Local Area Information

Information is available in the house detailing local facilities which will appeal to many groups of people:-

Walkers, both fell walkers and strollers

Mountain bikers with demanding runs nearby

Families- with many beaches in easy reach and other activities for wet weather.

Peace and quiet for those who just want to get away for a short break!

 

In the meantime here are some helpful links followed by some tasters.

betws-y-coed.co.uk/activity

woodlandtrust.org.uk/detectives

outdooradventureactivities.com

pyb.co.uk

attractionsofsnowdonia.com/attractions/familyfun

conwayrailwaymuseum.co.uk

forestry.gov.uk/coedybrenin

 

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Betws-y-Coed area of North Wales has some of the best mountain biking trails in the UK!

Snowdonia is quickly becoming known as an area ideally situated and resourced for mountain biking.

The terrain surrounding the village of Betws-y-Coed is host to, and spans, an extensive network of forest trails and true mountain routes.

Whether you are interested in gentle rides to explore the local history and hidden valleys of the region or desire a challenging epic ride, which offers glorious views of Snowdonia, there is something here to suit the needs and desires of everyone.

The Marin Trial is a major Forest Enterprise scheme similar to the venue at Coed-y-Brenin. The Gwydyr Wales Bike Project is constructing a purpose built, cross-country route of an all-weather single track, designed and constructed by a local team of trained track builders. This development in the Gwydyr Forest will also be joined by a separate scheme run by the Eryri (Snowdonia) Bike Club and is developing down hill and dual slalom courses with a trials area.

Mountain Biking in the Gwydyr Forest

Gwydyr Forest is right on the doorstep of Betws-y- Coed, the undisputed outdoor capital of North Wales. Situated in the heart of the breathtaking scenery of the Snowdonia national park yet less than an hour from English motorways.

The Gwydyr trail, built in association with Marin bikes, leaves from Gwydyr Forest centre, a couple of miles north of town. Long challenging climbs lead to miles of brand new technical singletrack weaving through trees and boulders, across streams and down snaking ridge lines to get your heart and brakes pumping. Alternatively you can explore the hundreds of km of fire road trails yourself.

Whichever you choose, cascading waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, awe inspiring mountain vistas and forgotten river valleys deep in the Gwydyr forest provide a stunning scenic backdrop. Betws-y-Coed itself is packed with cafes, restaurants, pubs and outdoor shops as well as an excellent bike shop and a wide range of accommodation in the town and local area.

Gwydir Forest - The Marin Trail Big climbs, big views, big descents, this trail has it all. It really feels like "proper" mountain biking as the climbs take you further into the forest, the views get more spectacular and the singletrack just gets better and better. The trail starts at a small car park and there are no trailhead facilities such as toilets, so fill your water bottles before you leave home. This trail is remote and help could be a long time coming, so make sure you are equiped for any eventuality. Take plenty to eat and drink, some spares and tools and make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back. Other people use these trails too, so please be polite and slow down for walkers and horses. Most of all have a great ride. Distance : 25km Climbing : 450m Time : 2 - 4 hours Grade : Difficult

Towns and Villages of Snowdonia

Snowdonia is Wales' most dramatic area

Snowdonia is Wales’ most dramatic area with Snowdon the highest summit south of Scotland. Its Welsh name, Eryri, is either derived from eryr - land of eagles, or perhaps more appropriately now the eagles have gone, eira - land of snow.

The Welsh for the highest point `Yr Wyddfa' - the burial place - indicates that people have been climbing the peak for millennia. Going even further back, geologists have found 500 million year old fossil shells here from when Snowdon was on the sea bed.

Snowdon

The remoteness provided a hiding place for the last true prince of Wales, Llewelyn ap Gruffydd in 1277 during his final battle with Edward I and it is from here Owain Glyndwr carried on his valiant struggle against the English in the early 15th century. The Snowdonia National Park stretches from Conwy in the north to Aberdyfi in the south, taking in not only mountain peaks and thirteenth century fortresses but also ancient wooded valleys and rushing rivers.

Conwy is one of the most complete walled towns in Europe and with its castle sitting almost atop the town what could be more picturesque. Galleries, interesting shops and good places to eat abound. Or take a look around Plas Mawr, the beautifully restored Elizabethan town house. Head for the hills and there are plenty of interesting small towns to explore. Llanberis lies beside Lake Padarn and with the nearby village of Capel Curig are centres for the outdoor enthusiast, both villages have climbing shops galore. Llanberis is also the starting point for the Snowdon mountain railway. For those who prefer the easy way up mountains, it has been carrying passengers since 1896.

Llanberis is home the Welsh Slate Museum or you can venture underground to see the hydroelectric power station, Electric Mountain. Capel Curig’s chief claim to fame is the National Mountaineering Centre, Plas yr Brennin, running courses in all sorts of outdoor activities. Llanrwst lies alongside the river too with a lovely 17th century bridge. The ivy clad picturesque 15th century tea room on the river bank looks more like a picture postcard than its long lost role as a courthouse. Round Ancaster Square are shops pubs and place to eat.

Beddgelert tucked away in the Aberglaslyn Pass boasts locally made ice cream river walks to see the grave of the faithful dog Gelert and quaint cottages of which several can serve you everything from sandwiches to souvenirs.

Blaenau Ffestiniog gets its character from the slate quarries that surround it. Now a visitor attraction Llechwedd Slate Caverns are well worth the trip underground to see how the miners worked. Or take a trip on the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway from the town down through spectacular scenery to the harbour at Porthmadog Bala & Penllyn is situated in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales, in an area known as the Welsh Lake District. The area has dramatic scenery with mountains almost touching 3,000 ft high, deep valleys, fast flowing streams, rivers, waterfalls, forests and many lakes. Visitors can enjoy the Bala & Penllyn area or use it as an excellent base to explore both Mid-Wales and North-Wales including Snowdonia.

 Gardens of North Wales

North Wales is full of gardens. So many, in fact, you’d be forgiven for wondering where one ends and the next one starts. Things grow bigger and better in our great outdoors, too. It’s our climate that does it. Being so close to the sea, and all that rain. Which could explain why there are 18 record-breaking trees at Bodnant Garden. And why Dibleys nursery has picked up 18 gold awards at the Chelsea Flower Show. And you won’t be surprised that Portmeirion has plants usually found in the Brazilian rainforest growing happily outdoors. And that Medwyn Williams’ vegetables have won him ten gold medals at Chelsea. Or that Erddig’s crop of apples is so big they have to throw a festival in its honour..

National Trust Gardens of North Wales The National Trust gardens of North Wales are in good company. They’re just a few of the UK’s historic parks and gardens cared for by the National Trust. The Trust is responsible for some of the most important collections of cultivated plants in the world, too.  So these national treasures can be enjoyed by everyone.

A visit to Bodnant Gardens in a must and is only 20 minutes from Arwel.