Exploring the history around Beddgelert

Submitted by Timwoods on 30 April 2008
OS Explorer Map: OL17 - Snowdon
(11 votes)
A circular, half-day low hills and fells (below 600m) walk in national park Snowdonia (Wales) starting at Beddgelert village centre, Gwynedd, about 8.8km (roughly 5.5 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Find Public Transport to Beddgelert village centre, Gwynedd

Beddgelert is an attractive village nestled to the south of the Snowdon massif. This walk starts and ends here, taking you high above the Aberglaslyn Gorge on the way. The walk is not suitable for pushchairs unfortunately, but should be on the 'to do' list for any active families visiting Snowdonia. The village is on several bus routes from the larger towns in the region, so easy to reach when in Northern Snowdonia.

Start: Beddgelert village centre, OS Grid: SH590481
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 343m (1125ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 687m (2255ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 344m (1130ft)
Max. Elevation: 290m (951ft)

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OS Grid: SH590481
The walk starts in Beddgelert. Cross the footbridge in the village centre and follow the path next to the river heading south.
About 1.3 km (roughly 0.8 miles) from 1 OS Grid: SH593468
Take the Fisherman's Path along the spectacular Aberglaslyn Gorge.
About 0.7 km (roughly 0.4 miles) from 2 OS Grid: SH596461
Head to Nantmor, at the start of Cwm Bychan.
About 1.7 km (roughly 1.1 miles) from 3 OS Grid: SH604476
The path climbs gently through the beautiful Cwm Bychan. In this valley are the entrances to several old copper mines and spoil heaps, giving a hint of the region's past industry.
About 1.2 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 4 OS Grid: SH608488
The valley path comes out at Sygun Copper Mine. This mine is no longer in use, but is a popular tourist attraction and worth a visit - visit the website for more information: www.syguncoppermine.co.uk
About 1.5 km (roughly 0.9 miles) from 5 OS Grid: SH593484
From the mine, follow the road back to Beddgelert - it's usually quiet and safe to walk along. Stay on the south side of the river and take the path back to the footbridge into the village, where there are pubs, cafes, shops and restaurants in which to recover.
About 1 km (roughly 0.6 miles) from 6 OS Grid: SH589475
If you still have some energy, visit Gelert's Grave in the village - the site which gives Beddgelert its name. This is the grave of a dog belonging to Prince Llewelyn. The sad story of how the dog came to be buried will bring a tear to the eye!
20 comments ...join the discussion!
simon starr  commented on 16 October 2011
disused railway
Sir, As your map, shown on this page well shows, the railway is far from disused and hasn't been for several years. Walking through the tunnels is now not only illegal (as technically it has always been), but extreemly dangerous. There is a delightful walk through the gorge which is far safer and more pleasant - in fact one of the best bits of the walk. Might I respectfully ask you change the relevant parts of this walk to avoid walking along the trackbed and to use the perfectly good footpath instead! You could include the delights of travel on the train to Nanmor from Beddgelert as an added bonus if you like! Simon Starr
rob bradley  commented on 16 October 2011
Please note this is an operational railway, to walk through the tunnels would be suicidal, please modify the walk along the fishermans path or remove it before someone is killed in the tunnel
Peter Hirons  commented on 16 October 2011
This walk should be deleted immediately. The railway describes as disused is most certainly not. Even the OS maps you use show this as an open line. I hope the users of this site have enough common sense to realise that the line is in use and not attempt the walk as described, however, there is no allowing for stupidity and someone may well take the view "the web site said it was closed, so it must be safe". Should the unthinkable happen, in this litigous time you could find yourself with problems.
Christopher Piercy  commented on 16 October 2011
Beddgelert Walk (No. 3)
Please update this site as a matter of urgency. Trains now pass through these "disused" railway tunnels several times a day and there is no refuge for walkers if overtaken by a train. Serious injury or death is very possible.
Watcyn Jones  commented on 16 October 2011
Please note, there are NO DISUSED TUNNELS IN THE BEDDGELERT AREA. The railway in question is the Welsh Highland Railway with both passenger and work trains running frequently along the tracks. Definately not recommended to try walking along the tracks.
Martin Kressman  commented on 17 October 2011
Exploring the history around Beddgelert
The tunnels your refer to are NOT disused. The are used by the rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway. Martin Kressman
David Taylor  commented on 17 October 2011
Aberglaslyn tunnels
Looking at your excellent website, and the Beddgelert walk in particular, I have a correction. The railway tunnels in the Aberglaslyn Pass are no longer disused! The Welsh Highland Railway has been rebuilt and the route through the pass is in regular use. There is an alternative footpath following the pass alongside the railway. Whilst this should be obvious to anybody who is there, I think it would be a good idea to amend the section about "Brave Souls" walking through the tunnel. many thnaks, David Taylor.
George Cash  commented on 17 October 2011
Beddgelert walk
_Please update your Beddgelert walk and warn people off attempting walking through the railway tunnels in Aberglaslyn Pass. The railway has been reopened and large heavy trains are likely to catch trespassers in the limited clearances of the tunnels. See www.festrail.co.uk. The riverside path should be used instead to Aberglaslyn and Cwm Bychan. George Cash
Jeremy Laytham  commented on 17 October 2011
Dangerous information on the page
Hi, The walk listed on this site (http://www.carfreewalks.org/walks/213/exploring_the_history_around_beddgelert) includes directions for walking along the 'disused railway' in the Aberglaslyn Pass..... This railway has been re-built! & is now in daily use! Anyone walking on this railway line will be in serious danger of being killed/injured, particularly in the tunnel sections. Not to mention the fact that they will be trespassing on a statutory working railway & liable to prosecution. The footpath along this section of the Pass was closed several years ago (work on the railway started in this area in 2001, 7 years before this was apparently posted!) & diverted via the 'Fishermans Path' along the banks of the Glaslyn. Please can you update this page before any serious accidents occur to walkers following your directions, (as an aside, I wouldn't want the webmasters of this site to be cited as purveyors of potentially dangerous information). Cheers Jeremy
Rob Cope  commented on 17 October 2011
Please remove/amend this walk
Much of this route is on the restored Welsh Highland Railway which is neither safe nor legal to walk on. Your suggestion to go through the "disused tunnels" is especially dangerous. Please amend ASAP. There are many splendid walks made possible or easier by using the Welsh Highland Railway into Snowdonia.
Andy  commented on 17 October 2011
Walks aroubnd Beddgelert
You do need to change the details for section 3 of this walk, since the beginning of this year ()2011) you have been unable to walk the railway line, indeed it would be more than foolhardy to walk the line as it is in active operation. If someone is hurt from following your instructions there could be some extremely high legal bills in the post !
Tim Woods  commented on 17 October 2011
Hi all, Many thanks for pointing this important detail out. I wrote up this walk as one I remembered from when I was young, when the line was disused, but very much obliged to you all for pointing out it is now used! Route now updated accordingly. Thanks, Tim
Jeremy Laytham  commented on 17 October 2011
Thanks for updating the route
Hi Tim, Thanks for the updated route, I see there has been a deluge of requests for corrections since comment was made elsewhere about the damgers of the walking on the rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway..... Much better to watch the trains in safety from the 'Fishermans Path' in such beautiful surroundings. Again thank you for your rapid update :-)) Cheers Jeremy
Martin Kressman  commented on 17 October 2011
Walks around Beddgelert
This demonstrates the need to verify all recommendations before posting. Martin Kressman
Timwoods  commented on 17 October 2011
Walk corrected
Thanks Jeremy and Martin for confirming all is correct. Do you know where the walk was posted? I would like to make sure they have the updated route if it is being posted elsewhere.
Mike Hopkins  commented on 17 October 2011
Fisheman's path - lazy way
There are two alternative, if somewhat lazy, ways of sampling the Fisherman's path which are highly attractive to a geriatric like me. Take the train from Caernarfon to Beddgelert walk to Nantmore Halt and either get the train back or continue the rail journey to Porthmadog. Or do it in the opposite direction. Keen walkers may also be interested in investigating a Snowdon climb starting from the station at Rhyd Ddu (way beyond my abilities).
Timwoods  commented on 17 October 2011
Article in Summit
Hi all, you may be interested to know we did an article for Summit recently which mentioned the walk along the Nantlle Ridge from Rydd Dhu and we did mention the newly opened WHR! We will hopefully get up to Snowdonia soon to explore some more routes from the line. Thanks, Tim
Simon Starr  commented on 17 October 2011
Can I echo my fellow messagers in thanking you for your prompt update to this delightful walk. I have done it (by the fisherman's path) several times and anyone keen on fine views, local history and archeology will find it fascinating. Just be carefull near the mines at the top of Cwm Bychan! Cheers Simon
Meirion Gwril  commented on 22 October 2011
Gelert's Grave
It's worth pointing out to visitors that the story they tell you about the brave dog Gelert is total fiction borrowed from older European stories by Victorians to lure tourists to the area - no evidence at all that anything like this happened!! Also, Tim Woods (comments, above) managed the amusing feat of getting all the correct letters for Rhyd Ddu, but many in the wrong place!!
Tim Woods  commented on 03 November 2011
Welsh spelling
Meirion, I thought putting the letters where you liked was the whole point of the Welsh language?
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