Cwm Bychan and Aberglaslyn Pass walk

Walking trail

You'll also see stunning views of the mountains of Snowdonia, a wealth of plants and wildlife and indicators of the farming history in the area.


Map route for Cwm Bychan and Aberglaslyn Pass walk


National Trust car park in Nantmor village, grid ref: SH597462


Follow the sign for Cwm Bychan after you go through the gate to the left of the facilities in the car park. Follow the path underneath the old railway bridge. You'll notice two huge concrete circles known as 'buddles'. Make your way up the valley through the woodland.

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Dotted around Cwm Bychan you'll see several trees that seem alien to the landscape. They probably derive from nearby estate gardens that were planted in Victorian times. The Lawson Cypress now seen on these slopes were most likely brought here by birds carrying their seeds.

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You'll see here the remains of traditional farming methods. Pwll Golchi Uchaf (Upper Washing Pool) was once used by the local farms when washing their sheep. The stream nearby was dammed to form a deep pool to wash the sheep. Until the 1960s, it was common for farmers to wash their sheep before shearing to ensure a higher price for their fleece.

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As you climb higher up the valley along the path you'll notice several pylons within the landscape. These are the remains of the arial ropeway built in 1927 to carry ore from the upper end of Cwm Bychan down the valley where you started.

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At the crossroads, you have a choice to descend via the picturesque Llyn Dinas and follow the river Glaslyn to Beddgelert or turn left for Beddgelert and continue with the copper mining story. Cross a stile, turn immediately left and follow the path towards a steep descent. At Bwlch Sygun keep to the ridge until you reach a large cairn on Mynydd Sygun. From here you'll start heading downwards. Descending the slope through the rhododendrons, you'll go through a kissing gate and the path continues down. A wooden gate marks the end of your descent. Wind your way to the village green by zigzagging right, then left, then right. Here you'll see a footbridge over river Glaslyn. You can take a well-earned break at this point by taking advantage of the facilities in Beddgelert village. Otherwise, turn left immediately before the footbridge along the bank of the river Glaslyn.

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Continue until you reach the railway tracks and take great care when crossing: the Welsh Highland Railway service travels between Caernarfon and Porthmadog along this route. Continue along the Fisherman's path. You should now head towards the grassy path near to the river. This fisherman's path will take you along the side of the Aberglaslyn gorge. Great care should be taken when negotiating this part of the path especially the stone buttress above the river.

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You're now in the Aberglasyn Pass. After crossing the wooden bridge you climb away from the river into mature oak woodland high above the gorge. Turn left up the steps and follow the path through the woodland back to the car park at Nantmor.

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Nantmor car park, grid ref: SH597462

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Cwm Bychan and Aberglaslyn Pass walk


The path is steep in places and it's strongly advised that you keep to the path as the area is dotted with tunnels, spoil heaps and pits. Dogs are welcome but please keep on lead.

Cwm Bychan and Aberglaslyn Pass walk

Contact us

Cwm Bychan and Aberglaslyn Pass walk

How to get here

National Trust car park, Nantmor LL55
By train
By train: Nearest train stations at Penrhundeudraeth 4.5 miles (7.2km), Porthmadog 5 miles (8km) and Rhyd Ddu 6 miles (9.5km)
By road

By car: From Beddgelert:Follow the A498 towards Porthmadog. After approximately 1 mile (1.6km) turn left over the River Glaslyn along the A4085 signposted Penrhyndeudraeth. Turn first left again onto B road towards Nantmor village From Penrhyndeudraeth: Follow the A4085 signposted Beddgelert for approximately 6 miles (9.5km). Before bridge over the River Glaslyn turn right onto B road towards Nantmor village From Porthmadog: Follow A487 towards Caernarfon for approximately 6 miles (9.5km). Turn right over the Glaslyn River along the A4085 signposted Penrhyndeudraeth. Turn first left onto B road towards Nantmor village.

By bus

By bus: Bus stop at Nantmor and Beddgelert, check Traveline Cymru. Snowdon Sherpa stop at Aberglaslyn bridge and Beddgelert.

By bicycle

By Cycle: Cycle route number 8 is in the area, not leading to Craflwyn or Beddgelert directly, so follow on-road routes (which can be busy at times)

Cwm Bychan and Aberglaslyn Pass walk

Facilities and access

  • Car parking - National Trust car park at Craflwyn, Aberglaslyn in Nantmor.
  • Toilets - in car parks at Craflwyn, Nantmor and Watkin Path
  • Dogs are welcome in Snowdonia in general, but please keep them under control, especially around livestock
  • Visitor centre - Steps to entrance, ramp available. Most of ground floor accessible. Access to Chapel via very steep loose gravel path, with 1:4 gradient. Three wheelchairs available - booking essential
  • Craflwyn - Accessible places to park and pretty views into the wood from the car park
  • Accessible toilet in the car park at Craflwyn