Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert via Lon Gwyrfai is an easy bike ride for the all the family, even little children can enjoy the off-road feel. The run to Beddgelert is mostly downhill and takes you over a causeway, through woodland, forestry and farmland. Lon Gwyrfai brings you into Beddgelert at the station of the Welsh Highland Railway – where, during the tourist season you can hop on the train back to Rhyd Ddu. Bikes are not a problem they can be stowed safely in the guard’s van – but please arrange this with the Welsh Highland Railway.
If you’d like to extend the route by a few kilometres then you can take in either the Bedwen or Derwen mountain bike itineraries accessible from the forestry car park which is a very easy detour off Lon Gwyrfai.
Our Day Out
A beautiful February morning recently gave us the opportunity to have a blast on the mountain bikes with Elen (7 years) and Sam (5 years).
We’ve wanted give the little ones a mountain biking experience for some time and a stunningly warm February day gave us the perfect opportunity.
So, we headed off up the Nantlle Valley (Dyffryn Nantlle in Welsh) where we knew we could park at the Welsh Highland Railway car park and head off down Lon Gwyrfai, a multiuse track that will take you to Beddgelert on a well signposted path – a distance of about 7.5km.
This trail is perfect for giving little kiddies a flavour of mountain biking without the really big uphill drags.
Dyffryn Nantlle offers a beautiful drive, once through Waunfawr from Caernarfon the scenery really comes into its own with views of Lake Cwellyn (Llyn Cwellyn) on the righthand side and Snowdon on the left.
Rhyd Ddu car park is just beyond the village of Rhyd Ddu, and the beginning of Lon Gwyrfai is across the road. The car park is pay and display and there are toilets and it’s here you can catch the Welsh Highland Railway all the way to either Caernarfon or Porthmadog.
Once on the track you set off under the shadow of Nantlle Ridge, a causeway takes you past Llyn Cadair where there are some quarry working ruins, this is a lovely place to stop for a picnic or a flask of coffee if all you need is a short stroll, breath of fresh air and a view.
The cycle track takes the rider through a lovely little wooded area, the kids loved spotting the bat boxes and whizzing down the hill and peddling like mad up the other side. The trail continues through the Beddgelert Forestry which feels remote and secluded despite its proximity to the road.
Eventually the track leads up to a panoramic view point with an information panel that details the peaks around Snowdon. From here it’s mostly downhill to Beddgelert where there are pubs and cafes for well deserved refreshments.
We stopped at Hebog Cafe and Bistro where we enjoyed a Peroni and ice cream for the kids.
Beddgelert is also known for its ice cream parlour which is open during the holiday season, the coffee house across the road serves a delicious Americano and the Saracen’s Head is a firm favourite for pub grub and drinks.
It’s a tough old slog back up to Rhud Ddu on bikes – if you have little children with you – so if you don’t fancy it the S4 bus goes back to Rhyd Ddu and takes less than 10 minutes, in the summer when the Welsh Highland Railway runs regularly its possible to catch the train back. Bikes can be stowed in the in the guard’s carriage, I would urge you arrange this in advance.
National Park website information: http://www.eryri.llyw.cymru/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/382732/lonGwyrfai_e.pdf
Beddgelert Forest information leaflet: http://www.mbwales.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/beddgelert-trails-leaflet-1.pdf