3.2 of 5 (36 votes)

Four bridges and Swallow Falls nr Betws-Y-Coed

A moderate walk (riverside) in national park Snowdonia in Gwynedd, Wales, about 9.60km (5.97 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 3:00h. It is suitable for families with children, but unsuitable for prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 173m (567ft)
Descent 165m (541ft)
Max. Elevation 140m (459ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 338m (1108ft)
Start & End
Distance 9.60km
Duration ~3:00h
Ordnance Survey Map
1Created by driver 16 on 10 Oct 2012
Once again I am drawn to Betws-y-Coed, it is so nice there. This is a walk by Rivers Llugwy and Conway, one difficult short stretch just before Miners' Bridge of boggy ground and tree roots, otherwise pretty straightforward. Attractions include the motor car and railway museums, a miniature railway ride, and a golf course, in addition to all the walks in the area. By Pont-y-Pair Bridge picnic area, there is a purpose-built short walk, through the trees by the side of the river, advertised as "for all abilities" i.e. for disabled people and wheelchair users.  

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

Betws-y-Coed and Llyn Elsi

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Along the Afon Llugwy

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Walk Map

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OS Grid SH794564
Find the Tourist Information centre opposite, and turn right to find a metal gate marked "Private Road" but which is a public footpath. Go through and pass Royal Oak Farm on your right. Pass under a railway bridge and see the golf course on your right, on to waypoint 2.
OS Grid SH798572
You will have come through one kissing gate; the path takes you on a horseshoe-shaped walk around the perimeter of the golf course, passing through two more kissing gates, on to waypoint 3.
About 0.91 km (~0.57 miles) from
OS Grid SH798570
Look for a post with a yellow footprint marker, and take this down to a pebble beach on the riverside. Pass the large stepping stones across the river. This is the oldest crossing, used until 1912 when a woman drowned there. Leave the beach, on to waypoint 4.
About 0.21 km (~0.13 miles) from
OS Grid SH796567
Turn left onto a tarmac road and take this for about 50 yards. Hop over a slate step into the cemetery and follow the path on the left to pass the 14th-century St. Michael's Church. Leave through an arched gateway, and turn left to go down to Sappers' Suspension Bridge, built by army personnel in the 1930s to link the village with an army camp on the other side. It replaced an old wooden bridge destroyed in a storm. Cross to waypoint 5.
About 0.40 km (~0.25 miles) from
OS Grid SH799564
Turn right onto the grass verge, pass the waterfall on the left on your way down to Waterloo Bridge. Cross the bridge and stay on the right-hand-side footpath, following this to Pont-y-Pair Bridge, waypoint 6.
About 0.36 km (~0.22 miles) from
OS Grid SH791566
Cross the bridge and turn left at the end, down to a picnic area by the river, waypoint 7.
About 0.81 km (~0.5 miles) from
OS Grid SH790568
At this point, join the 'Walk for all abilities'. There is a boardwalk at the start, and at the next picnic area on the left, by the river, go down to walk along the riverside. Cross the stream to a meadow which narrows at the end to boggy ground with tree roots underfoot - take care on your way to waypoint 8.
About 0.16 km (~0.1 miles) from
OS Grid SH780570
Go down this modern bridge and up the older stone steps to the main road, waypoint 9.
About 1.02 km (~0.63 miles) from
OS Grid SH778568
Turn right and walk steadily uphill to the entrance of Swallow Falls, waypoint 10.
About 0.31 km (~0.19 miles) from
OS Grid SH764577
Admission charge is £1.50, which is well worth it. There are benches to rest on, and there is a hotel, restaurant and cafe opposite. Once refreshed, walk back down the main road into Betws and the end of walk.
About 1.69 km (~1.05 miles) from
OS Grid SH793565
Hope you enjoyed as much as I did, and will come to Betws again and tell your friends and families.
About 3.11 km (~1.93 miles) from

6 comments... join the discussion!

stephen sam
16 Aug 2019

Really this information is useful to all and also easy to know many things at a time through the website.

05 May 2015
Mature Peoples' Walks

Best to avoid all popular areas of N. Wales on Bank Holidays / Weekends when the sun is shining, plenty of other walks in the area, can't please everybody, I went on steam train excursion to Lincoln's Christmas Markets a few years ago thinking I would see the Cathedral (which was open and managed to do) and the Castle, Magistrates' Court, Jail and walls, however, most of the market was in this area and all these were closed to the public, it was shoulder to shoulder, shuffling along, impossible to get near the stalls, get refreshments, even relieve oneself, thus, since avoided anywhere with "Christmas Market", "Victorian Festival" e.g. Llandudno's early Spring Bank Holiday this last weekend, "heritage transport shows", "Air Shows", cycling events (ask Yorkshire people) etc. in their advertising !!!!!

J Egan
04 May 2015
Busy Roads

Whilst the setting is beautiful, this walk involves several long stretches next to busy main roads. Also, the parts not by main roads are in pretty busy areas (especially on a Bank Holiday Monday!) So if you want a quiet peaceful walk, this is not the one I would recommend.

C Steele-Perkins
29 Apr 2013

A very easy walk with fine views of the Golf Course and the River Conwy in Betws-y-Coed

18 Oct 2012

Thanks for the update. A railway museum sounds far more suitable for this website anyway!

J Figg
15 Oct 2012

The four bridges walk is a lovely walk but ignore the reference to the Car Musuem as it closed several years ago. If you want a little mooch after your walk, the railway museum is worth a visit or there's a good movie playing at the Tourist Information Centre of a helicopter flight over Snowdonia (which is free). Or of course you could have a wander round the shops.

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