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Cycling in Snowdonia
Cycle Ride from Betws-y-Coed
Mountains & Lake(s)
A short but strenuous ride with magnificent gorge, mountain, lakeside and pastoral scenery.
Route: Betws-y-Coed - Lake Geirionydd - Llanrhychwyn -Trefriw (possible detour to visit Lake Crafnant)- Llanrwst - Betws-y-Coed (Photos of the Ride)
Start: Betws-y-Coed railway station (pay car par opposite). Grid Ref: 796566
Distance: 13 miles (19 miles including detour to Crafnant)
Ascent: 230 m. (420 m. including detour) Virtually the entire climb of the main ride is done in the first 3 miles. Much of it is not especially steep, but some of it is, and cumulatively the effect can be quite strenuous, so low gears are desirable. There are two or three level patches to catch one's breath and admire the views, which are little short of sensational. It might be a good idea to pause at one of these before starting the last part of the ascent, which also has two or three brief very steep sections, though these can easily be walked if your puff runs out.
From station entrance go Left (or from car park opposite Right) towards the village.
Turn Right on to the A5 for a short distance
Turn Right when reaching Ultimate Outdoors shop on to the narrow Pont-y-Pair bridge I (pausing to admire the rapids)
Turn Left at end of bridge and soon start the long ascent with the river Llugwy on your left. (Magnificent views of the gorge with the Llugwy roaring below and the mountain Moel Siabod beginning to tower on your left.)
After 2½ miles Turn Right at T junction signposted Llyn Geirionydd (Virtually all the climbing on the ride has now been done. If you have time it is worth making a ¼ mile detour Left in order to visit a picnic area that has a truly panoramic outlook. After drinking in the views return to the junction.)
Turn Left after ¼ mile (After a slight climb you start the descent to Lake Geirionydd with the Cregiau Gleision ridge of mountains facing you.)
Follow the road along the right bank of the lake and then downhill (After the lake there are 6 gates to go through)
After nearly 2 miles Turn Left at T junction signposted Llanrwchwyn and Trefriw
After almost ½ mile Turn Left after red Telephone kiosk (This turn can easily be missed!) Descend to the village of Trefriw (steep)
Immediately after crossing the bridge crossing a small river Turn Right and then Left
(But if you want to make the detour to Lake Crafnant carry straight on after the bridge and Turn Left at a T Junction)
Turn Right at Crossroads and continue down to Stop sign at main road
Turn Right on to main road (B5106), go over bridge and Turn immediate Left opposite woollen mill
The road becomes a pleasant narrow track and after ¾ mile cross footbridge pausing to admire the scenery
The road turns right with Llanrwst railway station on left
Turn Right at main road (A470) and follow the A470 through Llanrwst as it bends left and right with the small market square on your right
Turn Right at bridge over river Conwy
Turn Left in less than ½ mile at B5106 signposted Betws-y-Coed
After 3 miles enter Betws-y-Coed and Turn Left at Pont-y-Pair bridge and Left again and the again to return to the start
Points of Interest
Betws-y-Coed is Snowdonia's tourist honey-pot. Despite the bustle its attractions are undeniable. With its wooded hills and often foaming river it is easy to understand why it has long been popular with artists.
Llyn Geirionydd is a large tranquil lake surrounded by hills.
Llyn Crafnant is regarded by many as Snowdonia's prettiest lake, reminiscent of the English Lake District.
Trefriw used to be a spa and by turning left instead of right when reaching the B5106 one can visit the pump room a mile or so out of the village and now a cafe. A tour of the Roman well is available. A website that has a lot of photos of the area and general information is: www.4snowdoniaholidays.co.uk
Llanrwst is a small market town. The architect Inigo Jones was born nearby and is reputed to have designed the town's elegant bridge over the river Conwy. In the 18th and 19th centuries a local family of clocksmiths were celebrated for their long case (grandfather) clocks. You pass an example of one of their clocks in the market place tower.
Photos of the ride
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