Walking in Gwydir Forest

With the weather somewhat better than forecast, we set out to walk from Pont Y Pair in Betws-Y-Coed via the Miner’s Bridge across the Llugwy and up along Sarn Helen roman road to join the path to Llyn Elsi.  Always a popular destination with tourist from Betws, this is a quiet way up to the lake, once you have crossed the bridge.  The Miner’s bridge slopes down steeply from the north bank of the river, and was used by workers to access the mines, now closed of course. It’s a very picturesque spot, and we took lots of photos (not for the first time!).  Across the A5, the path follows a pretty stream with waterfalls through the woods to meet Sarn Helen.  This Roman road always gives me a thrill to walk along, imagining its long history – although I expect the Romans kept it in better order! We met only one other walker along the way to the lake, but once there it was a different story, with plenty of groups circling the lake path. Llyn Elsi was originally two small lakes, but was dammed to deepen it for use as a reservoir.  The only allowable use now is for private fishing, so the small islands which dot the lake are nesting sites for gulls which take advantage of the safe places offered.  Sadly, as we arrived, the sun went in so all my pictures are a little gloomy – but I know from previous trips that it looks wonderfully blue on a sunny day.  After walking around the lake, we took one of the steep paths down through Coed Gartheryr which emerges behind St. Mary’s church in Betws-Y-Coed, stopping for a quick pint at The Stables Bar on our way back to the car.  All this a mere 10 minute drive from home!

Llyn Elsi walk


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