The legendary trail of Dinas Emrys

Walking trail

Enjoy a pleasant walk past waterfalls and through beautiful Oak woodland to reach this amenable summit with magnificent views. At the top you’ll find remains of a square tower and defensive ramparts belonging to the ancient princes of Gwynedd.

A dragon sleeps beneath it

According to legend King Vortigern wanted to build a castle on top of Dinas Emrys, but every night his castle walls would fall down. Merlin (the wizard) claimed there were two dragons fighting beneath the hill that caused the walls to fall. Therefore Vortigern and his men dug into the mountain and released two dragons. The red and white dragon fought, eventually the white dragon fled and the red dragon returned to his lair. Vortigern’s castle was built and named Dinas Emrys in honour of Myrddin Emrys (Merlin), and the red dragon has been celebrated ever since.


Map of Dinas Emrys walking route


Craflwyn car park, SH 600 489


Begin your journey in the Princess of Gwynedd centre at Craflwyn.

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Battle of the white and red dragon


From the car park take the footpath leading up through the woodland. When the path levels and you reach a fork, take the right and continue until you find a dragon bench. Pause here before continuing along the path and up some steps to the right of a small waterfall.

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Bench at Craflwyn, Beddgelert


Continue on your journey until you get to a three way junction in an open area. Take the path leading straight ahead, up towards the woodland. Continue on the path over a small wooden bridge until you get to a beautiful waterfall.

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Beautiful waterfall below the woods of Craflwyn, Nant Gwynant


Continue until you reach another fork in the path and bear right. You’ll soon reach a stile in the wall on the right. Continue over the stile up into the woods.

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Stile on the way to Dinas Emrys, Nant Gwynant


Continue up through the woods. Follow the zig-zag path up the rocky outcrop towards Dinas Emrys.

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You’re nearly there a few more steps and you’ll reach the top of Dinas Emrys. The final ascent is steep and rocky. When you are ready to return, retrace your steps to the car park.

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Archaeological site of Dinas Emrys overlooking Llyn Dinas and Nant Gwynant


Craflwyn car park, SH 600 489

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The legendary trail of Dinas Emrys


Woodland and mountain paths; can be muddy at sections. One tricky section of rock near the top, take care when wet.

The legendary trail of Dinas Emrys

Contact us

By phone: 01766 510120

By email:

The legendary trail of Dinas Emrys

How to get here

Craflwyn, Beddgelert, Gwynedd. LL55 4NG.
By train

Main line stations at Porthmadog 10 miles, Betws y Coed 17 miles and Bangor 20 Miles. Welsh Highland Railway stations at Beddgelert, Rhyd Ddu 4 miles and Caernarfon 13 miles.

By road

From Betws y Coed, take the A5 towards Capel Curig. At Capel Curig, turn left into the A4086 (signed Beddgelert) continue on this road. At the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel the road bears left into the A498, continue on this road down into Nant Gwynant. Craflwyn car park is on the right hand side before Beddgelert. From Blaenau Ffestiniog follow the signs to Penrhyndeudraeth. At Penrhyndeudraeth, turn right into the A4085 (signed Beddgelert). At the T junction, turn right on to A498 and follow the road through Beddgelert, Craflwyn car park will be on your left hand side. This road will take you to Beddgelert. Craflwyn is approximately 1 mile outside Beddgelert. From Caernarfon Take the A4085 towards Beddgelert.

By bus

Sherpa bus service for Snowdon (check Gwynedd county council website). Regular bus service to Beddgelert (check traveline Cymru website).

By bicycle

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)

The legendary trail of Dinas Emrys

Facilities and access

  • National Trust car park
  • Ranger guides available at property office at Craflwyn
  • Toilet facilities at Craflwyn car park
  • Dogs welcome on leads
  • Network of paths through the woodland at Craflwyn
  • Princes of Gwynedd Information point
  • Picnic benches