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

Enjoy views of Snowdonia’s peaks and a walk along a Roman road

What's here

Coronavirus update


Our sites and most visitor facilities are open but, under the current coronavirus restrictions in Wales, this is intended only for the use of people who live locally.


You are strongly advised – in line with current Welsh Government regulations – not to drive to any of our sites to exercise unless you have specific health or mobility issues.


We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.



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 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 and starts from the car park at Dolwyddelan railway station.

Cwm Penamnen Walk

Distance: 1⅔ miles/2.9 kilometres

Grade: easy

Waymarkers: blue

Highlights: 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 fore st 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.

Trail description: This 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.

Download the Cwm Penamnen walk card

Closures and diversions

Please note:

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations
  • Occasionally 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 onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place

How to get here


Dolwyddelan is 6 miles south west of Betws-y-Coed off the A470.

It is in the county of Conwy.

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.


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.

Ordnance Survey map

Dolwyddelan is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map OL 17.

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

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Dolwyddelan.

For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website.

Exploring Gwydir Forest Park

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park.

It is the gateway to a landscape of woodlands, lakes and mountains familiar to generations of visitors since Victorian times.

Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the remains of several mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.

Whether you want to enjoy the bustle of Betws-y-coed, walk in the countryside, try a white-knuckle mountain bike ride, visit a waterfall or discover this area’s fascinating history, Gwydir has something for you.

As well as the walk at Dolwyddelan, waymarked walks start from these parts of Gwydir Forest Park:

  • Llyn Crafnant, near Llanwrst, three waymarked walks around the lake and one of the finest views in North Wales
  • Llyn Geirionnydd, near Llanwrst, the only lake in Snowdonia for power boats and water skiing
  • Cae'n y Coed, near Betws-y-Coed, a field in the woods with picnic spots and a forest garden
  • Ty'n Llwyn, near Betws-y-Coed, gateway to the famous Swallow Falls waterfall
  • Pont y Pair, Betws-y-Coed, a choice of peaceful forest walks away from the tourist bustle
  • Hafna, near Betws-y-Coed, a walking trail past the old mines of Gwydir
  • Llyn Sarnau, near Betws-y-Coed, a picnic spot with a walk to two hidden lakes
  • Sawbench, near Betws-y-Coed, starting point for a short historical walk overlooking Llanwrst and a red graded mountain bike trail

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000



Related document downloads

Cwm Penamnen Walk guide PDF [645.5 KB]

Other places in North West Wales