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  • Writer's pictureSusanne Devine

Llyn Elsi Walk

Here's a fun winter walk for you, discovering another part of Eryri (Snowdonia National Park) though I'd not recommend it after heavy rainfall (unless you're into the muddy pig look?):


Once you get to Betws-y-Coed, park your car behind St. Mary's Church (it's free if you're lucky enough to get a space) and set off the clearly marked path up towards Llyn Elsi. It's steep initially, but levels out at the top.


After you've arrived at the lake (and are out of puff, like me), stand there for a little while and enjoy the lovely views across it with the surrounding mountains rising up at the horizon, such as Moel Siabod towards the North.

You can now choose to either walk clock-wise around the lake itself, if you want a longer walk, or just head anti-clockwise along the shore up to the monument (commemorating the opening of the waterworks for Betws-y-Coed in 1914) and then again down along the bank until you come upon a birch lined trail veering right. Now here it can get VERY muddy, if it's been wet recently.

Follow this path next to a stream until you come to Hafod Ias, a typical Welsh cottage, and follow the impressive dry stone wall (pic below) to the right, walking past remnants of a disused quarry through some fabulous old woodland.

You'll have to cross a not very safe bridge (I fell into the stream in January!) and keep walking until you meet a wide forest track, turn along this to the left so it takes you back down-hill towards Betws-y-Coed.

Cross the main road you come to on the outer edge of the village and follow the path that leads you towards the Afon Llugwy (river) where you'll be able to cross the, often wild, waters on the new Miners' Bridge (shadow photo below) as the previous one had been swept away following winter storms and heavy flooding in 2020.

Once you're across the bridge, it'll depend on the water levels where you want to walk:

If they're low, you can meander along the river back into Betws-y-Coed for some fortifying refreshments (we love the Alpine Cafe), or, if the river is carrying a lot of water, climb up a little further following the blue markers to avoid wet(ter) feet and drop along the road into this iconic Welsh Village up here in North Wales.


Whichever route options you choose, I hope you'll have fun and enjoy the beautiful countryside we have here!

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