Gwydir Forest Park - Dolwyddelan, near Betws-y-coed

What's here

Welcome

The village of Dolwyddelan is in the southern part of Gwydir Forest Park.

It grew into a large community when the nearby slate quarries were at their peak.

Nowadays it offers visitors a chance to get off the beaten track within Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

The waymarked walking trail has great views of the head of the valley and across to the mountain of Moel Siabod, and the route follows part of the Sarn Helen Roman road, used by legions of Roman soldiers marching between the fort at Caerhun and their large camp at Trawsfynydd.

The short cycle trail also has great views of the surrounding mountains.

There is a picnic area by the footbridge over the river, halfway along the walking trail.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Penamnen Walk

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles/3.4 kilometres
  • Time: 1½ hours
  • Trail information: The trail starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station. This trail mainly follows a wide forest road and a single-track tarmac lane, linked together by a wide, well-surfaced path where it crosses the river
    on a footbridge. Near the bridge, there are two picnic tables with views towards the mountains.

Take in a great view of the head of the valley and across to Moel Siabod.

The trail climbs gradually through the village and up a forest road with the valley opening up before you.

At the bridge admire the views of the rugged Carreg Alltrem, popular with climbers.

You return to Dolwyddelan along the Sarn Helen Roman road.

The route goes past the ruins of Tai Penamnen - look out for the information panel and learn about the original house, linked to the Wynns of Gwydir Castle, which dates back to at least the 15th century.

Cycle trail

All our mountain bike trails are waymarked from start to finish and have been graded for difficulty.

At the start of the trail there is an information panel – please read this before setting off.

Penamnen Cycle Trail

  • Grade: Forest road and similar
  • Distance: 5 miles/8.1 kilometres
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Climb: 164 metres/538 feet
  • Trail information: A climb on forest roads to the head of the valley and back with a riverside picnic site en-route. Take care on the steep descent back to the village and look out for traffic on the tarmac road.

Enjoy stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains.

Gwydir Forest Park

Dolwyddelan is in Gwydir Forest Park.

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park and encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.

Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.

Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.

Waymarked trails start from Betws-y-coed and several other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park:

  • Betws-y-coed - peaceful forest walks away from the tourist bustle
  • Cae'n y Coed - easy-to-find picnic area and walk with panoramic mountain views
  • Cyffty Mine - short trail around abandoned lead mine
  • Hafna - walking trail through lead mine ruins and red-graded mountain bike trail
  • Llyn Crafnant - walking trails around the lake and accessible riverside trail
  • Llyn Geirionydd - picnic site with walking trail around two beautiful lakes
  • Llyn Sarnau - picnic spot with a walk to two scenic lakes
  • Penmachno - remote mountain bike trails with spectacular views
  • Sawbench - two red-graded mountain bike trails and historical walk
  • Ty’n Llwyn – walking trail to the famous Swallow Falls waterfall

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Gwydir Forest Park is set in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

Eryri is the largest National Park in Wales and is home to picturesque towns and villages and the highest mountain in Wales.

It is looked after by the Eryri National Park Authority.

For more information about visiting Eryri go to the Eryri National Park Authority website.

National Forest for Wales

Gwydir Forest Park forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Changes to trails

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to the trails here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here

Location

Dolwyddelan is 6 miles south west of Betws-y-coed.

It is in the county of Conwy.

Ordnance Survey map

Dolwyddelan is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 18.

The OS grid reference for the start of the trail is SH 737 521.

Directions

Take the A470 from Betws-y-coed towards Blaenau Ffestiniog.

After approximately 6 miles turn left by the shop into the village of Dolwyddelan.

Continue along this road and then turn left into the railway station car park where the walking trail starts.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Dolwyddelan.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.

Parking

The walking trail starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station.

This car park is managed by the local community and there is a parking charge.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Related document downloads

Cwm Penamnen Walk guide PDF [645.5 KB]

Other places in North West Wales

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