Gwydir Forest Park - Dolwyddelan, near Betws-y-coed

What's here


The village of Dolwyddelan is in the southern part of Gwydir Forest Park.

It grew into a large community when the nearby slate quarries were at their peak.

Nowadays it offers visitors a chance to get off the beaten track within Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

The waymarked walking trail has great views of the head of the valley and across to the mountain of Moel Siabod.

The route follows part of the Sarn Helen Roman road, used by legions of Roman soldiers marching between the fort at Caerhun and their large camp at Trawsfynydd.

There is a picnic area by the footbridge over the river, halfway along the walking trail.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Cwm Penamnen Walk

  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2¼ miles/3.5 kilometres
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Trail information: The trail starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station. The trail mainly follows a wide forest road and a narrow tarmac road. There is one section of narrower path with a smooth surface where it crosses the river on a footbridge. Near the bridge, there are two picnic tables and a small parking space for two cars.

Take in a great view of the head of the valley and across to Moel Siabod.

The trail climbs gradually through the village and up a forest road with the Cwm opening up before you.

At the bridge admire the views of the rugged Carreg Alltrem, popular with climbers.

You return to Dolwyddelan along the Sarn Helen Roman road, which ran north to south through Wales, and past an interpretation panel at Tai Penamnen which tells the story of a community which is long gone.

Gwydir Forest Park

Dolwyddelan is in Gwydir Forest Park.

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park and encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.

Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.

Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.

Waymarked trails start from Betws-y-coed and several other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park:

  • Betws-y-coed - peaceful forest walks away from the tourist bustle
  • Cae'n y Coed - easy-to-find picnic area and walk with panoramic mountain views
  • Cyffty Mine - short trail around abandoned lead mine
  • Hafna - walking trail through lead mine ruins and red-graded mountain bike trail
  • Llyn Crafnant - walking trails around the lake and accessible riverside trail
  • Llyn Geirionydd - picnic site with walking trail around two beautiful lakes
  • Llyn Sarnau - picnic spot with a walk to two scenic lakes
  • Sawbench - two red-graded mountain bike trails and historical walk
  • Ty’n Llwyn – walking trail to the famous Swallow Falls waterfall

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Gwydir Forest Park is set in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

Eryri is the largest National Park in Wales and is home to picturesque towns and villages and the highest mountain in Wales.

It is looked after by the Eryri National Park Authority.

For more information about visiting Eryri go to the Eryri National Park Authority website.

National Forest for Wales

Gwydir Forest Park forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands.

In time it will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

For more information about the National Forest for Wales go to the Welsh Government website.

Closures and diversions

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.
  • We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
  • Please always follow any instructions on site and any temporary diversion signs.

How to get here


Dolwyddelan is 6 miles south west of Betws-y-coed.

It is in the county of Conwy.

Ordnance Survey map

Dolwyddelan is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 18.

The OS grid reference for the start of the trail is SH 737 521.


Take the A470 from Betws-y-coed towards Blaenau Ffestiniog.

After approximately 6 miles turn left by the shop into the village of Dolwyddelan.

Continue along this road and then turn left into the railway station car park where the walking trail starts.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Dolwyddelan.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.


The walking trail starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station.

This car park is managed by the local community and there is a parking charge.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Related document downloads

Cwm Penamnen Walk guide PDF [645.5 KB]

Other places in North West Wales

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