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The Swallow Falls Trail Waymarked Walk

By Dave Roberts   

on February 28, 2019    4/5 (1)

The Swallow Falls Trail Waymarked Walk

Further Details

Route Summary:

A short, way-marked route in the Gwydr Forest to Rhaeadr Ewynnol, also known as the Swallow Falls.

Route Start Location: Ty'n Llwyn - on minor road between Ty Hyll and Betws-y-coed

3.29 km 184 m 1 hour

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

Activivity Type: Easy Moderate Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Plenty of cafes and hotels in Betws-y-coed as well as a convenience store but nothing on or near the walk.


The section before the falls has a steep drop protected by a wire fence.

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 :

Free parking at start.

Public Transport:

None – you’ll need to walk in from Ty Hyll which is on the Betws-y-coed – Capel Curig Snowdon Sherpa route.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


The Swallow Falls Trail Waymarked Walk Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

The Swallow Falls Trail Waymarked Walk

Rhaeadr Ewynnol, or the The Swallow falls are a popular destination for tourists to Betws-y-coed and nearby. This route starts from the Ty’n Llwyn viewpoint on the minor road between Ty Hyll, Llyn Sarnau and Betws-y-coed deep in the Gwydyr Forest. The going is good with the walk being way-marked in yellow the whole distance. While the huge notice at the start notes it as an ‘easy’ walk, the ascent and nature of some of the tracks makes this a moderate walk – which is how it’s described on the informational board. We don’t know if there’s a specific word for a  carving ‘typo’?!

The Swallow Falls Trail Route Description

1 The track initially descends from the picnic area, following good footpaths. Be warned that it crosses the popular Gwydr Mawr MTB trail, so take care not to linger on those sections! Ensure you take the first junction left when the trail splits (or you’ll do it in reverse instead, no big deal) and continue downhill until you join a forestry track. Turn right on this, then an immediate left (way-marked).

2 The trail continues towards the Afon Llygwy, which you should be able to hear, and joins the route from Betws-y-coed and the Snowdonia Slate Trail for the section to the Swallow Falls. This section follows a ledge on a cliff, high above the Llygwy and makes an impressive approach to the Swallow Falls

3 The highlight of the walk is the Swallow Falls viewing platform. Those on the other side of the river have had a shorter walk, but have to pay a small fee in order to view the falls. It’s free from this side, and worth the extra effort.

4 The trail continues to head uphill, with an optional diversion left to a flat area above the falls, an ideal lunch spot. The track widens, and avoid the right of way that heads off left towards the river. Continue on the now wide track, while keeping an eye open for the yellow way-marker that marks the point you need to leave the track.

5 The final section is all uphill, and reasonably steep. Take care crossing the Gwydr Mawr MTB trail, and keep on climbing until you rejoin the path you left earlier. Follow this to the start.

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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