Walk: Beddgelert, Llyn Dinas and Aberglaslyn Pass, Gwynedd
Right in the heart of Snowdonia, surrounded by craggy, frost-cracked mountains, is the cosy village of Beddgelert. This spectacular circular walk starts and ends at the village, taking in Llyn Dinas, the remnants of Sygun Copperworks, Bwlch y Sygun, Cwm Bychan and the gorgeous Afon Glaslyn.
This route traverses the low terrain of central Snowdonia (Eryri in Welsh). It weaves through or alongside National Trust Cymru land, from Beddgelert at the confluence of the Glaslyn and Colwyn rivers, to glassy Llyn Dinas, the remnants of Sygun Copperworks, Bwlch y Sygun, Cwm Bychan and the path clutching Afon Glaslyn.
You could begin (and end) this walk at the National Trust car park at Nantmor. But for a more pleasing day out it's best to start at Beddgelert – where there are pubs, cafes, a pleasing legend about a dog, and crucially, buses to and from Porthmadog and Caernarfon.
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Beddgelert, Llyn Dinas and Aberglaslyn Pass walk
5.5 miles/8.8km | 361m accent | 3.5 hours | moderate-challenging
1. Out of Beddgelert
Cross the footbridge then turn left, following Lôn Gwynant (a low level walking route than links Beddgelert with Nant Gwynant).
2. Marvelous mines
After a mile or so you will arrive at Sygun Copper Mine, which is closed in winter but worth bearing in mind for summer. Meanwhile rusting wheels, pulleys, and relics are visible elsewhere on this route. Opened in the 18th century, copper from here was traded in Abertawe (Swansea) till small mines like Sygun became uncompetitive.
3. Glassy llyn
On reaching Llyn Dinas, the white noise of Afon Glaslyn cedes to the silent glacial lake, framed here by a filigree of branches and an escort of peaks - Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) herself and consorts. Turning immediately right, take the stony path that climbs roughly south up Bwlch-y-Sygun.
Spectacular SnowdoniaPacked with great mountain climbs, idyllic river walks, lakeside rambles and coastal hikes, Snowdonia National Park is the perfect getaway location for hiking. Explore this incredible corner of Wales with our pick of the best walks in Snowdonia.
4. Up the hill
After half a mile and 150m of accent you will reach a boggy plateau, with views back to Llyn Dinas, set in an ice-scoured landscape. Enjoy too the copper and burnt sienna hues of plants around the spoil tips which themselves are still too toxic for regeneration. Follow the signs pointing left to Aberglaslyn.
5. Summit to river
A further half a mile and 100m of accent brings you to Bwlch-y-Sygun.
Take the left path and descend south then south-south-west down Cwm Bychan, passing copper-mine pulleys and wheels, confronting sea views and coastal wind.
Bearing right along a tributary to Afon Glaslyn, mixed woodland leads you to the National Trust car park and toilet block at Nantmor.
6. River return
The Fisherman’s Path returns you, thrillingly, to Beddgelert. Treacherous when icy, this trail is hewn from rock around cliffs, boulders and adits, providing passage along the tumultuous river as it tumbles, all cauldrons and angry jacuzzis, torrents and chasms and pools.
Cross the narrow gauge railway then the footbridge to return to Beddgelert along the left bank.
Beddgelert, Llyn Dinas and Aberglaslyn Pass map
Julie Brominicks is a landscape and travel writer who lives off-grid in a caravan in a mossy Welsh valley.