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Snowdonia Walks from Betws-y-Coed

By Dave Roberts   

on April 30, 2017    4.73/5 (11)

Snowdonia Walks from Betws-y-Coed

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Location Map

There are many circular walks from Snowdonia’s Betws-y-coed, not surprising considering the number of lakes near Betws-y-coed such as Llyn Elsi and Llyn Parc. Nestling in the Gwydyr Forest, walks are usually either through the trees, a river walk or involve a lake or two. More often than not, you’ll get the lot! With waterfalls such as the Swallow Falls and Conwy Falls, there’s something for everyone.

Betws-y-coed (only pronounced ‘betsy’ if you want to aggravate the locals) is the main tourist honeypot for North Snowdonia, along with Beddgelert and Llanberis. It’s certainly the place to go for outdoor shopping as none of the other villages or even towns in Snowdonia and North Wales can compete with the number of specialist shops. It is to outdoor kit what Hay-on-wye is to books.

walks from Betws-y-coed

So other than dallying on the bridge, eating chips and blocking traffic, what else is there to do? While the shopping is one thing, there’s also the option of actually going for a walk and even a bit of mountain biking. Yes, we suggest you get that shiny new outdoor kit muddy!

So what are the best walks near Betws -y-coed?

The Miner’s Bridge was washed away during storms in February 2020. It should be easy enough to divert around by following the path or minor road on the north side of the river, or the main road into ByC on the south side.

Llyn Parc Walk from near Betws-y-coed 

Easy 6km walk.

This trip starts off a short distance from Betws-y-Coed, and you could easily walk to the start from the village if you fancied a slightly longer walk. The walk is mainly through forestry and passes a couple of lakes, and mine ruins that provide some interest. Easy walk, but the navigation in the plantation can be a headache. You can follow this route to Llyn Parc from Betws y Coed for a direct, but longer walk.

walks from Betws-y-coed

Llyn Elsi Walk from Betws-y-Coed

Easy 7km walk.

This walk takes us into the forest to the south of the village towards the picturesque Llyn Elsi. It sets off steeply, but levels out after the initial climb. The route returns via the Clogwyn y Gigfran Trail that’s a maintained an waymarked trail.

walks from Betws-y-coed
Betws-y-Coed Miner’s Bridge Walk 

Easy 7km walk.

A straightforward exploration of the countryside near the village without venturing much more than a couple of kilometres from the village centre. The Miner’s Bridge below is one of the highlights.

walks from Betws-y-coed

Swallow Falls from Llyn Sarnau or Betws-y-coed

Easy Moderate 9km Walk.

This may start a few kilometres out of Betws-y-coed, but again you can easily start the walk from the far end of the village (Capel Curig End) if you choose. Not only do you get a better view of the Swallow Falls from this side of the river, you don’t have to pay either!

walks from Betws-y-coed Swallow Falls

Ffos Noddum – Fairy Glen Walk Betws-y-coed

Ffos Noddum – or The Fairy Glen in English –  is a paid for walk and for the princely sum of 50p you can gain admission to what is quite a special place if you can manage your trip to avoid the major crowds. You’ll need to travel towards Dolwyddelan on a A470 to the Fairy Glen hotel where you turn left (follow the brown tourism signs) – Link on Google maps.

Ffos Noddum - Fairy Glen Walk Betws-y-coed

Rhaeadr y Graig – Conwy Falls Walk Betws-y-coed

The walk to Rhaeadr y Graig, or Conwy Falls, is another paid for walk – starting from the Conwy Falls Cafe on the A5. Admission to the Conwy Falls Forest Park costs a £1 and it has a number of trails for the fee, ideal for families.

Rhaeadr y Graig - Conwy Falls Walk Betws-y-coed

Harder Walks and Mountain Walks from Betws-y-coed

If you want a tougher walk, why not try walking the Sarn Helen Walk, but starting from Betws-y-coed instead of Capel Curig? That’ll get your legs working. Failing that you can always go a bit further afield on the Sherpa Buses (or car if you must) and scale Moel Siabod or any of the other Walks from Capel Curig or Walks From Pen-y-pass. You can also take the Sherpa Bus to Ogwen, Beddgelert or Rhyd Ddu for even more walking options.

Many will want to climb Snowdon, and again this is easily reached from Betws-y-Coed, with all the walks on Walk up Snowdon, or summarised on this article – All the Walking Routes up Snowdon.

Walk up Snowdon

Mountain Biking Near Betws-y-coed

Mountain bikers are also very well catered for. You can choose to pootle along the infinite loops of forestry tracks, or tackle one of two world class MTB trails nearby. The Marin Trail is just a few kilometres north, and you can easily cycle to the start, while the same goes for the Penmachno Trail to the south, though this does involve a short section on the A470 if you feel brave.

If we’ve missed any out, you can always check the following link for all walks near Betws y Coed using our walking route search page.

Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Recommended Maps


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Dave Roberts

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