Llanberis Lake Walk, a lakeside walk from Llanberis via the village of Fachwen and Coed Dinorwig
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Where is it ? The walk starts at the lakeside car park Llanberis, Snowdonia North Wales.
How long will it take ? The walk takes between 2 to 3 hours.
What's the attraction ? Includes forest tracks, the beautiful lake of Llyn Padarn, the historic Welsh Slate Museum, fabulous views of Snowdon and the Llanberis Pass.
Rating : Moderate. Fifty per cent of the walk is on level ground. The road ascends for 1.5 mile (2km) to Fachwen. The pathway through the woods is undulating. There some tricky stone steps along the way.
Essentials : Walking boots and appropriate wet weather clothes required. As long as you can see the lake you can't get lost.

DIRECTIONS > [ Map of Llanberis Lake Walk location Map opens in a new window

Exit the A55 at Junction 11 (Llandegai), take the A4244 to junction with A4086 outside Llanberis. At Llanberis take the lakeside road, (town centre bypass) to the lakeside Car Park.

Lets Go! - The Llanberis Lake Walk
Oh what a perfect day ! To paraphrase the song: I want to share it with you. Oh what a perfect walk!

I was looking for a walk that was suitable for myself and my wife Eira Wyn and two friends, Jim and Irene, a couple close to seventy year old who very rarely walk long distances. It was a mid September day at the end of a terribly wet summer (2009) in North Wales. The forecast for the day was OK, but nothing spectacular, but the omens were good as I looked to the west and could see the blue skies. The walk could not be too difficult or too long and I decided on a lakeside walk in Llanberis. We sped through the Conwy Tunnel and as we emerged into the sunlight it looked even more promising. By the time we reached Llanberis it was a positively perfect day, the lake was flat calm and the sky was blue.


We parked the car at the lakeside in what used to be called the "Free Car Park" alas no longer the case. But you do get great views of Llyn Padarn and they haven't started charging for views yet! Exit the car park heading north west along the A4086. After a short way the road forks, take the right hand fork leading to the track bed of an abandoned railway. Follow the track bed as far as the railway tunnel. Here there are two options.
Lake Padarn with Snowdon as backdrop
Either walk through the tunnel and then double back after crossing over the road, or skip the tunnel and take the steps at the right hand side of the tunnel entrance to the upper level. Both achieve the same result and you then pass through some double wooden gates and continue along the lakeside trail. From here it is just a short walk to the head of the lake. Pause awhile to admire the four stone arches of Padarn Bridge before crossing over the River Rhythallt. This is another great viewpoint with Snowdon and the pass of Llanberis forming a beautiful backdrop to Lake Padarn.

From here the road climbs to the village of Fachwen. The village consists of forty or so ex-miners homes that were abandoned before eventually becoming desirable holiday homes with views to die for. Climb the hill to Fachwen in mid september and enjoy an array of colours with gorse, heather and rowan berries complementing the autumnal scene.

First views are of Elidir Fawr and Elidir Fach
On leaving Fachwen keep your eyes open for the telephone kiosk (blue not red). Take the path opposite the phone box and descend the steps to the road below. The trail continues along the lane passing isolated cottages, open countryside and deciduous woodlands, and all the while offering tempting views of Llyn Padarn through gaps in the trees. The lane changes character to a rough track and descends to a low point at a river crossing. There is a delightful waterfall close to the track. Soon after crossing the stream the track forks, take the left fork that ascends via some rough stone steps. The pathway continues to climb through the deciduous woods reaching a high point on exiting the trees. If, like me, you like to climb to the highest point before taking a break then this is the perfect spot to enjoy your sandwiches while taking in a glorious view of the lake, the village of Llanberis, and of course Snowdon itself.

Then its all down hill from here, a bit like life, we no sooner reach a high point than its all down hill to the mortuary! Yes after another trek through the woods we get to the mortuary, the mortuary in the grounds of the old Llanberis Quarry Hospital and the first building we come across.

But things brighten up soon after as we leave the woodlands and there are more fine views from the gardens of the old hospital. You would have to go a long way to see a better view than that of Padarn Park and Dolbadarn Castle sitting against a backdrop of Mount Snowdon and the Llanberis Pass.

Leave the hospital grounds via the wooden steps down to another lakeside car park. This area offers a choice of grabbing a lift on the railway engine alongside the lake, a boat trip around the lake or a visit to the Welsh National Slate Museum. We chose the latter as it is both free to enter (2009), and also offers a cafeteria for a refreshing cuppa tea. On exiting the museum area via the old workshops, you have a choice for the short walk back to the car park. Take the road that leaves the south eastern point of the museum/recreation area (parallel with railway line) and then either: cross the bridge towards the fields and continue across the fields to the A4086; or, stay on road and continue to the road junction with A4086 and bear right.

This is the more scenic route as it offers more views of Dolbadarn Castle and a magnificent lakeside view of Lake Peris and the Llanberis Pass. Both ways meet up on the A4086 from where it is just a short walk (half a mile) to where you parked the car.

Yes it was the perfect walk on a perfect day and what made it even better was that as we arrived home we were informed by Ophelia that it had been cloudy all day back at home!


Buy the Ordnance Survey Map:
Outdoor Leisure OL17 (1:25,000) or the Landranger Sheet 115 (1:50,000)


Llanberis Pass and Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis
Elidir Fawr and Elidir Fach from the car park Llanberis
1.First views of Llanberis Pass and Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis 2.Elidir Fawr and Elidir Fach from the car park Llanberis
The track follows path of the old railway bed.
Views across the lake of the Llanberis Railway
3.This section of the track follows path of the old railway bed. 4.Views across the lake to the Llanberis Lake Railway
Llyn Padarn view
Pont Pen-y-Llyn bridge at the head of Lake Padarn
5.If you don't fancy a walk its a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the view 6.Pont Pen-y-Llyn bridge at the head of Lake Padarn
Rhythallt River as it leaves Padarn Lake
Pen-y-Llyn
7.Rhythallt River as it flows from Padarn Lake 8.Pen-y-Llyn the hamlet at the head of the lake
Fine view of Lake Padarn and Snowdon
Gorse and heather adorn the roadside boulders on the road to Fachwen
9.Fine view of Lake Padarn and Snowdon 10.Gorse and heather adorn the roadside boulders
Heather and gorse
berries of the Rowan tree or Mountain Ash
11. Best viewed in the autumn sunshine 12.Red berries of the Rowan tree or Mountain Ash
Pleasure boat steams across
      Lake Padarn at Llanberis
The village of Llanberis
13.We pass some great viewpoints. Pleasure boat steams across Lake Padarn at Llanberis 14.The village of Llanberis at the foot of Mount Snowdon
Fachwen
The country lane winds through the trees on the lower
      slopes of Elidir Fach
15.The road climbs to the village of Fachwen 16.The country lane winds through the trees on the lower slopes of Elidir Fach
Soon the trail takes to the woodlands of Coed Dinorwig
viewpoint overlooking Llyn
      Padarn
17.Soon the trail takes to the woodlands of Coed Dinorwig 18.Before reaching another fabulous viewpoint overlooking Llyn Padarn
Click for a closer view of pleasure boats on Llyn
      Padarn
Welsh forestry workers repairing the pathways
19.Great views of the pleasure boats on Llyn Padarn 20.Welsh Male Voice Choir or Welsh forestry workers repairing the paths in Coed Dinorwig?
Mortuary at the Llanberis Quarry Hospital
Llanberis Quarry Hospital
21.Just like life ..and its all downhill to the Mortuary at the Llanberis Quarry Hospital 22.On leaving the trees we come to the Llanberis Quarry Hospital on the banks of the Lake
Aspect opens out to show the Padarn Country Park
Welsh National Slate Museum
23.Here we have great views of the Padarn Country Park 24.The walk then passes the Welsh National Slate Museum
Afon Rhythallt
Llyn Peris and the Llanberis Pass
25.We cross the Afon Rhythallt once again, this time at the southern end of Lake Padarn 26.As if to emphasise the gorgeous views on this walk we sign off with this great view of Llyn Peris and the Llanberis Pass
All pictures Copyright © 2009 Bernard Wellings
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