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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 17 September, 2022
Expert travel writer: David Atkinson

It’s a gentle 2-mile stroll, heading two miles west of Betws towards Capel Curig, to this popular gorge with its gurgling waterfall. The viewing platform has great views.

The walk delves into the woodland landscape of the Gwydyr Forest and is an example of why this small village became home to Britain’s first ever artists’ colony.

The landscape artist David Cox, a contemporary of Turner, first came to Betws in 1844. His students soon followed, establishing a popular retreat for artists during Victorian times. His best-known work, A Welsh Funeral, inspired by a funeral at the village’s 14th-century church, is today exhibited at Tate Britain.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around
Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours

Getting there & doing it

This easy-to-follow, waymarked trail runs between Betws-y-Coed and the Swallow Falls viewing platform, following the River Conwy gorge. Start at the Ty’n Llwyn car park and finish at the platform with views of Moel Siabod, and in clear weather, the Snowdon Horseshoe. Most visitors to the region are travelling independently by car, although it is popular with coach parties during peak periods.

When to do it

The walk is accessible all year round, but of course, it gets busy in summer holidays. June and September, before and after the school holidays, are the best months to do it when crowds are fewer and the weather clement.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Olif Guesthouse

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[2.9 miles]

Homely, cosy and fuelled by local produce, Olif is a rare find in an area besieged by coach trippers come high summer. Adults only.

Official star rating:

Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[9.8 miles]

Stylish stays and sea salt treatments are de rigueur at this contemporary hotel, located within the grounds of Adventure Parc Snowdonia. Families and surf dues will feel equally at home with activities aplenty on the doorstep.

Official star rating:

Plas Weunydd

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[12.4 miles]

A boutique property with a real sense of history, it offers a stylish, central base to explore both the industrial heritage and the ever-expanding adrenaline activities of the region. It sits amid Wales’ latest UNESCO site.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Snowdonia National Park

Wales, United Kingdom (UK)

Snowdonia’s national park is the rural heartland of North Wales — think mountains, glacial valleys, and sparkling waterfalls. But there’s also plenty here for families, history buffs and Sunday strollers.

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Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Zip World Penrhyn Quarry [Zip-lining]

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[16.3 miles]

Hard-core adrenaline lovers will make a beeline for this adventure-packed quarry site near Bangor. It’s home to the world’s fastest and longest zipline, with speeds of up to 100mph.

Best for ages: 13+ | £12 | 2+ hours

National Slate Museum

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[18.1 miles]

This industrial-heritage museum celebrates the international significance of Welsh slate in ‘roofing the 19th century world’. There are plenty of hands-on exhibitions for families and history buffs alike, plus regular talks and workshops.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free

Ffestiniog Railway

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[18.7 miles]

The world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway offers the chance to travel deep into Wales’ most spectacular mountainscapes.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 1-3 hours

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Zip World Fforest

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[3.9 miles]

This woodland adventure park, located outside Betws-y-Coed, is a great family day out with six action-packed options suitable for all ages. It’s a good starting point for families not yet ready for ultimate adrenaline thrills.

Best for ages: 3+ | £25

Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[9.7 miles]

The artificial surf reef and activity centre in the Conwy Valley is an adventure hub with activities for all ages; activities on offer include indoor high ropes courses, soft play, caving and climbing, and outdoor climbing, zip lines, and surfing. There’s a Hilton hotel handily placed next door.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

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Overview >

Zip World Llechwedd

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[12.5 miles]

History and high jinks combine for a family day out at this quarry site near Blaenau Ffestiniog. It’s home to adrenaline adventures like Titan 2 but also offers an insight into the mining heritage of the region.

Best for ages: 7+ | £25

Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden

Snowdonia National Park, Wales, United Kingdom (UK)[15 miles]

The formal gardens surrounding Bodnant Hall are the most spectacular in Wales with sections of wildflowers, rare species and water features. The highlight comes every May when the 160ft laburnum arch explodes into its canary-yellow finery.

Best for ages: 13+ | £14

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