The Gwydyr Forest, set in the Snowdonia National Park, is home to some of the most celebrated scenery of forestry, lakes and mountains. Its enchanting community Betws-Y-Coed is in fact the outdoors capital of North Wales. Here you can walk, climb, cycle and even face adventure courses, high among the trees.
One of the area’s most famous biking routes is the Marin Trail. Don’t be fooled by its attraction though, this 25km long track is famous for its tough climbs but exhilarating descents. With a red trail grade, it’s not a route for the faint hearted but a thrilling experience for experienced mountain bikers. Though it’s a long track you can always cut it short, but you certainly don’t want to miss out on the breathtaking views the whole journey offers, over mountains, trees and lakes. With smooth open paths to rough and rocky single tracks, some areas of the route can be more rewarding to different riders but time and time again the final descent is said to have riders grinning from ear to ear.
If you don’t own a bike of your own, Betws-y-Coed offers its own bike hire facility, Beics Betws. With over 22 years of experience, this hiring facility caters to both beginners and experienced riders, even offering guided rides.
If you’re looking for a route more suited to the whole family, the Llyn Elsi trail offers a non-technical biking trail that has been awarded a blue trail grade. This route is 10km in length and offers wonderful views over the Llyn Elsi Reservoir with predominantly forest tracks, rarely making steep climbs. This route can be a really enjoyable experience for the family as it’s perfectly suitable for older children too. To make the most of this calm trail, it’s best to cycle this track on a sunny day, this way you can keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife in the area.
Close to the Conwy Falls Cafe in Betws-Y-Coed, is Go Below. If maybe you’re looking for a deep and dark adventure through the Snowdonia mines, this is an active experience for you. You’ll be kitted up with full safety equipment and taking on underground challenges in no time. You’ll have the opportunity to zip line over water, climb vertical shafts and even abseil down the deepest point in Snowdonia. Choose between two adventures, where you’ll be guided by mine explorers the whole way. The Underground Challenge is suitable for both older children and adults, where you can scale waterfalls and explore the forgotten slate mines, with vast caverns and lakes. For adults, the Challenge Xtreme is a challenge that is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. This challenge involves climbing over exposed traverses to reach the deepest underground workings in Snowdonia.
The area is also home to adventures that take place off of the ground. Tree Top Adventure offers high ropes courses to people of all ages and abilities, even as young as 4. Adventurers will be fitted with a full safety harness and helmet before receiving a comprehensive safety briefing and taking on over 30 obstacles high in the air. Without ever having to detach from the safety line, you’ll cross bridges, balancing beams and zip wires all while testing your skill and ability. For the little ones the Junior Tree Trail lets your children join in on the fun, crossing several adorably named beams and crossings. Afterwards, you can take on the Powerfan Plummet, the world’s highest Powerfan parachute simulator. Set over 100ft high in the air, the summit offers panoramic views before you take your leap and receive an incredibly light landing, thanks to the revolutionary technology.
The Gwydyr Forest is surrounded by natural scenery that is perfect for a full day of activities, for visitors of all ages. Whether it’s up high or deep in old abandoned mines, activities around the Gwydyr Forest will give you the taste of nature you need to enjoy quality time and make memories you’ll treasure forever.