Rhyd-Ddu - Beddgelert - 4.5 - 13.5 miles
A moderately easy path that takes you from the beautiful Beddgelert to the village of Rhyd-Ddu at the foot of Snowdon. The path starts in broad, open country ringed by mountains and follows the line of an old slate railway. From there it follows the bottom edge of Beddgelert forest, without actually going into the forest itself.
Beddgelert to Rhyd-Ddu (Beddgelert Forest)
Distance: Approx 7.5 km - 21+ km
Grade: Easy to walk on lower paths. A bit more challenging on upper paths. Wear appropriate footwear
Parking: Beddgelert car park off the A4085. LL55 4UY
Parking: Rhyd-Ddu station car park LL54 6TN
The main Lôn Gwyrfai path from Rhyd-Ddu to Beddgelert is roughly 4.5 miles. If you decide to extend the walk by going into the forest you could walk for many more miles (13.5 miles). Beddgelert Forest has upper and lower paths. The lower paths are generally level, wide and made of crushed gravel or slate. You could cycle along these lower paths or push a pram. They are also very well signposted. All in all easy-peasy. You won't be worried about your footing or navigation or getting lost and you will have more time to enjoy the views and play 'I spy with my little eye..'.
The upper paths are less defined. Depending on the time of the year there may be timber on the ground. It is a living forest and the trees are felled as part of the forestry management. Clambering over the felled tree trunks can be tricky. It can also be wet following a few rainy days. At times you will be walking in shallow streams of water. Only a few inches deep but enough to get your feet wet if you are not wearing adequate footwear. Having said all of that, don't let me put you off the higher paths. They are a bit more challenging and as such a bit more enjoyable when completed. There is something magical about walking high, near the ridge, and above the tall tree tops. You will have the forest and the mountain to yourself. These are not crowded paths and even in high tourist season you will not see many walkers (if any) until you join the lower paths again.
With this path it doesn't matter if you start at Beddgelert or at Rhyd-Ddu. Personally I prefer to start at Beddgelert, head towards Rhyd-Ddu the long way (deep into the forest with views of Nantlle Ridge) and then return back to Beddgelert. Whichever path you choose, you're in for an absolute treat. Finally add a visit to the ice-cream shop in Beddgelert, or in Rhyd-Ddu, drop in at the 'Cwellyn Arms' pub for a refreshing drink. What a pleasant way to spend a day.
Lôn Gwyrfai: Rhyd-Ddu to Beddgelert (PDF)