Gwydir Forest is located in the historic county of Caernarfonshire in Wales, in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.

It takes its name from the ancient Gwydir Estate, founded by the John Wynn family of Gwydir Castle.

This beautiful forest broadly encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.

It dominates a rolling plateau, which is divided by the valleys of the rivers Llugwy, Lledr, and Machno.

The Forest is a great place to visit because it offers a wide range of activities for all ages and wildlife.

It is home to numerous lakes, all of which are reachable by footpaths.

We explored two lakes: Llyn Crafnant and Llyn Geirionydd.

Llyn Crafnant is a lake that lies in a valley where the northern edge of the Gwydir Forest meets the lower slopes of the Carneddau mountains and, more specifically, the ridge of Cefn Cyfarwydd.

The view along Llyn Crafnant is one of the most breath-taking views in this region.

Llyn Geirionydd is located next to Llyn Crafnant, the two being separated by Mynydd Deulyn, “mountain of the two lakes”.


We recommend exploring these lakes on foot.

A moderate 4,5-mile walk starts at Geirionydd Car Park and the trails follows a steep narrow footpath towards Llyn Crafnant.

Enjoy lakeside views of Llyn Geirionydd and a view across the Crafnant Valley to the mountains beyond.

If you are up for a longer walk, then descent towards Llyn Crafnant and follow the yellow way marker alongside the lake.

This moderate 3-mile circular climbs gently up the valley. Take in the view across the lake to the crags at the head of the Crafnant Valley.

Images by Cool Places Britain

There are many more walking trails to explore around Betws-y-coed.

The forest is very accessible by wide tracks, old miners’ paths, and long-established forest walks, a number of which follow waymarked routes.

Cool Places to Explore: Llanrwst | Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.