A picture postcard town, situated in the heart of Snowdonia national park thats a little off the beaten track, but blessed with legend and beauty. Beddgelert is a famous mountain town through its rich cultural past, bisected by the Aber Glasllyn (Glasllyn River) and overlooked by the near by Moel Hebog and Moel Yr Ogof mountains in Snowdonia. It’s a special place brimming with wall to wall beauty. Green as green can get in the summer months, it makes an ideal afternoon stop or weekend secluded base for adventures in Snowdonia.
Beddgelert It is located in a valley formed by the River Glaslyn and River Colwyn. Where these two rivers confluence, there is an old bridge which is supported by two stone arches. The small town lies on the floodplain of the rivers, just a mounted walk from the bridges and is built from stone from near by quarries.
To the west, Berddgelert is bordered by Mole Hebog and to the north are the welsh mountain ranges rising to the top of Snowdon. The village is cut by A4085 lane which is located 13 miles north (Caernarfon and 8 miles south (Porthmadog).
There was a faithful dog called “Gelert” who was owned by the Prince of Wales, Llewelyn who was sadly killed by the prince. This is what the village is popularly known for. The dog who was mistaken slain by his master, after Llewelyn retuning from a hunting trip to find his Childs cot upturned and covered in blood and his dog, Gelert’s mussel covered in blood also. Thinking his dog had killed his heir, he plunged his sword into the dog killing it, only to hear a Childs cry. A dead wolf was also found near by of which Gelert had bravely slain in his masters absence. Llewelyn burned his dog here in Beddgelert where they lived and was said to have never smiled again..
This village was also named after the Christian Missionary leader called Celert. They are believed to have settled here in 8thcentury. The Church of St. Mary which sits at the end of Stryd yr Eglwys (Church Street). It is here that the Augustinian Monastery sat but the only thing that remains now is the remains after the World Wars.
Beaches and Coasts
Beddgellert is situated amongst some of Snowdonia’s beautiful mountain scapes. With the layout of the Snowdonia range being more centralised in north Wales. the beaches and coasts lie off to the on the borders of the Snowdonia national park. That said they are never far away. Through Caernarfon to the north east you have Dinas dinlle beach, moving down onto the Llyn peninsula tot eh west and south you have Abersoch, Hells mouth and to the West you have Cricieth, Harlech and Barmouth, and to the north West you have Angleseys beaches and Llandudno beaches only 40 minutes drive away.
The first one among the popular ones includes the Harlech Beach. This is a very conspicuous beach that is suitable for all ages. It is popular give that they rise slowly to meet the sea water. They have white and brown sandy and unlike others where stones are available all around, Harlech beach is made of sand only and it is very good for kinds who love throwing themselves into the sand.
There is the Old Colwyn Beach in Snowdonia, this has also been one of the popular tourist attraction site. It is made of gentle sloppy land rising from the sea towards the land. This beach is the best because of the inclining angle. If you love sitting on the sandy beaches and watching the waves hit the shores covered by sand then this is the right place for you. We have also the Hells Mouth Beach and its neighboring Abersoch beach. They are located with the bay piercing into the mainland. This makes it have a larger surface area where sand from the see can accumulate. These phenomenon has created magnificent beaches.
Things to do in and around Berddgellert
Sitting smack bang in a deep valley in the Snowdonia hills, Beddgelert is positioned very handsomely for adventure and activities. The main things people do here in terms of sport are Fell running, Open water swimming, River Kayaking, Hiking, Climbing and Cycling and mountain biking. There are more for sure but well keep it to that for now.
Just a few miles away in various valleys ( Conwy, Nant peris, Ogwen and at Capel Curig) there are some of Europes best adventures and activities to be had. You have literally have arrived when it comes to the outdoor sports world.
The main outdoor sport centres here are as follows :
For more family exploring activities see below..
There are a lot of activities that you can buy yourself with while in Beddgelert. They are actually both funs and learning activities and these activities are suitable for both the young and old.
If you love discoveries, then Sygun Copper Mine in central Beddgelert while give you an opportunity to see magnificent caves that have been created by the excavation of copper metals. Although this site has been abandoned, you will just have a picture of how things were when the mine was in operation and how the mining had impacts on the surrounding area.
Also why not go on a hunt at Porthmadog Treasure Hunt Trail This is a place full of birds, butter flies, chameleons and other animals. The main activity is not hunting to kill but hunting so that you can see. Hunting to see is hunting for fun and that is what is being done here.
One can also experience, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. This is where tourists use railway and ancient wagon wagons to climb up the Porthmadog hills and even go through the tunnels. While at the top of the mountain, you will get to see the beautiful sceneries below. There is also the Snowdon Mountain Railway which will take you Electric Mountain at Llanberis.
Food and amenities
Whist on the trail or out exploring Beddgellert, there are various places where you can stop and have a bite. In the immediate village vicinity you have the following within a five minute walk. We particularly love The Tanronnen Inn right on the waters edge, Sit outside on the benches and take it all in with the sound of the rivers flowing by.
Places to stay in and around Beddgelert
Villages and towns to visit in the vicinity
its not far to many of the neighbouring villages and towns of Snowdonia, if your travelling by car, they are usually only 30 minutes to an hours away depending on which town your heading to. Schedule a day to browse each of these little towns as depending on the season they each having some spectacular views and sights to offer. I personally love Betws Y Coed as the autumn leaves are changing in September October, Llanberis is a summer place of climbing and hiking and Llanrwst I love heading for coffees and a visit to my friends guns shop in the winter months. Caernarfon and Conwy are summer venues for us for sure, we love to go for a peruse on the high street and take in the estuary and castles sights. We have done blogs on most (the rest are coming soon!)
Links below are direct to the official websites- links in the paragraph are our blog links.
Walking in and around Beddgellert
There are some rather special walks and wonders in and around Bedgellert, we have short listed four great walks below by the national trust.
Gelerts grave walk
Aberglaslyn, Llyn Dinas and Cwm Bychan walk
Aberglaslyn, Bryn Du and Beddgelert walk
The legendary trail of Dinas Emrys
The most scenic drives in the area
A great travel blog documenting some of the best driving roads in Snowdonia containing all of the three of the scenic drives above..
Snowdonia Art near by
Psyched paddle boarding SUP hire & lessons
What we love to do there from a pure Locals perspective
On a typical day visit to Beddgelert what we normally do is head out hiking or do some walking / foraging in and around the Snowdonia region, that may plan when passing through Beddgelert or stopping there for a bite and a stroll, to take in the scenery.
One of my firm favourites to do is to head out for a mushroom foraging course with local and world expert Cynan at the Mushroom garden Snowdonia. We spend hours heading off with Cynan walking and talking all things Mushroom and foraging (see Cynan in one of pervious articles with the superb Marram Grass outing )
We often eat on or near the bridge and just listen to sounds of the River Glasllyn as it meanders through the village.
some times we like to hike up Moel Hebog there or Moel Yr Ogorf as previously mentioned in the blog. Its a good half a days hike and can make for a good burst to clear the cobwebs from the lungs.
Its nice to have a little walk through the village check out the local craft shops and see the town again. Big tip, head there in September for some mushroom picking – its great along the banks there for mushrooms! 😉
Snowdonia mushroom course– walk in and around Beddgellert
Hills Packing list
OS Map of Snowdonia
Waterproof layers I use
Bag I personally use
Great choice of boots (I bought these for my father!)
Our blogging tools of the trade!
We hope this blog is useful for you if your heading to Beddgelert on your hols or maybe just doing some research on north Wales and its gems overall.. If you think there is something to add drop us a comment below and tell us what your favourite things are to do in Beddgelert on your stay!?
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Bit about the blogger : My names Nick Fraser and I’m a local Marine Geologist and Oceanographer. I have moved back to the island of Anglesey for the past four years having grown up here and moved away. I am a passionate outdoor lover with a penchant for all things natural. When I’m not blogging in ofter found climbing or out in the wild in and around north Wales.