May Day Bank Holiday saw me, my friend Louise and little lad heading off to Beddgelert for a peaceful country walk.
‘Beddgelert on a bank holiday?’ I hear you cry, no Wales Trails hasn’t gone crazy, we were there to check out a walk recommended by National Trust that promises peace, solitude and a circular walk of about 10km.
Starting from the Nant Gwynant pay and display car park, we were lucky enough to get a parking spot at about 11.30 presumably someone much more organised than I had finished their walk and headed home moments earlier.
The walk starts by following the Watkin Path through the ancient oak woodland. The forest floor was carpeted with bluebells that day and the oak trees were unfurling delicate, translucent leaves – such a beautiful Spring sight.
In this woodland section, there is a place where you could easily go heading off in completely the wrong direction, I know because I’ve done exactly that while on a walk with my mum and entire family – I can’t take full credit for the futile detour my brother, and sister were involved. Needless to say, we wasted an hour or more, gave up and headed back to Caffi Gwynant for an excellent afternoon tea.
The tricky bit is at a way-marker which appeared to indicate we should leave the path and head uphill, it seems plausible as there is a sort-of path heading up hill (see the photo). This is not the way, not for this walk anyway.
Continue through the woodland following the Watkin path up as the trees give way to moorland. Here the hillside was tinted blue by a thick carpet of bluebells and it was on this section we heard a distant cuckoo.
Just before the Watkin path heads of to the right in the direction of the waterfalls our route went off to the left, here we left the crowds.
The route follows a grassy track for a while before crossing stiles and using stepping stones across the boggy land. We came to a lovely ‘bwlch’, where we met some other walkers coming in the opposite direction – the first people we’d met since leaving the Walkin.
We had our lunch at the highest point on the walk, before heading down past old mines and derelict buildings.
The path is easy to follow there is excellent signage provided by the National Trust the whole way round, not wanting to keep things simple we deviated from the route on the way down, rather heading off across a bridge close to a ruin we decided to try for a quicker route down as my little boy was flagging – it was a lovely detour but having studied the map, it was no quicker.
Eventually we reached Craflwyn, the National Trust Property, we continued on our route crossing the main road and picking up the official trail once again. From here it was still 5km to the car, and to be honest we were very concerned that we’d not make it to Cafii Gwynant for a slice of their outstanding homemade carrot cake before it closed!
This section of the walk meanders along the river before reaching Llyn Dinas, this section was a dream, the afternoon sun sparkled on the lake all the way back to Nant Gwynant. A combination of stunning views and haribos got my son back, this walk was a stretch for him distance-wise.
This was one of the nicest walks I’ve done in while, the terrain is varied and provides stunning mountain views from up high and lowland views of the gorgeous river and lake-scape of Nant Gwynant. It was stunning in Spring, but Autumn would be equally impressive as the colours change.
You can find my route map on here – do not rely on this for navigation though please take an OS map of the area!
You can also use the excellent instructions provided by the National Trust. If you look at this map, we started our route from point 6 in an anticlockwise direction.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Caffi Gwynant – it’s amazing. Best carrot cake in the world ever. Really it is. Visit the website here: