Around Llyn Padarn.

Route Information

A4086, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55, UK


Route Summary:

Distance: Kms

Ascent: metres


Start and Finish:



Public Transport:


Parking Post Code for Sat Nav: 

Around Llyn Padarn.

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This is an ideal walk if you want to stretch your legs on a wet day, or if you’ve only got a couple of hours to walk. This has something for everyone, with a forest walk, industrial archaeology and even an old quarry hospital.

You could use this walk as the basis for a full day, visiting the many attractions on the way. It’s also one of our favourite trail runs, even if you only have a short bit of trail!

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Distance, Ascent and Time 8km, 200m, 2-3 hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties none – usually – some nav in mist.

Start / End Llanberis.

Facilities Most facilities in the village.

Public Transport Sherpa Buses and local buses from Caernarfon and Bangor.

The Route

1. Start the walk at the car park (SH 578 604) near the lake and you will soon spot the white banded posts that way mark this route along the shore of the lake.


2. The next section is a straightforward walk across the flat land towards the footbridge (SH 585 601) and the large building next to it – the Slate Museum. Views here are towards Crib Goch and Castell Dolbadarn.


3. Cross the bridge and turn left along the road. You will come to another car park, which you will need to cross diagonally left and forward to reach the official start of the trail.

4. Follow the paths to a pleasant grassed area that has some great views over the lake. Behind you is the old quarry hospital that’s open as a museum. Reach it by climbing up the set of stairs.

5. Pass to the left of the quarry hospital, and past an outbuilding – the old morgue (signposted) and in to the woods. The path is now often narrow and has some steep sections with rocky steps. Just keep an eye out for the white posts. Very soon there’s a viewpoint over the lake.


6. Continue along the path, making sure you don’t follow the wrong path! If you follow the white posts you should be fine. At one point, the path starts to contour to the right, but also down ahead and no posts to be seen. This is roughly at SH 579 610, and either path can be taken as they both lead to the footbridge over the stream.


7. You cross the footbridge and keep an eye out for the white posts. The track is more of a road now, used by people in a house nearby. You pass a quarry, a café (yes!) and eventually get to the minor road at SH 575 617 where there’s a phone box (remember them?).

8. This minor road can be quite busy, and is narrow, so some care is required. But after what feels like an eternity, you can leave it and cross the bridge over the Afon Rhythallt, from which you get an iconic view of Snowdon and Llyn Padarn.


9. Over the river, turn left and follow what used to be the main road until the newer one was built on the other side of Craig yr Undeb in the 1970s. Makes you wonder how many more years it will take for the road to be totally overgrown and unrecognisable as such.

10. Finally, you reach the main road, where you can turn left and follow the road for a short distance before passing through a narrow gate. Or, you can turn right and cross over to the Lon Peris track and follow the old railway tunnel to the same spot. From here, all you need to do is follow the cycle track along the lakeside and eventually find yourself on the main road again for a short section before you reach your starting point.


The walk isn’t wild, but has some pretty stunning sections in the forest. It also has a bit more road walking than I’d like, but there’s not a lot that can be done about that. As it stands, it’s a nice couple of hours walking that most able people could manage – my 6 year old daughter managed it without complaining.

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(c) Mud and Routes 2017

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