Gwydir Forest Park - Llyn Geirionydd, near Llanrwst

What's here


Llyn Geirionydd is a popular lakeside picnic spot.

Llyn Geirionydd was reputedly the home of the 6th century poet Taliesin and a stone monument to him stands by the lake’s north bank.

In the 1870s this was a derelict industrial landscape - in fact, the car park lies on a waste tip near an old lead mine entrance.

You can follow our circular waymarked walking trail from Llyn Geirionydd through the forest to the nearby lake of Llyn Crafnant - enjoy views of the lakes and the mountains along the way.

There are three waymarked walking trails from our car park at Llyn Crafnant, one of which is an accessible trail.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Geirionydd to Crafnant Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.6 miles/7.4 kilometres
  • Climb: 300 metres
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Trail information: The trail is on a combination of forest roads, tarmac road, and a steep narrow footpath, less than 80 centimetres wide in some places, on an unmade and uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots. There are two small fords to cross and a kissing gate just before you meet the council road. There are also two forest barriers you will need to walk around with a gap of around 70 cm at the side. There are picnic benches and toilets in both car parks, and a bench at the viewpoint above Crafnant.

This trail goes through the forest and takes in the two beautiful lakes of Geirionydd and Crafnant.

Follow the trail past the southern end of Llyn Geirionydd until the path narrows and casts you into the shelter and dappled light of tall larch trees.

Descend steeply through a shady silent spruce plantation and then pass ash and hawthorn hanging heavy with moss and lichen, a sign of the clean air here.

Continue on tarmac and forest road alongside Llyn Crafnant, climbing to a viewpoint over the lake, then descend back to Llyn Geirionydd.

Gwydir Forest Park

Llyn Geirionydd is in Gwydir Forest Park.

Gwydir Forest Park lies in the heart of the Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park and encircles the village of Betws-y-coed.

Lead and zinc mining once dominated the area and the legacy of old engine-houses, waste tips and reservoirs are characteristic features of the forest landscape today.

Several of the most important mines have been partially restored and made safe for visitors.

Waymarked trails start from Betws-y-coed and several other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Gwydir Forest Park:

  • Betws-y-coed - peaceful forest walks away from the tourist bustle
  • Cae'n y Coed - easy-to-find picnic area and walk with panoramic mountain views
  • Cyffty Mine - short trail around abandoned lead mine
  • Dolwyddelan - walking trail along Roman road and cycle trail with mountain views
  • Hafna - walking trail through lead mine ruins and red-graded mountain bike trail
  • Llyn Crafnant - walking trails around the lake and accessible riverside trail
  • Llyn Sarnau - picnic spot with a walk to two scenic lakes
  • Penmachno - remote mountain bike trails with spectacular views
  • Sawbench - two red-graded mountain bike trails and historical walk
  • Ty’n Llwyn – walking trail to the famous Swallow Falls waterfall

Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Gwydir Forest Park is set in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

Eryri is the largest National Park in Wales and is home to picturesque towns and villages and the highest mountain in Wales.

It is looked after by the Eryri National Park Authority.

For more information about visiting Eryri go to the Eryri National Park Authority website.

National Forest for Wales

Gwydir Forest Park forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

Water safety information

Llyn Geirionydd lake is up to 12 metres deep and the water can be very cold.

The site is unstaffed.

Mobile phone reception is poor.

Swimming and non-motorised craft

Swimming and some non-motorised craft are permitted on Llyn Geirionydd lake from the Natural Resources Wales car park.

There are some restrictions and the north end of the lake is privately owned.

Lake users should avoid the water skiing area, or stay near to the far lake shore, when ski boats are in operation - see the water safety information panel on site and in the downloads section at the bottom of this page.

Please note:

  • Follow the safety advice for your chosen activity and use buoyancy aids or tow floats.
  • Keep children under supervision at all times.
  • Respect other users.
  • Be aware of the hazards on the site - see the water safety information panel on site and in the downloads section at the bottom of this page.

Water skiing

Water skiing on Llyn Geirionydd lake is by permit only.

Permits are managed by Llyn Geirionydd Water Skiing Club.

The water skiing club requests that lake users avoid the water skiing area, or stay near to the far lake shore, when ski boats are in operation.

Please note:

  • The boat launch jetty is privately owned by Llyn Geirionydd Water Skiing Club.
  • There is no access to the lake shore area with a vehicle or trailer.
  • The launch area by the car park is for use by authorised outdoor centres only.

More information

See the water safety information panel on site and in the downloads section at the bottom of this page.

For advice and tips to help you visit our places safely go to Visiting our places safely.

Opening times

Please check the top of this page for any changes to these opening times.

The toilets are open from 9am to 7pm all year around.

They are locked overnight.

Changes to visitor facilities

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to visitor facilities here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here


Llyn Geirionydd is 4 miles west of Llanwrst.

It is in the county of Conwy.

Ordnance Survey (OS) map

Llyn Geirionydd is on OS Explorer OL17.

The OS grid reference is SH 763 604.


Take the B5106 from Llanrwst towards Betws-y-coed.

After turning left at the brown and white sign for Gwydir Castle, turn immediately right onto a minor road.

Pass several Natural Resources Wales car parks and turn right at the signpost for Llyn Geirionydd.

Follow this road to the car park.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Llanrwst.

For details of public transport visit the Traveline Cymru website.


Car parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Related document downloads

Other places in North West Wales

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