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Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert

By Dave Roberts   

on November 30, 2018    4/5 (1)

Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert

Further Details

Route Summary:

Downhill all the way on this scenic route between Pen y Pass and Beddgelert that’s waymarked for most of the distance and easy enough to follow

Route Start Location: Pen-y-Pass to Beddgelert

12.8 km 291 m 4 hours

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

Activivity Type: Moderate Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Toilets and Cafe at Pen-y-Pass and Nant Gwynant. Plenty of pubs and cafes in Beddgelert, but no cashpoint.


Some sections might be prone to flooding from the river, you’ll need to be prepared for this.

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 :

Paid parking all along. It’s cheaper in Beddgelert than Pen y Pass, so we’d suggest getting a Sherpa Bus to Pen-y-pass and walking back to your car.

Public Transport:

The Snowdon Sherpa bus travels around the foot of Snowdon, creating a link between the six main routes that travel up Snowdon, as well as the main car parks, villages and tourist attractions in the area. Check out the Snowdon Sherpa page on Walk up Snowdon for the latest Snowdon Sherpa rundown.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert

While most will visit Snowdonia for the mountain walks, there’s lots of good low level and easier walking in Snowdonia. This is a steady walk from Pen-y-Pass to Beddgelert along easy enough paths including the new Lon Gwynant, that passes a pub and a cafe along the route and ending at Beddgelert where there’s even more choice. We think that this route is Snowdonia’s equivalent of the Lake’s Coffin Route. It certainly passes through mountains that are just as spectacular (if not more so) and two of the most beautiful lakes in Snowdonia.

Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert Route Description

1 Start from Pen y Pass, taking a way-marked footpath at the Pen-y-gwryd corner of the car park next to the road. This is a rough path with an excellent view down the valley that feels surprisingly airy in places.

Lon Gwynant Walk - Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert

Option One (Not on the map)

2a The path reaches a footbridge just shy of Pen-y-gwryd, and you can turn left in order to visit there even if it’s a bit early in the walk! Of course, we paid it a visit.

Lon Gwynant Walk - Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert

3a From the footbridge you can follow the old road (this was drive-able in a Vauxhall Nova thirty years ago!) which provides some good walking as far as Cwm Dyli power station. The pipeline was used in the James Bond movie – Tomorrow Never Dies.

Lon Gwynant Walk - Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert

Option 2 – shown on the map

2b Alternatively, there’s now a good path that descends directly to the valley for those who do not want to visit the Pen y Gwryd. This is a new path that’s way-marked at the junction with the Pen y Gwryd path and descends steeply, but easily enough to the valley bottom before a really clear path can be followed to the Cwm Dyli Power Station.

4 Pass behind the power station and the path follows the right hand side of the valley, largely avoiding any wet bits, but not quite managing. It soon lifts up into the forest, and the going improves significantly. It then climbs to a crag, high above Llyn Gwynant, an ideal stopping point even if you’re planning on stopping in Nant Gwynant half way.

5 The path continues through the forest, descends past an old quarry working and At SH634 514, you’ll see the footbridge to your left. While you can cross a footbridge to join the road for a short distance to Nant Gwynant there’s a much better alternative not marked on the maps.

6 Ignore the footbridge and follow the farm track directly ahead. It’s marked with a reddish way-marker and denotes a circular walk from the National Trust property at Hafod-y-llan. Keep an eye for the way-markers as you leave the farm track after a short distance to cross some fields to a well built footbridge. Cross the bridge in order to join the banks of the Afon Glaslyn. Ignore the way-marks to your right as these will bring you out at the farm, which if you do follow by mistake will rejoin the path later on anyway.

7 The path follows the Afon Glaslyn for around 1km, and eventually joins the country lane from the farm. Turn left here to reach the main road and Nant Gwynant at the start of the Watkin Path. This makes this an ideal way to walk up the Watkin Path from Pen y Pass. There are toilets in Nant Gwynant as well as an excellent café.

8 Continue along the road, taking the first left hand junction. Cross over the river and take the footpath right along a farm track. This is way-marked “Lon Gwynant” and is a newly built track that takes you to Beddgelert. Pass in front of Llyndy Isaf, and the track becomes a well built footpath. This used to be a morass in places, but has been rebuilt into a pleasant multi-use path which is shared by walkers and cyclists.

9 After walking along the pleasant path on the shores of Llyn Dinas, cross the footbridge and continue to the end of Llyn Dinas. The footpath continues along the southern bank of the river and joins a country lane as you reach Sygyn Copper mine. Follow this road for around 1km until it turns right to join the main road. Instead, take the way-marked path along the river bank to reach Beddgelert in a matter of minutes.

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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1 thought on “Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert”

  1. My friend and I walked this route on Saturday. We parked the car and got the Sherpa bus from Beddgelert to Pen-y-Pass. Make sure you get the first bus of the morning, as it’s direct, otherwise you have to wait another two hours for the next bus, which is not direct. We loved the walk. The first mile is straight down. Looking at the map, it looks more than nine miles but it’s not and did take us four hours. We stopped several times along the way, as we found many beautiful stops to sit and enjoy a brew and our lunch. There were a couple of spots where the path isn’t so obvious and it could do with some better signage but nothing that someone with some decent common sense can’t work out. The walk is low level but it’s not entirely flat. There are a couple of places where you need to watch where you step and even on a glorious warm weekend, there were a couple of streams to step through, which can make the odd rock slippy. Again, nothing too major if you take your time. The last three miles of the walk are flat and we made the most of a sunny day and had a paddle in Llyn Dinas with a brew. It refreshed the feet for the final stroll back into Beddgelert, where we enjoyed a shandy in the sun. My friend has hip problems and I am getting over sciatica but we found the walk to be a good one. Just take your time and enjoy the view.

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