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Janus Path, Llyn Cwellyn

Distance: 400 metres
Grade: Accessible Walk
Start / Finish: Snowdon Ranger Car Park, on the A4085 between Rhyd Ddu and Betws Garmon (SH 564 551)
Relevant map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL 17 (Snowdon & Conwy Valley)
Public Transport: Bus Service No. S4 (Snowdon Sherpa). For more details visit or phone 0871 200 22 33
Facilities: Disabled parking, accessible toilet, benches and accessible picnic tables

What is special about this path?
This path is an accessible wooden boardwalk through the woodland at the edge of Llyn Cwellyn where you can enjoy total tranquillity in the land of the Fairies. Visitors will be struck by the affinity of the path with nature, and from this spot you will be able to see many of Snowdonia’s most magnificent views of Snowdon and the surrounding mountains. If you look through the windows at the far end of the boardwalk, you will see how the same view changes according to the frame used. How many views can you see?

Why Janus?
Janus is a god with two faces. He can see this world and the other world at the same time, and came to symbolise change and transition. He became known as the god of gates, bridges and forks in paths - places of barriers and choices. A fitting name - I wonder if you will agree...?

Why Fairies?

It is very common in Wales for Fairytales to be connected with lakes, and the Llyn Cwellyn tale is no exception.

It is about a young shepherd from Betws Garmon who fell head over heels in love with a fairy who lived in the lake. The young shepherd abducted the fairy and in time, she agreed to become his wife on one condition; that he was never to strike her with iron. On breaking this condition the fairy wife would return to her people in the other world.

For many years they both lived happily together, the farm prospered and two children were born to them. One day, the couple were trying to catch a horse to sell at the fair, but as the husband threw a bridle at the horse he accidentally struck his wife on the cheek with the iron bit. In a flash, his fairy wife had disappeared back into the lake and was never to be seen again, apart from one night when she came to her husband's window in the middle of the night to ask him to take good care of her children.

The same story is linked to many areas although sometimes the condition is that the husband is not to discover the fairy's real name, or another is that the fairy must not touch the ground.

Make of the tale what you will but the boardwalk does not allow you to touch the ground, and iron has been incorporated into the barrier across the path to the lake.

Janus Path
Janus Path
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