Guided walks in and around Criccieth, Snowdonia, Gwynedd, North Wales looking at the stories the landscape, rivers and pebbles have to tell. This is geology, landscape and river archaeology at it’s most fun.

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Welcome to the Stones Tale

My name is Heather Ibbetson BSc, PhD and I am, amongst other things, an archaeologist, geologist, landscape archaeologist and love messing about in rivers.  All in all, I have spent 22 years in Earth Sciences and have loved every minute. Now I would love to share my knowledge with you in a fun and interesting way.

I am a self confessed landscapist and see features in the landscape that my colleagues struggled with. I would like to unlock the secrets of the Welsh Snowdonia Mountains and surrounding areas with you. Join me and together we can listen to the Tales of the pebbles that lie on Criccieth beach. Hear the songs of the beautiful rivers that flow very close by. Catch the whispered memories of a small town and woodland that was once the centre of the shipbuilding industry, long before Portmadog was thought of.

As we walk around, the area reveals its geology and landscape archaeology to us, it will enable you to look for the hidden tales in the stones of all shapes and sizes. When you venture further afield you too can unlock the landscape for yourselves. I look forward to you joining me in my new exciting venture starting in 2017.  I hold a current enhanced DBS Certificate and have also undertaken and passed the Outdoor Activity First Aid Course.



Themed, guided walks

These subjects are traditionally taught indoors with an occasional field trip but with Stones Tale it is totally reversed.  The emphasis is on you and the landscape so, we start and finish outside. What you need to know is given as we walk along.  The walks are for all ages, (children should be over 8 years old).  No previous knowledge required but please read the page which tells you about the practicalities. We cater for everyone who has an interest and passion for knowledge.  We will be walking in dog friendly areas but unfortunately, no dogs will be allowed on these walks.

All the walks on offer are designed for small groups. Maximising attention to detail via the ‘personal touch’ so group numbers on any walks are limited to a maximum number of 6 people. Walks must be booked through this website via the Booking and Payment page prior to the walk taking place. But please see Guided Walk details for the walk you are interested in as exceptions can apply. Bookings will be taken up to 24 hours before the walk date.  Cancellations will be only taken up to 48 hours before the walk commencement. Fees can be found on the individual Guided Walk page.

The walks, which will begin in April 2017

The Pebbles Tale

A look at the pebbles (remember, each pebble has it’s own tale to tell) on Criccieth beach and what they can tell us about where they came from and how far they have travelled. Also the ancient landscape can still be spotted here. You may well be surprised by both.

The Rivers Song: Estuary

A look at the estuary and the archaeological features both in the river and on the riverbank, which when deciphered will give us an insight into how this part of the river was used and how the glaciers from the last ice age shaped this ancient river.

The Rivers Song: Woodlands

A walk through ancient woodland along a higher stretch of the same river but totally different in terms of river archaeology and ancient landscape formation. ‘Power in the landscape’ is very evident on this walk.

The Trees Story: Borth-y-Gest

A walk through a ‘village’ reconstructing the ancient landscape of Borth-y-Gest when it was at the centre of the shipbuilding industry before Portmadog was even thought of.


Every Saturday morning is kids field trips when we discover more about the local area, a relaxed fun morning for kids from 8 yrs onwards.


I have been looking at the landscape around Criccieth for several years now, and have come to love it and realise it is an amazing place to begin to learn the geology of this stunningly beautiful place.

Situated in the stunning countryside on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, the area around Criccieth lends itself as an excellent base from which to start any of the walks. It is at a geological crossroads of the last main ice age to occur in this part of Wales.  Sandwiched between two ice sheets (glaciers). One from the south and one from the north west, as it was back then, has left every pebble on Criccieth beach with it’s own tale to tell!! These ice sheets also shaped the landscape and paths of rivers so they are crucial to our story as the beach will show you.



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