Now a Conservation Area, the oak woods hugging the hillsides above Afon Artro form a fine example of temperate forest which once covered most of Wales.
1. From the Inn
At the Victoria Inn, cross the bridge and bear left through a playing field then bear right to a left- hand gate. Follow a drive to a lane and turn left, passing above Afon Artro and ignoring a right-hand fork. After 150m, go right on a path uphill to a lane and turn left. After a house, bear left into Coed Aber Artro.
Known for its fine beech and sessile oak trees, this is a semi-natural woodland. During the autumn many mammals and birds feed on the fruit and nuts in the woods to help them build up reserves for the winter.
2. Into the trees
Follow the track to a lane and cross directly over to walk above a gorge and a reservoir. Cross a footbridge over Afon Cwmnantcol and head directly uphill, crossing to an upper lane. Enjoy the views and turn right to a footpath on the left. After a gate, climb a left-hand stile and descend to a corner where you veer right to a gap. Head towards the field’s top right-hand corner then pass the left side of a house. Bear left on a track to the gate into Coed Crafnant gate on your right. Or, if don’t want to enter the reserve, take the track downhill to Pen-y-bont.
3. Verdant paths
Coed Crafnant Reserve lies on a steep, rocky slope and its high rainfall provides humid conditions for mosses, lichens and liverworts. Part of this ancient wood was thinned about 100 years ago and there are open areas where grazing by sheep and feral goats, before it was fenced, prevented regeneration.
Follow the blue rope uphill. This part can be very wet but soon improves and is waymarked by red paint on posts, rocks and trees. Keep a watch for wrens looking for insects in rock crevices and nuthatches walking head first up and down tree trunks.
Eventually, the path descends to a wall where you bear right, climb a stile and soon continue beside the wall to a gate out of the reserve. Take the track past a barn and over a bridge, then left to the lane. Turn left, ignoring lanes on the right, to houses at Pen-y-bont. After 200m, bear right at a footpath signpost.
Follow the track to its end and enter a garden. Immediately go left to a small gate and slant right uphill, following a path around bends to a footpath signpost. Climb the stile then bear left on a path, going through a gap and over a hill into an oak wood. At a fork go left downhill into Coed Llety Walter, another broadleaved woodland, where you may spot finches and jays.
Follow the path through the reserve and, after two gates, continue ahead to a track. Turn left and ignore a right-hand track. Wide views open up ahead of you as you descend to take a right-hand track beside a fence. Pass a farm and go through a kissing-gate. Follow the left-hand wall to a gate and walk downhill through a wood to a lane. Turn left then right into Llanbedr.
For a well-deserved drink, head to The Victoria Inn in Llanbedr. There are also a range of other walks nearby, including a mountain trail starting at Rhosgadfan and a exploration of Tudor Wales at Gwydir Castle.
Head over to our guide for more great walks in Snowdonia National Park.
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