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Snowdon Circular Route Section 2 The Lon Gwyrfai Low Level Snowdonia Walk

By Dave Roberts   

Published – December 22, 2018

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Snowdon Circular Route Section 2 The Lon Gwyrfai Low Level Snowdonia Walk

Further Details

Route Summary:

The Lon Gwyrfai is part of the Snowdon Circular Route currently in development. It is a multi-use track from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgerlert that’s suitable for anything from walking to cycling with a mountain bike or a hybrid bike.

Start and Finish: Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert

Distance: 8.03 km

Ascent: 117 m

Time: 2 hours

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Before You Walk up Snowdon, ask yourselfAre you equipped? Do you know what you’re doing? Are the conditions safe? If you answer no to any of these, stay safe, don’t go! Check the weather forecast and make sure you know about walking up Snowdon in the Snow. If you lack experience – hire a Snowdon Mountain Guide.


There’s a decent pub in Rhyd-ddu – Cwellyn Arms – that has a wide selection of decent ales and food, as well as a tea room.

Beddglert in the opposite direction has plenty of pubs, cafes and a small shop.

Public toilets can be found in both villages but there are none on the route.

Public Transport:

The Snowdon Sherpa buses can be used, or the WHR trains as the trail runs between the two stations at Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert. There’s a bike carriage on most WHR trains, though you’ll need to book ahead to check. The Snowdon Sherpa bus travels around the foot of Snowdon, creating a link between the six main routes that travel up Snowdon, as well as the main car parks, villages and tourist attractions in the area.

See our page on Walking up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) using Public Transport

Traveline for UK Public Transport


Parking is usually OK at Rhyd Ddu, but can still get full on fine days in the high season. £6 a day, £3 for 4 hours – Card only. 

Beddgelert can be busy.

See our Yr Wyddfa Snowdon Parking 2023 page for full information


There are a couple of places where the trail crosses the Welsh Highland Railway.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Walk up Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon Safely Navigation and the Gear and Equipment you’ll need.

Check the Weather before setting out.

We reccommend  Met Office Snowdonia and MWIS and live conditions on Adventure Smart – live conditions

Snowdon Guidebooks:

Recommended Snowdon Maps

Snowdon Circular Route Section 2 The Lon Gwyrfai Low Level Snowdonia Walk Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Snowdon Circular Route Section 2 The Lon Gwyrfai Low Level Snowdonia Walk

The Lon Gwyrfai is a low level way-marked footpath that joins the villages of Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert in Snowdonia. It’s part of the Snowdon Circular route that is currently under development that will eventually form a footpath that circles around Snowdon. The Lon Gwyrfai is a multi use path and is shared by cyclists, walkers, trail runners and equestrian users.

Be aware that it is a linear route – so you’ll need to walk it in both directions or organise return transport. There are regular Sherpa buses between Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu, or you can also use the Welsh Highland Railway as this footpath starts and ends at their stations in Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert respectively. You can continue on the Lon Gwynant from Beddgelert.

Snowdon Circular Route Section 2 The Lon Gwyrfai Low Level Snowdonia Walk

1 From Rhyd Ddu station (and the car park) cross the road to the start of the Lon Gwyrfai.  You’ll notice it’s well signposted, with the distance to Beddglelert marked as 7.8km. Most of the posts are marked like this, so you’ll know how far you’ve walked. The Lon Gwyrfai initially sets off through the marshy ground, but the path is well built and you won’t even get your boots muddy.  The views ahead are towards the Nantlle Ridge, one of the best high level routes in Snowdonia, with Snowdon behind you.

2 The Lon Gwyrfai arrives at Llyn y Gader along a causeway, before skirting the lakeside past old quarry buildings and entering Beddgelert Forest.

3 Forestry plantations can be dreadful places to walk, and the next section along tedious forestry tracks doesn’t bode well. Continue along the track and turn left at the waymark. After x00m you’ll cross the Welsh Highland Railway after which you need to turn right along a dirt track.

4 Follow the track, past some houses …. Fortunately, the views do open up, and after this forestry track section does improve. The trail arrives at Pont Rhyd Ceffyllau – the bridge at the horse’s ford with a shallow area to the left clearly where horses used to cross the stream.

5 The track takes on some interesting sections as it climbs and winds through the forest, passing a viewpoint below the farm at Hafod Ruffydd Uchaf that’s worth a stop (there’s a seat here). The path continues down through the trees towards the campsite at the Meilionnen Halt.

6 After Meillionnen, the track ascends for around 600m through the forest to arrive at a bridge and a wall that marks the start of open ground to come.

7 The track skirts below the peak of Moel Hebog – and is used by many people as part of a circular walk up Moel Hebog. Turn left at the farm, downhill on a quiet lane. Crossing the Welsh Highland Railway a number of times as it loops around here to gain height.

8 Turn right and the Lon Gwyrfai brings you out at the station at Beddgelert. You’ll need to pass through the car park and turn left at the Tourist Information centre for the village centre and to the start of the Lon Gwynant.

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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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