The Conwy valley looking south to the mountains

Dolwyddelan to Maenan

The route from Dolwyddelan to Conwy was worked out by the Conwy Valley Ramblers some years ago and needs rechecking on the ground.

21.5 km.

This is what we walked in 1998. For the alternative high-level route to Basingwerk see the separate link.

From the station, walk east along the road between the railwy line and the Afon Lledr. The road becomes a track which crosses to the south side of the railway line. Go past the station at Bwlch-bach, then cross the line again and go over the bridge across the Lledr. Cross the main road and go up the footpath ahead of you. The path goes to the left and through a garden then over a wall stile to rejoin the line of Sarn Helen.

The road is metalled here but as it climbs it becomes a track. Follow it straight through the forest and down past some ruined cottages and the settlement of Rhiw-ddolion to Pentre-du. Cross the A5 and walk down the path to the Miners’ Bridge. This is one of the few tourist honeypots on this part of the walk. Cross the bridge and take the path which goes half right, bearing up and away from the river to follow a forest track to Coed Cynheliar.

Here you join the metalled road. Turn left and up the hill past a mine wheel-pit to your right, then turn right and ford the stream to Pen-yr-allt Cottage. Go straight on to Pen-yr-allt Isaf, then turn left to join the forest road to the dam at the southern end of Llyn-y-Parc.

This is real chocolate-box scenery. The lake was surrounded by a sandy beach, and so smooth that the surrounding trees were reflected in it quite unblurred. Continue on the forest road, fork right and follow the waymarks down to the right to Drws Gwyn.

Follow the track as it bends right and left past Drws Gwyn and along the steep side of Carreg y Gwalch. Turn right at the fork, then join the Gwydir Chapel drive and so down to the road. The chapel at Gwydir Uchaf was well worth a diversion but is currently (winter 2003) closed due to vandalism. Gwydir Castle is just below you.

From the end of the drive, turn right along the main road, then in 60 yards take the footpath to your left across the fields to the Conwy. Turn left to walk along the river bank and cross the Inigo Jones bridge into the ancient town of Llanrwst. Here you leave Sarn Helen for the last time to walk up the east bank of the Conwy past Maenan Abbey.

Llanrwst would be a good base for a rest day. As well as Gwydir Castle and its chapel, if you have a car, there is the woollen mill and the old spa at Trefriw and the drive over to Penmachno, where the church has an outstanding collection of early Christian carved stones. Between Penmachno and Dolwyddelan is Ty Mawr, birthplace of William Morgan, who first translated the whole Bible into Welsh. Penmachno and Ty Mawr could also be covered on foot from Dolwyddelan.

Leave Llanrwst on the Llanddoged road. Cross the railway line and shortly afterwards turn left towards Groesffordd. The busy road bears away to the right to Llanddoged: keep straight on for another half a mile then turn left down the hill to Tan-lan. Cross the A470 (with care) and the railway level crossing and follow the footpath along the river bank. After about 2 miles, turn inland and cross the railway again then follow the path up to Maenan.



Dolwyddelan to Maenan

Places to visit along this route


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