Gwydir Forest Park - Dolwyddelan, near Betws-y-coed

Enjoy views of Snowdonia’s peaks and a walk along a Roman road

What's here

Coronavirus update

 

Our sites and most visitor facilities are open.

 

We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.

 

Welcome

The village of Dolwyddelan is in the southern part of Gwydir Forest Park.

It grew into a large community when the nearby slate quarries were at their peak.

Nowadays it offers visitors a chance to get off the beaten track within Snowdonia National Park.

The waymarked walking trail has great views of the head of the valley and across to the mountain of Moel Siabod.

The route follows part of the Sarn Helen Roman road, used by legions of Roman soldiers marching between the fort at Caerhun and their large camp at Trawsfynydd.

There is a picnic area by the footbridge over the river, halfway along the walking trail.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Cwm Penamnen Walk

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2¼ miles/3.5 kilometres
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Trail information: The trail starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station. The trail mainly follows a wide forest road and a narrow tarmac road. There is one section of narrower path with a smooth surface where it crosses the river on a footbridge. Near the bridge, there are two picnic tables and a small parking space for two cars.

Take in a great view of the head of the valley and across to Moel Siabod.

The trail climbs gradually through the village and up a forest road with the Cwm opening up before you.

At the bridge admire the views of the rugged Carreg Alltrem, popular with climbers.

You return to Dolwyddelan along the Sarn Helen Roman road, which ran north to south through Wales, and past an interpretation panel at Tai Penamnen which tells the story of a community which is long gone.

Gwydir Forest Park

Dolwyddelan is in Gwydir Forest Park.

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.

Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.

Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.

Waymarked walks start from several Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park.

Two red graded mountain bike trails, Gwydir Mawr and Gwydir Bach, start from the car parks at Sawbench and Hafna.

Closures and diversions

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.
  • We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
  • Please always follow any instructions on site and any temporary diversion signs.

How to get here

Location

Dolwyddelan is 6 miles south west of Betws-y-coed.

It is in the county of Conwy.

Ordnance Survey map

Dolwyddelan is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 18.

The OS grid reference for the start of the trail is SH 737 521.

Directions

Take the A470 from Betws-y-coed towards Blaenau Ffestiniog.

After approximately 6 miles turn left by the shop into the village of Dolwyddelan.

Continue along this road and then turn left into the railway station car park where the walking trail starts.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Dolwyddelan.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.

Parking

The walking trail starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station.

This car park is managed by the local community and there is a parking charge.

Contact details

0300 065 3000

enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk 

Related document downloads

Cwm Penamnen Walk guide PDF [645.5 KB]

Other places in North West Wales