores if you don't have your own.

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

Customer Reviews For This Course

Good music, good walking, good food


We arrived early on the Friday, so we were fed, settled in and signed up for Saturday's mountain walk for when the impromptu music session started around 7:30. Excellent! Very informal and entertaining; good light beer and singing along to old folk favourites.We left regretfully at 11pm, but apparently the bar remained open for beer and music.
Breakfast Saturday - excellent - sticks to your ribs; picked up lunch, filled flask and set off to walk 11km. Had lunch on top of Drum in the snow; cold, but very pleasant.
back to PYB for tea and cake.
Dined, and back into the lecture theatre for a more formal musical event. Wow! Much talent, much enjoyed. We left at midnight, (had to sleep!).
Breakfast Sunday, Excellent, slightly later than usual. Informal music went on till 4am!!!!!(apparently). Breakfasted, packed and room cleared. Gentle 11km through forest to Betwys y coed.
then back to PYB, tea and cake, then away home.
Found out later we could have bought an extra night!. Should have,Sunday night was another informal music session.Next time, we will.
Food - excellent, and plenty of it.
Walking - thoroughly enjoyed, professionally guided.
Music - brilliant. (I have to say we enjoyed the informal session more than the formal Saturday night).
Thank you to all who helped make a weekend special.
We will be back!

4th time at The Big Acoustic Walk and I'll be back for no. 5

Andy McClennon

As ever it was a very enjoyable weekend in a very hospitable and friendly environment. Alan Manouch and Dave Cheetham 'worked their socks off' to make this as special if not better than my previous three visits.
The staff at PYB at all levels are a welcoming and friendly group of people, which contributes to the overall success of each visit.
The scenery, food and ale are hard to beat and this combined with great guided walks and an abundance of live music is just brilliant. (Although the course officially finished on Sunday, the music carried on in the bar on Sunday evening with a small group staying for an extra night)
The accommodation isn't perfect (PYB is not a 5 star hotel) but a problem with a shower one morning was rectified the same day. The rooms are warm comfortable and more than adequate for a short stay. The new policy of being able to book a single room and pay a small supplement was most welcome and will certainly appeal to visitors who are not keen on sharing rooms.
The new layout of tables and chairs in the dining room works well and is easier to navigate with a sleepy head and a plate piled high with a wonderful cooked breakfast. Also, the enhancements to the bar were very pleasing.
A big thanks you to Al and Dave and everyone at PYB for a wonderful weekend, I've still got a big smile on my face.
PS. Thank you to the weather forecasters for being wrong! Two dry days for walking and some sunshine was terrific.

Big Acoustic Walk


I've been to Plas y Brenin four times for the Big Acoustic Walk weekends and will be going back again (soon I hope). The accommodation is warm and comfortable with fabulous food and a fantastic bar. The scenery is spectacular and the staff at Plas y Brenin are brilliant. They are all really friendly, especially Dave and Alan who go out of their way to make these walking/music weekends weekends such fun. I will be back in April, with re-enforcements.

Great weekend


Such an amazing place. You couldn't ask for a more professional and friendly service, excellent facilities, great food and possibly the best view from a cafe and bar in the country. I look forward to my next visit.



We had an amazing weekend. Thanks to everyone involved. We have mad elifelong friends and will definitely be back to see you all again.

Walking by day / music by night


This weekend was completely brilliant. ...I think what made it extra special was that not only did everyone there share a love of mountains and outdoors (which you get whatever you're up to at PYB) but for this event we all have a love of acoustic music in common too. As a result it's mega easy to chat and make new buddies all over the place!
The musical talent was superb but it's Worth noting that you don't need any musical skill to attend this weekend, just the appreciation :)
As usual, the food was superduper, the instructors were wondrous (Harry's ukelele rendition of Flight of the Conchords 'You got it goin' on' on the saturday night was pantwettingly funny), and the rooms were most marvellous and cosy.

A superb way to spend a weekend

Keith Cocker

What a great mix of music and mountains a superb way to spend a weekend, Al's organisation of the session on friday and the open mike concert on saturday was very good,the challenging walk up Glyder fawr on saturday was well led by Adam in difficult wet and windy conditions, sundays walk led by Harry up Snowdon was also excellent good company not so good weather, would recommend to all musicians and mountaineers. Well done PLAS Y BRENIN

Great weekend

Jon Taylor

Had a fabulous time. The accomodation was clean and the food was excellent. The guides led us on superb walks and we were lucky with good visibility on the second day! The music evenings were also brilliant - the first night very much an informal get together in the bar with talented musicians and beginners alike - the second evening was mic night and perhaps a bit too formal for this type of music - no fear though - as soon as back in the bar the "jam session" atmosphere returned.

Would definitely do it again - wish I could play an instrument really but happy to listen and enjoy!!

Many thanks to all at Plas y Brenin

A Great Time


We had a great time and hope to be back for the next one, with folks in tow! Let us know as soon as you know when that will be so we can arrange things.

A Cracker!

Dave Carvell

it was a great weekend and friday night was a cracker!
Saturday evening's open mic' was a revelation as everyone really sparkled. There were a few suprises too as 'learners' and solo singers really impressed all of us. What a pity I missed the saturday bash in the bar - I thought I'd have a little snooze and that was that.
I do a lot of walking in the Warwickshire countryside at about 150', mostly in wellies however, Saturday's walk was very 'interesting' up there in the clouds. The great thing was that nobody moaned and just got on with it.
I'll never forget eating our lunch huddled inside the stone cicle with a 45mph wind howling over the top of our heads.

Thank you for a great weekend

Pam & Mac

Pam and I would like to say thank you for a great weekend. It's the first time we've been to Pas Brenin and we thaought everything was brilliant. We particularly liked the endless tea & coffee - a great touch.
But of course, the walking and the open mike combo was fantastic. Our leader, Dave was great with us and led a brilliant couple of walks, especially the Sunday walk, which I really enjoyed.
See you next year, we're definately putting this on our calendar. Just let us know when it is.

Great Weeekend

Dave Atkinson

It was a really good weekend and great fun.
I think it was a good idea to mic it up on Saturday, it takes some out of their comfort zone and gives them an opportunity to try it.
Hopefully may see you next year and already had a few people asking about it.

A very big thank you


Thanks for organising such a fantastic walking and music weekend. I hope to be back next year, if not before (maybe with a few chords and a song to offer).

Great Fun


Many thanks for the weekend. The Friday night jam was great fun, as was the Saturday, and despite doing only one song on Saturday that was the first time that jim and myself had ever performed in front of more than 3 people,(we just play for ourselves usually after beer and only with close friends around) but we both agree that guitar practise will commence again


John and Briege

Thank you so much for the weekend. Briege and I had a brilliant time and are still very much on a high. We met a fantastic group of people with a shared love of mountains and music.

Brilliant weekend


Friday night's session in the bar was brilliant, it left me feeling like I knew everyone, having heard them sing and/or play. I awoke on Saturday eager to hear everyone perform in the open mic evening. It was lovely to watch each person take the stage, with a little snapshot of their personality in place
from the previous evening. It felt like I was watching a roomful of friends perform which made the evening hugely enjoyable. Saturday night's 'apres-open-mic' bar session was another cracker too and I take my hat off to everyone who managed a full day's walking on Sunday.

Well organised event

Terry Hunter

All aspects on the Catering - Hospitality side were either excellent or very good. The room was spacious and the evening meals were of a high standard, especially when one considers that it is canteen style. One small complaint would be that the dining room seating can be a little cramped when the room is busy.
The music side of the weekend was well organised and it was good to see a separate room provided for the Open Mic session. Also, the jam sessions in the bar were most enjoyable.
With regard to the walks, I felt they matched the Gradings given in the programme and were professionally led.


Barbara and Trevor Paul

We can highly recommend the Big Acounstic Walk.
The accommodation is basic but very good (better than recent experiences in a Travellodge). All rooms are ensuite and comfortable. The food was excellent and my dietry requirements were well catered for.
The walks were well planned and the leaders friendly and knowledgeable. They even managed to arrange for Snowdon to be covered in snow.
The impromtu music session on Friday evening was good fun. The 'open mic' session on Saturday evening was very varied with music and singing from some excellent musicians.
We do not normally walk with groups of people, preferring our own company, but found this weekend to be very enjoyable. We made some friends who we will keep in touch with.

Fabulous Weekend

Derek and Anthea Bunting

We thoroughly enjoyed this weekend with guided walks from easy to tough and impromptu music in the bar on Friday night given by some of the participants. Saturday night's entertainment was organised by Alan who sang with his friends, one who played a guitar and one an accordion. Anyone with musical instruments were encouraged to get up and play, or you could sing or recite and the whole weekend was a great success.

At nearly 70 years of age, we were well looked after and will certainly go again.

Thanks for a Great Weekend

John Evans

Just want to say thanks for every aspect of the weekend. It's the first time I've stayed at PyB and I couldn't fault the experience. Accommodation was very comfortable, the food was excellent, especially considering the numbers you have to cater for in a tight timescale and all the staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful. The comments I was hearing from everybody round me were all totally positive. Thanks to Alan for organising the music and a great open mike concert on Saturday; also to Simon and Chris for two really good days on the hill. I'm creaking a bit this morning but that was what I came for! Cheers to all and I'll be keeping in touch for the next one.

The Hills are Alive .. with the sound of Music!

Richard Menhinick

My daughter Kate and I are keen amateur musicians and don't get much 'quality time' together now she lives away from home. I spotted this course on Facebook and called her to see if she fancied a weekend away doing something a bit different. It obviously appealed because we were among the first to book up for the course!
Our first challenge on arrival was being booked in to a shared room - despite booking seperately from two different addresses and emails explaining that I was coming with my DAUGHTER! Oh well .. it was soon sorted out and we were despatched by the helpful receptionist to opposite ends of the building!
Our second challenge was finding our rooms. PYB is a bit of a rabbit warren with stairs and corridors all over the place and an interesting line in helpful signs which 'forget' blocks of rooms leading you round and round in circles! A layout map of the accommodation would be really helpful for new arrivals guys :)
Having found the rooms, I was really impressed with the quality of the accommodation - clean, comfortable and warm (a bit too warm for me - I have no heating in my room at home and sleep with the windows open all year round .. but that's just me ... and the window did open nice and wide!)
Settled in, we hit the bar and found that 'bar snacks' means an amazing menu with some great meals - just as well because we were starving - and excellent local beers. We met up with some of our fellow walker/players and ended the evening with an impromptu jamming session in the bar with several guitars and my trusty melodeon (button accordion).
After a good night's sleep we met up again for a hearty breakfast and then joined all the other weekend residents in the lecture room for the day's briefing. Kate & I opted for a "Gentle" walk because I'm recovering from an injury and still have knee and ankle problems.
Saturday was a perfect sunny day and we set off with our group for a 'gentle' walk along the Afon Lligwy to Betws Y Coed. The walk started well, nice steady level track, then some fields by the river, and then after a lunch stop entertained by a hungry horse and a cute foal, we started to climb steadily up through the forest passing the amazing Swallow Falls on the opposite side to the eponymous hotel. Plenty of water in the river thanks to a very wet winter, so the falls were spectacular.
On we went .. and on ... and on this gentle walk was nearly 9 miles!
The Alpine Cafe in Betws was a VERY welcome sight, as was the minibus to take us back to the centre for tea cakes and entertainment by a local young singer/harpist.
After our excellent dinner, we assembled in the lecture room which had been transformed into a concert hall for the evening's musical merrymaking. Some excellent local musicians set the scene for the varied and entertaining musical evening. A great mix of country, blues, traditional folk and a few indefinable numbers made for a great evening. When the main session ended, we adjourned to the bar and jammed till past midnight.
Slightly fuzzy headed and somewhat stiff, we enjoyed another excellent breakfast before deciding the level of walk for the day. A few brave souls opted for the 'intermediate' but most settled for another 'gentle' walk round Llyn Idwal. "Much shorter than yesterday... a nice level walk around the lake". Nobody mentioned the climb up to the lake of course!
Not such a good day weatherwise we got the waterproofs on and took to the minibus. Luckily the rain had eased to a drizzle by the time we arrived and we were soon trudging up the hill trying to make stiff limbs move. The scenery was spectacular with all the rain making sure that the dozens of waterfalls off the mountains were putting on a sensational show. I soon forgot my stiff legs and started to enjoy the view.
When we eventually returned to the bus I was very glad that I didn't follow my first instinct (to bottle out of the Sunday walk) because to have missed that walk would have been a tragedy.
We ate lunch back at the centre after which I elected to rest while my uncharacteristically energetic daughter (!) went for an hour's climbing inctruction on the indoor wall.
All in all a brilliant weekend, friendly and incredibly helpful staff, great company, outstanding catering - they even coped with my daughter who is vegetarian and lactose, wheat and gluten intolerant (!!) - comfortable accommodation and excellent facilities, and of course the beautiful welsh mountain scenery.
Would I come again?
Of course I would!

Not found what you were looking for?

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You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

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