Betws-Y-Coed Travel Guide

Tourist Guide
Swallow Falls which includes a river or creek and forest scenes
Betws–y-Coed literally means ‘the prayer house in the woods’ and thispretty village certainly offers those who seek to be surrounded by naturalbeauty of an almost mystical grandeur exactly what they are looking for. Thevillage is better known as ‘the gateway to Snowdonia’and it certainly offers a triumphant introduction to the joys to come.

Since Victorian times the village has been the mostpopular inland resort of Wales,thanks to its adoption by painters enamoured of the beautiful surroundings. Therailways heightened its popular appeal and today tourists and holiday makerseasily outnumber locals, and it seems that one in every two buildings is acharming hotel or welcoming guesthouse. Yet this hasn’t in any ways diminishedthe charms of BYC, as you may hear it referred to. It still has that rareability to truly inspire.

If you're looking for somewhere to stay that has analmost Alpine then the small but busy stone village of Betws-y-Coedhas many reasons to command your attention. Its picture postcard beauty isreflected in the river that drifts through it, and the rich verdant greens ofthe Gwydyr Forest provide the ideal backdrop. Walkjust outside the village and you’ll reach the dramatic confluence of threerivers and their respective valleys: theLlugwy, the Conwy andthe Lledr.

Rivers andBridges

One of the many joys of visiting Betws-y-Coedis to wander lazily along the paths of the meandering rivers and to marvel atthe grandiose bridges that span them. Crossing the bridges is like connectingwith the history of the area: the 32 metre Waterloo Bridge was constructed fromiron in the year of the famous battle (1815), whilst the nearby Sapper’s Bridgecommemorates engineers of more recent wars. The 15th Century stonebridge Pont-y-Pair means ‘bridge of the cauldron’ and spans the rapids of theLlugwy. A mile downstream Miner’s Bridge celebrates the strong historicalinfluence that mining has played in this area.

Outdoor Activities

Fringed by forest, and with the SnowdoniaNational Park beckoning in the background, this is an outdoorlover’s paradise. The picturesque LlynElsi reservoir nearby is popular with both walkers and anglers,whilst hillwalking is in plentiful supply in an area that boasts magnificentmountainous terrain. The highest peak nearby, which is also the highest pointin England and Wales, is Snowdon at 3,560 feet, but there are 13 other peaksthat top 3,000 feet to set your sights on too.

Mountain biking, rock climbing, zip-lining,tree-top trails, power-boating, abseiling, abandoned mine exploring and manyother exhilarating pursuits are all available nearby for the thrill seekers,whilst golf, pony treks and canoeing provide slightly gentler alternatives.

For Families

There’s plenty for the kids too in and around Betws-y-Coed.The famous train up Snowdonia is a child-friendly way to conquer the mountain, CastleConwy is just one of many atmospheric ruins to fire theirimagination, kid’s outdoor activities abound in the 17 magical acres of GreenWoodForest Park, and the Welsh Mountain Zoo excites and educates in equal measures.


Betws-y-Coed is morethan the gateway to Snowdonia. It’s the gateway to a perfect holiday, fullstop.

Waterloo Hotel Lodge