Visit Betws-y-Coed and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, became famous as a beauty-spot through its discovery by the artist David Cox on his tour of North Wales in 1805-6. It can be reached from Llanrwst, Ffestiniog, or Cerrigydrudion. It lies in a narrow valley, deeply wooded, against hills that are of no great height but stand so close upon it that they bar the sight of taller mountains.
It is a village whose recollections go a long way back. The grey stone architecture very like that of the isolated farmsteads in the area, built of scattered hill-stones — gives the sense that Betws is of primitive origin, if not actually sprung from the soil. This is not to suggest that it lacks modern arnenities; but the past serves it well. The bridge across the Llugwy, Pont-y-Pair, a l5th century four-arched structure, is one of the best examples of ancient bridge-building in North Wales. Another, called the Waterloo Bridge and made of iron, goes over the Conwy river and dates from the end of the Napoleonic Wars, though in 1811 Daniel Paterson's Direct and Principal Cross Roads makes Conway Bridge and the Salmon Leap the two outstanding points for which the traveller by stage-coach should look. But the roads to Betws are much older even than the 15th century. The great Roman chain of routes that traversed the Ellennith, the stretch of moor and lake set in the centre of Wales, runs towards Betws from Pont-y-pant, shortly after Dolwyddelan; as the Sarn Helen or Elen, it passes over Mynydd Cribau, leaving the Llyn Elsi reservoir on its eastward side.
The church at Betws is one of Wales's ancient foundations, and for historical interest can compare with the church at Llanrwst. The font is in Norman style, and therefore later and of less purely native inspiration than the one at Llanrhychwyn; but Betws has the grave-effigy of Gruffydd son of Dafydd the Red and grand-nephew of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. Much of the attraction of the district lies in the scenes that David Cox made so well known. One cannot easily forget the Machno Falls, coming under the woods that skirt the small height curiously called Iwerddon (Ireland) South of Betws; or the site of Jubilee Bridge, washed away by the flood of the Conwy, where the bouldered stream makes a show of its strength. Dolwyddelan to the West, an isolated quarryman's village, has a church dating from about 1500, standing much as it originally did, and a castle, only one of its towers remaining, that was a Welsh construction of the 13th century and looks as if the rocky soil had spontaneously rooted it. At Pentrefoelas (Town among the Bowed Hills), the inns are for those who follow the grouse upon the moors that dominate the area. But the range of Snowdonia rises magnificently to the North.
For the mountaineer, Dolwyddelan (Meadland of the Gael), opens the best paths to ascend Carnedd Moel-Siabod (2,860 It) and Y Cribau, with their razored crags, and the trackway that lies below the Diwaunedd lake. Llyn y Foel under Siabod was once perhaps the best trout-fishing lake in all Wales, the cold, deep water breeding fish that were strong and heavy. Great care must be taken to approach it from the easterly side; the 1 mile stretch of boulder and crag sweeping down to it is dangerous to anyone, however experienced. Capel Curig is in some ways the better centre for the lakes in this region.
Nearby towns: Caernarfon, Denbigh, Llanrwst, Porthmadog
Nearby villages: Aber, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caerhun, Capel Garmon, Capel Curig, Cerrigydrudion, Dalgarrog, Dolwyddelan, Eglwysbach, Ffestiniog, Gwytherin, Llanbedr-y-Cennin, Llanddoged, Llanfair Talhaiarn, Llangernyw, Llansannan, Penmachno, Pentrefoelas, Tal-y-Cafn, Tan-y-Bwlch, Tanygrisiau, Trefriw
Have you decided to visit Betws-y-Coed or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Betws-y-Coed bed and breakfast (a Betws-y-Coed B&B or Betws-y-Coed b and b)
- a Betws-y-Coed guesthouse
- a Betws-y-Coed hotel (or motel)
- a Betws-y-Coed self-catering establishment, or
- other Betws-y-Coed accommodation