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Walk up Tal y Fan from Llanfairfechan

By Dave Roberts   

on January 20, 2021    No ratings yet.

Walk up Tal y Fan from Llanfairfechan

Further Details

Route Summary:

A walk to the northernmost mountain in Wales – Tal y Fan from Llanfairfechan.

This walk includes the 2 Washis of Tal y Fan, Foel Lwyd

This walk includes the Hewitt of Tal y Fan

This walk includes the Nuttall of Tal y Fan

Route Start Location: Llanfairfechan - Nant y Coed Local Nature Reserve

14 km 650 m 5hrs 30min

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

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Pubs, cafes and a well stocked Co-op can be found in Llanfairfechan.


Navigation can be tricky on sections of the walk as the route is not always obvious when on path, and section of the route head off cross country on pathless sections.

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 : LL33 0ER

Limited parking is available at the beginning of walk at Teiryd Car Park / Three Streams Car Park

Public Transport:

Frequent buses pass through Llanfairfechan from Bangor and Llandudno as well as being on the North Wales railway line. You’ll need to add an additional 3km to the walk.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Walk up Tal y Fan from Llanfairfechan Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Tal y Fan from Llanfairfechan

This circular walk from Llanfairfechan takes in Tal y Fan as well as it’s lower neighbour, Foel Lwyd. It then returns via the North Wales Path along a good track with fine views and historic interest in the form of stone circles.

Llanfairfechan is an ideal starting location for the Northern Carneddau. While Aber is much more popular, it can also be too popular with tourists heading to the falls and sometimes you just need a quieter route.

NOTE  – this route has been updated with new information and upscaled images during January 2021 as a DESK BASED EXERCISE! Nobody’s out on the hills. We’re following all the rules ar Mud and Routes!

Getting to the Nant y Coed Nature Reserve.

Finding the start of the walk can be tricky in itself! If approaching from A55 J15 follow the road into the village. Just past the Village Inn you’ll come to traffic lights. Turn left up Village Road and follow this road for around 300m. When the road turns right over a bridge, you’ll need to continue forwards along Bryn Road – there’s a small signpost “Valley Road”. Continue along this road, which becomes Valley Road, for 1.2km and just after you cross the bridge take the left-hand junction which is signposted as a dead end. The road narrows, with the car park being well hidden on your left in around 700m. After that, the walk should be a piece of cake!

Walk up Tal y Fan from Llanfairfechan

1 The walk starts at the Teiryd car park where you can find the footpath near the entrance. Follow this track, not the drive to the right that’s clearly marked ‘Cammarnaint’.

Note that you can follow steps 1 – 4 on Google Street view:

2 The walk follows a confusion of ancient lanes and sunken paths, but so long as you keep an eye out for the granite way markers that mark the Llanfairfechan Trail, the going on the first section should be straightforward enough. You’ll quickly gain height and you’ll be treated to the views up and down the wooded valley as well as towards the Dinas hill fort.

3 The path soon brings you out onto the rougher uplands, characterised around here with short cropped turf and huge gorse bushes. Paths are plentiful, too much so, as they’re made by the Carneddau ponies in all directions. It can be rather boggy in places too. Or treacherously icy on rare occasions like today. The certainty is the expansive views behind you towards Liverpool Bay and Anglesey.

4 You can follow the waymarked route directly to Bwlch y Ddeufaen, and it’s probably recommended that you do that and follow the wall up Foel Lwyd directly from there. We took the direct route – as Tal y Fan is one of those hills that’s almost climbable from all directions. While I’ve ascended it many times, I can’t recall having ever duplicated any route to this summit. Following a re-entrant, we were soon at the wall that marks this mountain’s ridge, though it was rather slippery in the thin coating of snow and hidden heather underneath. The more direct route up from Bwlch y Ddeufaen is steeper.

5 Foel Lwyd is perhaps the most underwhelming summit I can think of. Not that it isn’t a special spot that you can stop, lunch and savour the view. More that you’ve past it before you realise it, and you’re climbing Tal y Fan.

6 Tal y Fan can be reached from Foel Lwyd by following the wall to the bwlch. From here, climb the narrow path, keeping the wall to your right (the OS map shows the path on the opposite side, but the path is fainter than the one on the opposite side of the wall and the views are less open). There are a few scrambly sections, and the first summit is a false one. You have to climb down and then climb to the proper one, which was today over crowded.

7 Descending Tal y Fan provides just as many options as the ascent. The best option, is to continue along the summit ridge and descend either to the quarry at Maen Pendddu or keep with the wall as it changes direction from a roughly NE to SE direction and follow the green track around to Maen Penddu. In keeping with today’s route, we decided to head cross country towards the track at SH732 735 where there’s a dilapidated sheep shelter, by the most inelegant means.

8 The trail continues, contouring to the west of Cefn Maen Amor and passing above some largely disused reservoirs to the left. When the trail starts to turn east, take a path directly ahead and towards a dilapidated smallholding. This is where you join the North Wales Path. This follows the wall of the small holding towards the river, and can be boggy. Cross the river and head uphill, following the plentiful markers, until you arrive at a well made green track where you turn left towards Bryn Derwydd.

9 Bryn Derwydd is a surprising building to find in this largely desolate upland, but is surrounded by improved pasture and quite possibly sheltered by the higher ground behind it. An idyllic place to live, if you’re not burdened with the need to drive to work.


10 Keep following the way markers for the North Wales Path, you’d need to fall asleep to get lost on the rest of the route as they’re at every turn and junction. The next section is just underneath Cefn Coch, but you really should follow the track up along the slightly higher ground to see the stone circles. You’ll see them on the horizon before you reach them.

11 This is the most obvious sign of stone age man, though anyone interested in such matters can find remains all over this area which must have been densely populated for the time in pre-historic times and into Roman times. The most obvious signs of man today are the huge granite quarry, which you fortunately cannot see from this track, and the off-shore wind farms which you can.

12 It’s downhill all the way now, with initially a green lane and then joining a tarmac lane known as Newry Drive.

13 Once at the end of Newry Drive, you’ll reach the lower car park for the nature reserve. You can follow the path up along the river to the start of the walk, but this is currently closed as of 2021 (more info here).  Alternatively, you can cross the bridge seen below and you’ll find yourself on the approach lane to the car park which you followed to get here. Turn left and the car park will be on your left in 500m.

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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