Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis
1 May 2019, 2019
The A4086 at lake Llynnau Mymbyr
Betws-y-coed is a village lying within beautiful Welsh countryside in the Snowdonia National Park and on the A5 London to Holyhead road which leads to the ferry link to Dublin. The area is popular for walking, fishing and hiking, and a convenient base for those climbing Snowdonia. It’s also a great place to stop for a break, get some fresh air, and admire the wonderful views. The road from Betws-y-Coed to the National Slate Museum in Llanberis is particularly stunning and a very enjoyable journey.
One of the most magical places I’ve ever visited is the Fairy Glen Gorge which sits just outside the village of Betws-y-Coed. There is a lovely short walk in and around the lusciously green gorge starting at the carpark on the A470. From there an honesty box collects 50p per person to cover maintenance and upkeep of the site. It’s an adventurous walk along the river and a little bit of clambering over the rocks is rewarded with the best views of the gorge.
Following the A5 for just a few miles from Betws-y-Coed towards Capel Curig, you will find the mighty Swallow Falls waterfall on the river Afon Llugwy. It boasts to be the most photographed waterfall in the UK and to have the opportunity to get right up close to hear the roar of the water and witness the sheer force of the falls, makes for a truly awesome experience. Free parking at the entrance to the falls is possible at the layby on the opposite side of the road to the Swallow Falls pub. There is, however, a small charge to gain access to the falls and visitors are required to feed a few pound coins into the turnstiles at the entrance before a short and steep descent down the valley.
Clambering over the rocks at the Fairy Glen Gorge
A4086 from Pen-y-Pass to Llanberis
Continuing towards Llanberis from Capel Curig, the A4086 hugs the banks of lake Llynnau Mymbyr backdropped by the Snowdonian mountains. For those with a full day to spare and good leg muscles, the all-day car park at Pen-y-Pass gives access to Snowdon peak. Parking there is only for hikers spending the day in the mountains and unfortunately there is no admittance for those wanting a short break or a quick look around.
After the road winds its way around the rugged countryside it leads to the village of Llanberis, the National Slate Museum, and the Llanberis Lake Railway. The museum permits free parking, in some designated bays, long enough for a short but very pleasant walk around the country estate overlooking lake Llyn Padarn. Alternatively, pay to park and look around the museum, entry is free!