Nestled within the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in Wales lies the enchanting Gwydr Forest, a natural haven that beckons to be discovered.
Nestled within the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in Wales lies the enchanting Gwydr Forest, a natural haven that beckons to be discovered. This picturesque forest, also known as Gwydyr, takes its name from the historic Gwydir Estate, which was established by the esteemed John Wynn family of Gwydir Castle. With its rich history and breathtaking landscapes, Gwydr Forest is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Located in Conwy county borough, Gwydr Forest encompasses an expansive area of over 72.5 square kilometers (28.0 sq mi). The forest surrounds the village of Betws-y-Coed, stretching northwards to Trefriw and southwards to Penmachno. Its undulating plateau, reaching between 700 and 1,000 feet (210 and 300 m) above sea level, offers magnificent vistas of the surrounding valleys and mountains, including the Glyderau, the Carneddau, and the majestic Snowdon massif.
One of the highlights of Gwydr Forest is its stunning collection of lakes, each accessible via well-maintained footpaths. These lakes, most of which were created to serve the forest's mines, provide serene and idyllic settings for nature lovers to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the area. Among the lakes, you can explore Llyn Crafnant, a 63-acre (250,000 m2) expanse located on the northern edge of the forest. Llyn Geirionydd, covering 45 acres (180,000 m2), is another picturesque lake awaiting your discovery. Llyn Elsi, Llyn Parc, Llyn Glangors, Llyn Bodgynydd, Llyn Goddionduon, Llyn Pencraig, Llyn Bychan, Llyn Sarnau, and Llyn Tynymynydd complete the list of enchanting lakes within the forest.
For nature enthusiasts and avid walkers, Gwydr Forest offers an
extensive network of walking trails, allowing you to explore the beauty
of the area on day trips. These trails include wide tracks, old miners'
paths, and long-established forest walks. Many of these routes are
waymarked, ensuring that you can navigate the forest with ease and make
the most of your adventure. While private vehicles are not permitted within the forest, there are
several forest car parks available for visitors. These car parks often
feature picnic sites, providing the perfect opportunity to relax and
enjoy a meal amidst the scenic surroundings.
Gwydr Forest is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also holds significant historical value. The forest is peppered with remnants of former metal mines, including old engine houses, waste tips, and reservoirs. These mining relics offer a glimpse into the area's industrial past, with mining operations dating back as early as the 17th century. The Parc Mine, Hafna Mine, Llanrwst Mine, Cyffty Mine, Pandora Mine, and Aberllyn Mine are among the notable mines that once thrived within the forest.