Aberglaslyn, Llyn Dinas and Cwm Bychan walk
Along this route you'll take in the spectacular Aberglaslyn gorge with the Glaslyn river raging alongside the path, Bedd y Ci (the grave of Prince Llywelyn's faithful hound), the beautiful village of Beddgelert, the placid waters of Llyn Dinas and the old copper mine workings of Sygun and Cwm Bychan.
National Trust car park, Nantmor, grid ref: SH597462
From the car park, go through a gate near the toilet block and turn left for Aberglaslyn. Walk up through the woods, when you reach the river turn right to follow it upstream. 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. Continue until you reach the railway tracks and take care when crossing: the Welsh Highland Railway service travels between Caernarfon and Porthmadog along this route. Cross the railway line and turn left onto the bridge to cross the river, then turn right towards Beddgelert and continue upstream.
The Glaslyn river
The copper sulphate of the hills where you're about to head up gives the Glaslyn River its distinctive turquoise tinge. The spray from the river and the coolness of the gorge provides ideal conditions for ferns, mosses and liverworts. The river itself is home to otters, salmon, kingfishers and dippers.
Don't miss the detour on the left to see Gelert's Grave and see if you can spot the special bronze sculpture of Gelert nearby.
Prince Llywelyn's Faithful Hound
The legend of Gelert's grave tells the story of the 13th-century Prince Llywelyn and his faithful hound Gelert. On returning from a hunt one day, Prince Llywelyn was greeted by Gelert, who was covered in blood. The prince rushed to the cradle of his young son only to find a bloodstained room and an empty cradle. Furious, he plunged his sword through Gelert. Later Prince Llywelyn discovered a dead wolf nearby and heard the cries of his son. Gelert had killed the wolf and saved the child.
At Beddgelert head right over a footbridge then left, following the river upstream, cross a street and go through a gate.
At the next gate, turn right onto a narrow lane, follow this past Sygun Copper mine. At the river, turn right to follow the path upstream towards the lake.
The path from Beddgelert up along Llyn Dinas has recently been improved by the National Park and National Trust. As you walk past Sygun towards Llyn Dinas you can see Moel Siabod ahead of you, in the distance.
By the lake shore (Llyn Dinas) turn right up a stone-pitched footpath that zig-zags up the hill. At the top continue for half a mile (ignore the first path on the right) at the fork, bear right.
According to legend the red dragon rests in the depths of this placid lake, today Llyn Dinas is part of our Llyndy Isaf farm estate, which we were able to safeguard following a public appeal in 2011. It's now the home of our farming scholarship program as well as some Welsh Black cattle, that you might spot grazing along the lake in early summer. Head up the zig-zag path and admire the handy work of our footpath team, who have been busy creating a stone-pitched path to help alleviate erosion here.
From Bwlch y Sygun take the left path (heading south) then bear right, down Cwm Bychan to the car park.
Industrial past and today's wildlfie
As you descend into the valley along the path you'll notice several pylons within the landscape. These are the remains of the aerial ropeway built in 1927 to carry ore from the upper end of Cwm Bychan down the valley. Historical accounts show that the system wasn't a complete success, with buckets often said to hit the ground, spilling their loads. The remains of the ropeway adits, spoil heaps and other buildings hark back to the area's industrial past. The area also incldues internationally scarce heathland can only be found in western coastal areas of Europe. The area is home to insects, butterflies such as the grayling butterfly and birds including the wheatear and whinchat.
Nantmor car park, grid ref: SH597462
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