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Cwm Llan Easier Walk or Trail Run

By Dave Roberts   

on October 11, 2015    No ratings yet.

Cwm Llan Easier Walk or Trail Run

Further Details

Route Summary:

An ideal alternative route to do when it’s too wet to walk up Snowdon via the Watkin Path.

Route Start Location: Nant Gwynant

6.63 km 346 m 2 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Easy Moderate Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Cafe, parking WC.


Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : LL55 4NR

Quieter than Pen y Pass, but still fills up on good days

Public Transport:

Sherpa Buses, infrequent, between Beddglert and Pen y Pass/Betws y Coed.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Cwm Llan Easier Walk or Trail Run Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Cwm Llan Easier Walk or Trail Run

The Watkin Path up Snowdon is one of the more popular routes to the summit, but can be heavy going when conditions are against you.

This easier alternative follows the lower reaches of the Watkin Path to explore Cwm Llan, before returning along the old quarry tramline to rejoin the Watkin. I makes an excellent plan B if you’re not sure what the mountain has in store!

1 The route starts at the car park at Nant Gwynant, with the Watkin path clearly marked on the opposite side of the road. This initially takes you along a wooded path, a recent diversion to the route, before joining the original Watkin Path a bit further up.


2 the track ascends slowly, and takes in a wide curve before revealing the falls. Continuing above the river, you pass through a gate where the Carry on up the Khyber movie was filmed.


3 You’re high above the river at this point, with its welcoming pools of blue water, but soon at the same level as the river and a rather shocking hydro plant. It should weather into the landscape over time, but the stainless is still shiny nearly two years on.

Cwm Llan_ (6 of 10)

These waterfalls on the Afon Cwm Llan are worth an excursion in themselves, with the bonus being that they are even more impressive in wet weather.


4 Follow the Watkin path for  x metres, passing a building used for commando training during world war two, with the bullet holes still visible in places and then  past the Gladstone Rock which commemorates the opening of the Watkin path in 1892 by the 83 year old Liberal prime minister, William Gladstone.

Cwm Llan (2 of 3)

5 Just as the Watkin Path begins to climb in earnest, continue along the faint path that continues parallel to the river towards the quarry remains.

Cwm Llan (1 of 3)

6 Crossing the end of the valley can be soggy at times, but beyond this is an excellent tramway that’s easy to follow. It may be wet in places, but nothing that should worry good boots!

Cwm Llan_ (4 of 10)

Towards the end, beware the drops to one side, and keep an eye out for the path downhill to the left which brings you back to the hydro plant you passed earlier. Retrace your steps to the start.

Cwm Llan_ (7 of 10)

You’ll know you’ve missed this junction as the tramway passes through a cutting to the top of a steep incline.

We Recommend the Gwynant Cafe for refreshments and a bite to eat!

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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