Foray into the magical forest

Gwydir Forest Park pretty much surrounds Betws-y-Coed. A magical place of glassy mountain lakes, leafy trails through carpets of bluebells and rushing waterfalls, it's just made for pulling on your walking boots.

There are 14 trails in all and many are easy walking with far reaching views across the might mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia). Curious kids will love learning about the area's rich mining heritage as you discover the tumble down mine buildings along the way.

A lady sat on a bench overlooking woodland and mountains.

Gwydir Forest Park, Hafna, near Llanrwst, North Wales

Have some fun in the trees

There's leafy excitement for everyone at Zipworld's Fforest location, five minutes drive away. Kids as young as three can bounce off their energy on the Treetop Nets, there's the Treehoppers adventure course for kids aged five and up and the much higher Zip Safari with 21 zips for brave nine year olds right up to teens and adults.

Add to that Skyride - a stomach lurching giant swing - and the high speed Forest Coaster run and you'll easily spend a whole day here. Still not scared witless? You will be when you hurtle earthwards from the 100ft high Plummet Tower!

View from the seat of a Fforest Coaster cart - with the track and trees ahead.
Two people on the Zip World Fforest Coaster

Zip World Fforest Coaster, North Wales

Go for a serious scramble

The glacial valleys and craggy canyons around Betws-y-Coed have been drawing visitors in search of adrenaline highs for centuries. Teens and adults will love the challenge of canyoning and gorge walking - getting wet scrambling around river-filled canyons, abseiling sheer cliffs and ziplining across rivers with Seren Ventures. Of course you're kitted out with wetsuit, helmet and gloves and you're accompanied by professional instructors. They'll keep you safe and make sure you have just the best day out ever!

Get your pulse racing

Wales is famous for its spectacular mountain biking and Betws-y-Coed sits right in the centre of it. Minutes up the road, the Marin Route is an exhilarating three hour romp around the peaks and pines of Gwydir Forest. To the south there's the more relaxed Llyn Elsi Route up to the old reservoir and across the valley there's more adventure on the Penmachno Mountain Bike Trails.

Want something more technical? Drive 15 minutes to Antur Stiniog with its state-of-the-art uplift and several nerve jangling trails to get your pulse racing. Bikes can be hired from Beics Betws.

Two mountain bikers at the start of a track looking down to the quarry and village.

The top of a downhill trail at Antur Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Hop in the saddle

You don't have to be an experienced rider to trot through the spectacular Eryri (Snowdonia) scenery. Traffic-free bridleways criss-cross Yr Wyddfa's (Snowdon's) eastern foothills. Gwydyr Stables is accredited by the Wales Trekking and Riding Association and offers rides from just half an hour long. 

More experienced in the saddle? You can go for an all day hack or even two and three day trail rides with accommodation provided. If you've got kids who ride, you can leave them in the hands of experienced instructors while you ride out.

Head deep inside a mountain

Why go over a mountain when you can go through it? You can abseil, zipline, scramble, traverse, boat and climb your way around the abandoned mines of Eryri (Snowdonia) with Go Below. Along the way you encounter deep blue lakes, lofty caverns and long-forgotten mining gear.

Just choose your adventure level...

Ultimate Extreme is for adults only and features a heart-in-mouth freefall and the mighty Goliath Zip. Go Below Challenge is a less scary affair, suitable for kids aged over 10.

Adventure seekers at the entrance to the Go Below Xtreme experience at the Cwmorthin Mine, Tanygrisiau
Teams traverse on of the underground bridges at Go Below Xtreme experience

Go Below Adventures, Eryri (Snowdonia), North Wales

Jump aboard a steam train

Bet you didn't know this… With the Conwy Valley Railway Museum right next to the National Rail station, Betws-y-Coed is the only station in the UK with a footbridge that spans three different gauges of track!

Younger kids will love the mile-long miniature steam railway and the one-third size tramcar. There's also a small museum and shop staffed by friendly volunteers. Journeys run daily but times and trains vary according to the time of year.

Revel in the romance of nature

There's something rather wonderful about being surrounded by epic natural scenery. Eryri (Snowdonia) is packed with viewpoints to make hearts flutter. One lovely spot for a romantic wander from Betws-y-Coed is Swallow Falls on the River Llugwy.

The walk takes in peaceful forest, gurgling river and culminates in a series of majestic, foaming rapids. The popular viewpoints are on the south bank. But here's a top tip: walk along the north bank for a more dramatic vantage point and far fewer people. Sturdy footwear and a camera are essential.

Go on a family adventure

Or how about a fully-organised family adventure break? Adventure Tours UK has an eight day-trip based in Betws-y-Coed which includes canyoning, coasteering and rafting as well as one extra night on a remote island in a bothy.

Two adults in life jackets and helmets jumping into the sea off the rocks coasteering
A group of people in standing near a waterfall wearing safety gear.

Coasteering and canyoning with Adventure Tours UK.

Wind down and fill up

Nothing like outdoor exertion for working up an appetite, is there? Betws-y-Coed is packed with tasty places for reliving adventures over fine food and drink.

For pizza perfection try Hangin’ Pizzeria. Or how about tapas with a twist? Olif is a fab tapas bar where almost everything is sourced locally. (OK not the olives, they just don't grow in Wales. But they’ve got Welsh chorizo!)

Room for something sweet? Try an indulgent cake at the Alpine Coffee Shop. They offer a range of treats, including a fabulous afternoon tea. Plus, dogs won't miss out - ask about their 'sausages for dogs' loyalty card!

Image of the exterior of Olif restaurant in North Wales
A group of people eating and drinking in Olif tapas bar

Olif, Betws-y-Coed

Bed down for the night

There's way too much to do here in a day. So stay a while!

If you’re to full too move at Olif, you can stay in one of their luxury rooms. Tan Y Foel has six cosy rooms in a historic country house surrounded by lush lawns. Or how about bedding down in the former Police Station? These days The Courthouse has soft beds rather than cold hard benches.

Just a mile outside town Pengwern Country House is built of Welsh stone and slate and overlooks the leafy Lledr Valley. There's also a self-contained bolthole called The Studio with its own log burner. Perfect for two!

Search for more accommodation options around Betws-y-Coed.

Be safe!

Exploring the outdoors is fantastic fun, but please make sure you are well prepared.

Search for more activities and attractions near Betws-y-Coed.

River and houses set amongst lush green trees in Betws-y-Coed.


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