Llanrwst to Trefriw Walk
Llanrwst is an historic market town which sits about four miles from Betws-y-Coed. With Snowdonia just a few miles away, Llanrwst doesn’t automatically spring to mind as the place to walk. In the town there are historic buildings and traditional businesses and the well photographed Tu Hwnt I’r Bont Tearoom which is just a few minutes walk from Llanrwst North Station. Built in 1480 Tu Hwnt I’r Bont has been a traditional welsh tearoom for over 50 years. It’s well recognisable for the ivy that covers the building and a photographers favourite, particularly in the Autumn. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go in there today as the tearoom is closed for the winter and reopens in March.
Just outside Llanrwst on the Snowdonia border sits the small town of Trefriw, best known for it’s woollen mills and nearby spa. The walk to Trefriw from Llanrwst can be done as a linear or circular walk. The linear walk is mainly tarmac roads and paths which are accessible and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
The circular walk takes you from Trefriw back across the cob, passing through fields and an area prone to flooding. Although the path across the cob is easy to follow it’s very uneven and narrow in places.
It took me just 7 minutes to arrive at Llanrwst North from Betws-y-Coed on the Conwy Valley Railway. Heading out of the station towards the car park I took the road which runs to the left of the coach station. Just round the corner Gower Bridge comes into view.
The 19th century suspension bridge passes over the Afon Conwy. JCross over the bridge and just after it you’ll see a sign with details of Trefriw trails. There are eight way marked (and numbered) trails in total all starting in Trefriw and varying in difficulty, distance and terrain. Look out for similar signs along the route with interesting facts and information about the area.
The tarmac path heads straight into Trefriw, it’s easy to follow so you can enjoy the walk and the views along the way. About 300 yards after the bridge you’ll be able to see the village of Trefriw sitting on the side of the hill in the distance.
If you don’t fancy following the tarmac road all of the way look out for the footpath sign on the right which will take you onto a track which runs parallel to the road.
Either way, you’ll come out in Trefriw right opposite Trefriw Woollen Mills. These mills have been producing traditional Welsh tapestry from raw wool since 1859. Definitely worth exploring and a perfect place to stop for coffee and cake.
If you are doing the linear walk you can return along the same path back to Llanrwst. The Total distance is approximately 3 miles so you should be able to do a comfortable walking pace and complete this in less than 2 hours (allowing for half an hour in the Woollen Mills).
To carry on around the circular route head towards the monument just opposite the Woollen Mills. You’ll find the toilets near the monument and on the side of the building look for a ‘Trefriw Trails’ sign. Here the path takes you on a narrow track behind the toilet block which then opens up across the fields.
The path takes you across the cob. This area is flood plain and the cob was built as a defence to protect the village when the river Conwy bursts its banks.
The path across the cob is really easy to follow. You’ll pass through a few gates and over a few stiles and if you go in the winter (like I did) be prepared for it to be quite muddy underfoot in places!
The path follows the course of the Conwy river through the fields and amongst the sheep. It will bring you over a final stile and back to the Gower Bridge where you’ll turn left to cross over the bridge and back to the station. The circular route can also be done the opposite way round, just take a right over the same stile after the bridge.
Although the circular route is only slightly further than the linear walk it may take you longer due to the terrain so allow a little extra time to get back in time for your train.
I really enjoyed this walk. Despite the A470 running alongside the fields there was something quite peaceful about being in the valley. It’s flat and easy going and a great walk if you don’t want to be too far away from civilisation. There’s something for everyone with the added incentives as you get near to Trefriw of a play area for younger walkers or a visit to the wooden mill for those who are a bit older.
The linear walk is accessible to all with wide even paths, mainly tarmac.
I wore trainers which were fine on the linear walk although there were a few puddles in places. I’d definitely recommend walking boots or something a bit more waterproof for the circular walk, especially in the ‘wetter’ months as it was very muddy.
I timed this walk to fit in with the following (weekday) Conwy Valley trains:
Leave Betws-y-Coed at 1202 arrive in Llanrwst North at 1209
Alternatively leave Llandudno Junction 1032 – arrive Llanrwst North 1054
Leave Llanrwst North 1653 arrive in Betws-y-Coed at 1701
Alternatively leave Llanrwst North 1531 arrive in Llandudno Junction 1605
If you are setting off for a longer walk then you can do a circular route from Trefiw which will take you up around Llyn Gierionydd and Llyn Crafnant. This walk is about 8 miles in total and is absolutely beautiful.
Meet The Author
Tracey Breese, Breese Adventures.
Tracey Ann Breese runs Breese Adventures with her husband Stiwart. They have been based in Snowdonia for the last four years and provide guided walks, tailored adventures and charity challenges.
Tracey is passionate about inspiring more people to get outdoors and have more adventures, exploring both the natural environment and what we can learn about ourselves from adventures and challenges.