is it? Just off the main A55 North Wales coast road behind
the village of Abergwyngregyn (Aber), close to Llanfairfechan.
How long will it take ? : 2 to 3 hrs. The walk is approx.
4.5 miles, 7 km's.
What's the attraction? : The valley contains the Coedydd Aber
National Nature Reserve with an abundance of wildlife and beautiful
woodland and mountain scenery, and of course the 115 foot tall Aber
Essentials : Stout footwear for the complete loop. The shorter
" to the falls and back" route is on a gravel track and is
no more difficult than a walk in the park.
Rating : Easy, but with a steep descent on the longer route.
Car Parking : There is a choice of two car parks,
the first, in the village, is free, while the one near the head of
the valley is Pay and Display. As our walk is a loop it makes no difference
to the length of the walk which car park you choose. And as
the locals seem to prefer visitors to visit the village then you
might as well park for free in the village. The free car park sits
between the A55 and the village. It is signposted as you leave the
Facilities : Refreshments and Cafe in the village. Small information
centre in the valley.
Be aware : The return section passes through grazing land and
I would not recommend taking a dog on this part of the trail during
the spring lambing season .....even if the dog is on a lead.
Lets Go !
the car in the car park and follow the waymarker through an iron gate
next to the bridge over the river. Follow the path past a small information
centre that holds a disabled toilet and an interesting information board.
Follow the lane south through the village. The lane continues alongside
the river, Afon Rhaeadr-fawr, for approximately a half a mile. Cross
the old stone bridge, Bont Newydd, or go through the gate on the west
bank of the river for the picnic benches and the Coedydd Aber National
Nature Reserve information boards. Follow the way markers for the North
Wales Path into the valley. There are more information boards and a Nature
Reserve Visitor Centre along the way explaining among other things the
wide variety of wildlife and their habitats. The full story of the industrial
past of Abergwyngregyn and the valley can be read about in a small Visitor
Centre along the way. Another display board explains the management of
the Alder trees and their part in the making of charcoal. The path continues
toward the falls and just before we reach Rhaeadr-fawr there is yet another
information board explaining that the pile of stones at the side of the
trail are in fact the remains of an iron age round house probably dating
from 2000-2700 years ago. The standing stone amid the stones is dated
at circa 2000.B.C.
Passing by the ancient site it is just a short walk up the bank to a
fine viewpoint of one of Wales most beautiful waterfalls and the
surrounding hills of Moel Wnion, Gyrn, Bera Mawr, Bera Bach,
The falls themselves are a most impressive site, and indeed a most impressive
sound, but I've not seen a photograph yet that does them justice. You
would be forgiven for believing that the milky white water was just that
.....milk. And I am surprised that they have not been named Rhaeadr-Llefrith,
Milk Falls, as the contrast between the granite rock face and the aerated
water looks nothing less than if a milk tanker was spewing it's load
over the cliff edge.
If you don't fancy the longer walk then this is the point to return
to the car park. But it could be said that you are missing the best bits.
To continue the full walk cross over the river to the west bank of Afon
Rhaeadr-fawr and follow the way markers for the North Wales Path. But
before going too far you can get another good view of the falls from
the grassy bank on the right of the falls.
The trail continues west across the head of the valley crossing another
Rhaeadr-bach, with more grand views this time of Rhaeadr-bach, ....or
the smaller falls. From here the path turns back towards
the coast up a slight incline along the lower slopes of Moel Wnion. The
path can be quite muddy but nothing that good walking boots can't handle.
There is a bench at the top of the hill to pause and take in the fantastic
views of the Carneddau foothills across the valley, Llwytmor, Foel
Ganol, Pen Bryn-du, Drum and Foel Fras. In the foreground the
old Roman Road can be seen winding it's way below Garreg Fawr and through
to the pass of Bwlch y Ddeufaen and on to Rowen and the Conwy Valley
....but that's for another day.
As the trail continues north through sheep filled pastureland
the outlook changes as the Irish Sea comes into view. A panorama
that includes the Menai Strait, Lavan Sands, the south west tip
of Anglesey, Beaumaris, the Penmon Lighthouse and Puffin Island.
the brow of the hill can be seen the starting point of the walk the small
village of Abergwyngregyn, looking even smaller from this vantage point.
to enlarge the pictures -------------------------------------------------
There are two tracks down to the village, the direct route, the one
that bears right, is the shortest but also the steepest. If you have
good boots then there should be no problem but if you are concerned for
your safety then take the left hand track and bear right after a few
hundred yards. Both tracks arrive at the same point in the village.
The car park is nearby but dawdle a while
and you will find some interesting places in Aber. A cafe-cum- information-centre
offers refreshments and ..er information. Take a short stroll
through the streets of Aber and you will find a lot of history for such
a small place.
The size of Aber belies it's historical importance. A look into
the field behind the houses off the main street reveals a large grassy
mound that is
known as Llywelyn's Mound after the Welsh Prince Llywelyn. The mound
is circular, 22 foot high with a flat top 57 feet by 48 feet. It's origin
has probably no connection to Llywelyn and it has been suggested
that it might be a fifth or sixth century A.D. mound built over the body
of a local champion warrior lord.
But look further across the field and through the trees and you will
see the tower known as Twr Llywelyn, The tower, belonging to
the house once known as Garth Celyn and now known as Pen y Bryn, is reputed
to have been built circa 1200 A.D. Historians seem to be at loggerheads
over the exact history of Pen y Bryn but the latest evidence points to
it being the home of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales and Lord of
And if you should see the gentleman who lives in the house that
backs on to the previously mentioned Llywelyn's Mound ask him about the
secret chamber below the tower of Llywelyn's home. He might tell
you of the hidden tunnel that runs from Garth Celyn under the Menai Strait
to Anglesey, and of the legend
that Prince Llywelyn's horse was hitched to a post in the cellar in
readiness for an attack from the English King. And that he saw the
post still in the cellar to this day................
Buy the Ordnance Survey Map:
Outdoor Leisure OL17 (1:25,000) or the Landranger Sheet 115 (1:50,000)