Home Accommodation Video Attractions Activities Gallery Shops Eating Links Puzzles
  Capel Garmon - To a Tomb with a View

Ancient stones above a magical gorge

Capel Garmon walk Tiny Capel Garmon has been inhabited for thousands of years. The most striking memorial to the earliest inhabitants is the chambered long barrow to the south of the village. Built over 4000 years ago, its a communal burial chamber where generations of Neolithic farmers were interred, high up on this ridge above the Afon Conwy. A jumble of small fields and ancient boundaries draw the walk down to the river gorge where thundering waterfalls mark the meeting of the rivers Machno and Conwy. Centuries-old, mossy oakwoods clothe the banks here, perhaps evoking a sense of other-worldness in the Victorians who christened the area Fairy Glen. It remains today an enchanting promenade amidst cool woods and rushing waters. A final climb up a steep, wooded path, returns us to the village, pub and chapel secluded i the knobbly hills.

Route
Walk south out of the compact little village, passing the White Horse Inn on your left. Ignore the first fingerposted footpath and continue several hundred paces further to a second, a short way past the drive for Maes y Garnedd Farm. Climb the ladder stile here and stick close to the fence on your left. A kissing gate gives access to a path beside and beneath a line of oaks; walk past these to and through the farmyard in the middle distance. At the far side go up the driveway to a sharp bend. Here, look right for two decrepit kissing gates and some worn signs for "Burial Chamber". Turn left along the field edge here, slip through he gate halfway along and head for the railed enclosure visible ahead. It's a superb setting - who's to say that our forefathers didn't appreciate the stunning panorama of mountains as much as we do? Allow time to appreciate the work and craft that went into the constructions of this monument.

Look beyond the enclosure for a stile into an adjacent field. Walk ahead 30 paces and then look left for a fingerpost standing amidst a rocky outcrop. Climb to this and walk to and through the kissing gate some yards beyond. Keep ahead through the band of oaks, looking for another fingerpost mid-field. This points the way right along a winding farm road. Descend this to another fingerpost indicating a diversionary path around the farm, dropping to a stile into a tarred lane. Turn right down down this and simply remain with it all the way down to the main A5 road. It's virtually traffic free and enables the fine panorama of Siabod, Cnicht, Yr Aran and Snowdon to be appreciated to the full.

Turn right and tread warily along the A5 as there is no pavement. Almost immediately, on the opposite side of the road, is the entrance to the thundering Conwy Falls and a handy Cafe. If this doesn't appeal then remain on the A5 for a further 150 yards to a chevron road sign at a bend. Carefully cross over here and look for the path leaving the far end of the small pull-in. This strikes gently downhill and away from the road, magnificent beech and oak sheltering the deep gorge down to your left. This is the Conwy and is a constant, noisy companion for the next mile or so. Remain on the main path through several gates & stiles; the path develops into a wider lane.

At the gateway there is a choice. If you have time to visit the Fairy Glen, with its spectacular gorge, then turn left through the covered gateway (nominal charge of 50p), exploring this Victorian favourite before returning to this spot. The main route turns to the right from the original gate, a way mark pointing the way up a fenced path beside the house and then up the slope behind to reach the A5 once again. Cross straight over to a gap in the wall just left of the driveway to Bron Haul. This narrow path is, surprisingly, classed as a bridlepath - miniatures Shetland ponies may just stand a chance! This well-defined path climbs fairly steeply along the woodland edge before passing old posts to enter the woodlands. It's a switchback of a path that eventually emerges onto a forestry road. Turn right along this, pass the barrier and then a gate across the lane and then follow this undulating lane through pleasant, knolly countryside all the way back to Capel Garmon. Turn left to return to the White Horse Inn.

Walking in Snowdonia ::: Walking in North Wales

Map - click to enlarge
map of snowdonia walk

DISTANCE : c. 4.5 miles (7 km)
TIME: Allow 2 - 2.5 hours
TERRAIN: Mostly easy paths and lanes, steep ascent near the finish.
PARKING: Limited roadside parking in the village
REFRESHMENTS: White Horse Inn Capel Garmon, Conwy Falls Cafe / Restaurant.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Infrequent bus from Betws y Coed to Cwm Penmachno. Alight at the Conwy Falls stop, the walk passes along the main A5 at this point.
PUBLIC CONVENIENCES: Capel Garmon
O.S. DETAILS: Explorer Outdoor Leisure Sheets 17 & 18
GRID REF: SH 816555



To learn more. Join our mailing list in order to receive our free newsletter about
North Wales events,activities, attractions and special deals.
Email: