Betws-Y-Coed | Adventure Travel Guide
If you're a fan of the outdoors, you'll love this village in the Snowdonia National Park.
Nestled in the belly of Wales' beautiful Snowdonia National Park sits a lovely little village called Betws-y-Coed. Its name means "prayer house in the wood", and it can be found in the Conwy Valley near to where the River Conwy meets the River Llugwy and the River Lledr.
Whether you're into hiking, camping, climbing, scrambling, zip-lining, kayaking, mountain biking or even surfing (Surf Snowdonia is a mere 20 minutes drive away); you're sure to find something in these parts that will quench your thirst for the outdoors.
As we've just mentioned, Snowdonia is a real hotbed of adventure-based activities. In addition to the aforementioned Surf Snowdonia, there's also the incredibly enjoyable Zip World, the highest mountain in Wales (Snowdon), and some of the UK's most epic scenery to get your teeth into.
Take Tryfan, for example. The views from the top of this iconic mountain will take your breath away. The mountain itself is said to be the final resting place of Sir Bedivere of Arthurian legend. Now, anyone who summits the rocky beast is challenged to bravely step between the Adam and Eve stones that reside at the summit. It's a challenge not for the faint-hearted though as the stones sit above a genuine heart-in-the-mouth drop (we recommend you don't try this while/after it's raining/rained).
Visitors to the area might also want to consider the challenging walks/scrambles offered by the stunning Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach, as well as the Snowdon Horseshoe. The Snowdon Horseshoe is widely considered to be the best ridge walk in Wales.
Featuring the notorious knife-edge arête of Crib Goch, the Horseshoe route, which should be avoided by anyone with a fear of heights, offers some of the spectacular mountain views you will ever see. For safety reasons, it is recommended that the route is avoided in high winds or in winter if you're ill-prepared and inexperienced.
Betws-y-Coed is situated within the gorgeous Gwydyr Forest. As a result, visitors to the village can treat themselves to some truly soothing woodland walks. And, of course, it would be rude not to mention the Conwy Valley Railway Museum with its extensive miniature railway line (one for the kids, and the adults who wish they were kids, perhaps).
Where To Stay?
Whatever your preferred approach to accommodation, there's something to suit your needs both in Betws-y-Coed and the surrounding area. Campsites, bed and breakfasts, hostels, hotels; take your pick.
Gwern Gof Uchaf is an excellent little campsite about 15 minutes drive from Betws-y-Coed. It's got showers, a bunkhouse, loads of places to pitch a tent, and is perfectly positioned for an assault on Tryfan. What's more, it's only £5 a night.
The Grove House is a well-reviewed bed and breakfast in Betws-y-Coed, and could be well worth a look if you don't fancy spending your nights in a field. The same goes for the Gwydyr Hotel, which can also be found right in the Betws-y-Coed mixer. For more information on accommodation in Betws-y-Coed, check out the local website.
A shoutout must also go to the YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass hostel. It's about 20 minutes drive from Betws-y-Coed and is an excellent place to base yourself from if you're looking to tackle Mount Snowdon and the surrounding mountains.
Alternatively, if you fancy braving the elements in Snowdonia...you could always go wild camping. Just make sure you camp off the beaten track, pitch late, and leave early.
Where To Eat?
For breakfast or lunch, you should definitely pay a visit to The Alpine Coffee Shop. This cool and quirky cafe has a really nice vibe to it, and offers a great choice of grub. Whatever your dietary requirements, the wide and varied menu selection here is sure to have something on it that'll satisfy those hunger pangs. Plus, their tasty coffees will give you the all-important kick you need for a busy day of outdoor activities.
If it's a nice day/evening, we recommend you grab some classic fish 'n' chips from Hen Siop Pont-Y-Pair and take them away to eat by the nearby river. Cheap, simple, delicious and, let's face it, much more interesting than staring at the wall of a restaurant.
Where To Drink?
The Stables Bar is a popular boozer, with a decent sized beer garden out front. The outdoor heaters here are particularly useful for those Welsh evenings when the temperature drops down a couple of notches. There's a good selection of local and international drinks on tap, and some tasty food options on the menu if you want something to line the stomach. The two big screens situated inside will be right up your street if you're into televised sport.
What The Locals Say?
"I moved to North Wales from Atlanta just over a year ago. Working and living in Snowdonia has been wonderful. The views of mountains, hills, green pastures, lakes and the ocean are simply stunning! Seeing Snowdon on a daily basis is all the motivation I need to get out of bed in the mornings. If you love adventure, you have to come here." - Carly Redgers, Zip World Employee and Resident of Snowdonia
For more information on Betws-y-Coed, visit the local website.