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Lôn Gwyrfai

Distance: Approximately 4½ miles / 7 kilometres
Grade: Moderate Leisure Route
Start/Finish: SNPA Car Park in Rhyd Ddu or Beddgelert (both are ‘Pay and Display’)
Grid Reference: SH 571 526 (Rhyd Ddu), SH 588 482 (Beddgelert)
Terrain: Wide and even paths with some steep sections. Path surface varies from crushed slate and gravel to tarmac.
Map: OS Explorer OL17(Snowdon & Conwy Valley).
Lôn Gwyrfai

Note: This map is intended as a rough guide only. You should use the most recent version of the relevant Ordnance Survey map (see above) when walking this route.

About this walk

This is a multi-use recreational path created especially for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The path leads through a variety of landscapes offering fantastic views of the surrounding area.

The path from Rhyd Ddu to Llyn y Gadair is even and wide and therefore suitable for some wheelchairs. The remainder of the path has some steep sections, and there is a footbridge to cross in Beddgelert Forest.

If you don’t fancy walking both ways, you can create a circular route by using the bus service, or the Welsh Highland Railway to bring you back to the start. For timetables, call the numbers or follow the links below:
Traveline Cymru: 0871 200 22 33 or
Welsh Highland Railway: 01766 516000 or

Lôn Gwyrfai

The route (from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert)

1. The path starts directly opposite the entrance to the SNPA car park in Rhyd Ddu. The first part of the route will take you to Llyn y Gadair and along the causeway which supported the railway that transported slate from Gadair-wyllt Quarry. The quarry was operational between 1885 and 1920, and for a period slate waste was dumped in the lake!

2. Llyn y Gadair lake, and Afon Gwyrfai river that flows out of it, is of great ecological value as it sustains a wide variety of plants and wildlife of national importance, such as the Arctic Char, and Floating water-plantain.

Beautiful views of the surrounding area can be enjoyed from here. Snowdon and Yr Aran stand to the east, and Mynydd Mawr, Y Garn and Mynydd Drws y Coed to the west.

3. The path then enters Beddgelert Forest, a conifer and broadleaved forest. There is a vast network of public footpaths here so make sure that you follow the Lôn Gwyrfai way markers.

4. The path emerges out of the forest for a while at Pont Cae’r Gors. Take care when crossing the railway line.

5. After following the track down from Pont Cae’r Gors you will cross Afon Cwm Du river via an old eighteenth century stone bridge that was used to carry coach and horse traffic to Caernarfon.

6. The path climbs gradually towards Hafod Ruffydd Uchaf where you can take a seat on one of the benches and enjoy the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. From Hafod Ruffydd Uchaf you will make your way down to the Beddgelert Forest Campsite.

For a while, the path will weave in and out of the forest, offering beautiful views of the surrounding area, alternated with the otherworldly atmosphere of the forest.

7. The path eventually comes out of the forest onto open farmland on the foothills of Moel Hebog, where a striking view of Moel y Dyniewyd can be enjoyed, before gradually descending towards Cwm Cloch.

8. From Cwm Cloch the route follows the road down to Beddgelert, bearing right before the railway bridge to go to the car park near the Welsh Highland Railway Station in Beddgelert.

Communities and Nature
The work of developing this path was part funded by the Communities and Nature project, which is a £14.5m European funded project led and managed by Natural Resources Wales. CAN aims to generate economic growth and sustainable jobs by capitalising on Wales' environmental qualities, particularly its landscape and wildlife. CAN is part funded by the European Regional Development fund through the Welsh Government.

Llyn y Gadair

The jaunty traveller that comes to peer
Across its shallows to the scene beyond
Would almost not see it. Mountains here
Have far more beauty than this bit of pond
With one man fishing in a lonely boat
Whipping the water, rowing now and then
Like a poor errant wretch, condemned to float

The floods of nightmare never reaching land.
But there’s some sorcerer’s bedevilling art
That makes me see a heaven in its face,
Though glory in that aspect has no part
Nor on its shore is any excelling grace –
Nothing but peat bog, dead stumps brittle and brown
Two crags, and a pair of quarries, both closed down.

T H Parry Williams (translated by Tony Conran)

360 Panoramic view

Lôn Gwyrfai
Lôn Gwyrfai

Click on the image below to download a printable map:
Lôn Gwyrfai Path Map
Buy the relevant OS Map:
Explorer OL18

Respect the Environment!
If you’re going out for a walk,
please take all your rubbish
home with you
fruit skins
& cigarette

Advice for Dog Owners »

Sherpa Bus
Use the Sherpa service to travel to your starting point and walk back to your vehicle at your own pace.
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Sherpa Bus Timetables »

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