5 Walks from the Train
The stations along the Conwy Valley Railway Line are the perfect base for exploring the beauty of North Wales from. If you enjoy more active sightseeing and fancy discovering some of what the Conwy Valley has to offer on foot, then you’re in for a real treat.
With the railway starting at the coast, in Llandudno, and finishing in the heart of the mountains, in Blaenau Ffestiniog, there are many varied walks that can be started from one of the stations along the line.
It was a hard task but we’ve narrowed a long list of walks to five of our favourite – five that we think you shouldn’t miss if you want a glimpse of the real Conwy Valley.
1. The Great Orme, Llandudno
There are various walks up to and around the beautiful Great Orme Summit in Llandudno. With breathtaking views over the Victorian town and the ocean, you won’t be disappointed with any of them.
One of our favourites is the Great Orme Nature Trail, which is a circular route around the headland, starting and ending at the Summit. It’s clearly marked, and once you’ve finished, you can treat yourself to a well deserved cup of tea at the top!
You can also walk the four mile Marine Drive. Costing £2.50 in a car, walkers can experience the incomparable sea views for free! Make sure you spend time looking both up and down – there’s something to see from every angle.
The Conwy Valley Railway starts in Llandudno, otherwise known as the ‘Queen of the Welsh Resorts’. Whilst you’re there, why not explore this historic seaside town and take a stroll down its famous Pier?
You can download the Great Orme walking trails here.
2. Caerhun Walk, Tal-y-Cafn
This is a lovely gentle walk on a circular route, starting and ending at Tal-y-Cafn station, roughly a third of the way along the Conwy Valley line.
It’s around 6.5km, and takes approximately two hours at normal walking speed. You’ll walk along the banks of the majestic River Conwy, past ancient Welsh churches and the ruins of Roman forts, surrounded by show-stopping views of Snowdonia and the Conwy Valley.
If you’re in the area, pop into the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre to refuel at the Furnace Tea Shop and have a mooch around the farm shop. We challenge you to resist foodie temptation!
3. Gwydir Forest, Betws-y-Coed
Betws-y-Coed is the perfect place for walking in North Wales, and is one of the bigger stops on the Conwy Valley line. It’s an idyllic place with some great walks plus a wide selection of outdoor shops so you can stock up on your walking gear while you’re here.
Rivers, mountains and trees all come together to make a combination that can’t be missed.
Serious walkers might try one of the many walking routes in the Gwydir Forest. We recommend the 7km route that starts behind St Mary’s Church and takes you up through Forestry Commission pine woods to the picturesque little lake of Llyn Elsi.
Take in the ruins and memorials of Wales’ Industrial Age before heading back down into Betws-y-Coed, finishing at the famous and oft-photographed Pont-y-Pair Bridge.
Full the full itinerary of this walk, click here.
This walk takes you on a 5.5 kilometre circular route, starting at the picturesque market town of Llanrwst -where there is, not one, but two stops on the Conwy Valley line – and taking in Betws-y-Coed and Llyn Parc before returning along the river.
Follow the trail for a lovely woodland walk resplendent with wonderful wild flowers, such as bluebells and wild garlic, in the spring and summer months. Nature lover? Owls and butterflies can also be spotted whilst walking.
Following a brief sojourn in Betws (where you can board the train if you’ve had enough of walking) begin the return journey through the woods, along the shores of Llyn Parc and finally back to Llanrwst. Along the way, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Carneddau Mountains and Conwy Valley.
Llanwrst is home to the famous and quaint Tu Hwnt Ir Bont Tearooms, a great place for a celebratory slice of cake and a cuppa after your walk.
5. The Vale of Ffestiniog Way
For a longer, more challenging walk, have a go at the Vale of Ffestiniog Way. This 28km walk stretches from Maentwrog on the coast to Blaenau Ffestiniog, the last stop on the Conwy Valley Railway.
Not one for fair weather walkers, this trail will take you off-the-beaten-track and away from the crowds. While a stop at Blaenau won’t give you time to hike the whole route, you can certainly tackle the Blaenau to Maentwrog stretch of the Way which follows the route of the Ffestiniog Railway.
These are just a few of the hundreds of walks that can be enjoyed from one of the stops on the Conwy Valley Railway. If we’ve given you a taste for the great outdoors, why not plan your next walking adventure or even join a walking group? Cerdded Conwy Walks host seasonal guided walks in Conwy county completely free of charge – we might see you on the next one!