Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd walk

Ganllwyd, Gwynedd

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Water rushing down the river Gamlan © NTPL

Water rushing down the river Gamlan

The spectacular waterfall at Dolmelynllyn, Gwynedd © National Trust

The spectacular waterfall at Dolmelynllyn, Gwynedd

The path goes through open oak woodland © Simon Fraser

The path goes through open oak woodland

Route overview

This is a great waterside walk, taking you alongside the turbulent River Gamlan and past the magnificent Rhaeadr Ddu waterfalls. They look different every time you visit, depending on rainfall, weather and light.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map showing route of a walk round Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd, Gwynedd
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Ganllwyd car park, grid ref: SH727243

  1. Cross the road from the car park towards the recently restored corrugated iron village hall.

  2. Follow the tarmac road alongside the river then follow the waymarks over the stone bridge, heading for a wooden bridge. Look out for a lichen covered rock which has a Latin inscription carved on it.

    Show/HideRiver Gamlan

    The rocky outcrops along the course of the river make it very turbulent, spectacular in rough weather.

    Water rushing down the river Gamlan © NTPL
  3. Cross the wooden bridge and veer right towards the waterfalls. Rhaeadr Ddu, Black Falls in English, are two waterfalls which cascade over 60ft (18m). Take care on this section as the rocks can be slippery.

    Show/HideRhaeadr Ddu

    These cascading falls on the River Gamlan are impressive in all weathers. They inspired one visitor to inscribe a line of poetry on a rock near the bridge.

    The spectacular waterfall at Dolmelynllyn, Gwynedd © National Trust
  4. Continue along the path following the waymarkers. Go through the kissing gate and shortly afterwards take the path to the left, following the waymarkers down through the open oak woodland.

    Show/HideOak woodland

    In spring the oak leaves emerge as a fresh green mantle. They cling on to the branches well into autumn, when they turn to a golden brown before carpeting the ground.

    The path goes through open oak woodland © Simon Fraser
  5. At the crossroads, go straight ahead through the wooden gate. Follow the path, through two more gates, to the main road. Turn left here to go back to the car park.

End: Ganllwyd car park, grid ref: SH727243

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 124
  • Terrain:

    Mixture of tarmac, grassy paths (may be muddy), rocky slopes. Dogs welcome, under close control in woodland and on short leads on farmland. Please clean up after your dogs.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: NCN Route 82 goes close by, see Sustrans for details

    By bus: Bus stops in Ganllwyd, routes between Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog, see Traveline Cymru for details

    By train: Station at Barmouth 10 miles (16km), see Traveline Cymru for details

    By car: A470 to Ganllwyd, car park in village Post code LL40 2TF

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