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11 Things to Do Around Betws-y-Coed: Waterfalls, Mines & More

Welsh for ‘prayer house in the wood’, it might be a small village, but don’t let its size deceive you. There are so many things to do around Betws-y-Coed that it’s actually one of the best places for a day out or even a staycation in North Wales.

Full of traditional stone-and-slate houses, this delightfully picturesque village is considered the getaway to Snowdonia: no wonder it’s so popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts!

Regardless of how long you’re planning on sticking around for, here are some exciting things to do in and around Betws-y-Coed.

1. Get lost in the Gwydir Forest Park & walk to Swallow Falls

If you love walks in nature, wait until we tell you that this village is surrounded by 28-mi²-worth of woodlands!

From mountain lakes to this area’s mining heritage and rare plants, you’re really spoiled with choices when it comes to paths and views.

Still, its highlight is probably the trail leading to Swallow Falls, created in the spot where the river flows through a chasm surrounded by majestic trees.

2. Hike all the way up to Llyn Elsi

Were you hoping for a more challenging hike? Set two or three hours aside to reach this tranquil lake over 700 feet higher than the actual village.

The path up there is fairly steep, but once you get to the lake you’ll immediately see why it was totally worth it

3. Visit the Conwy Valley Railway Museum & Model Shop

One of the best things to do around Betws-y-Coed for families, this museum will tell you all about the fascinating railway history behind this village.

To reach it, you’ll also walk across the UK’s only footbridge spanning three gauges of track.

And you really can’t leave without hopping on its miniature train!

4. Stand on Pont y Pair Bridge

This stone bridge has been guaranteeing unforgettable views since 1468 (yes, you’ve read that correctly).

Right in the heart of the village, it’s the most ideal spot to admire the rumbling river surrounded by trees and stone houses. Don’t forget your camera!

5. Have fun at Zip World Forest

Another of the most fun things to do around Betws-y-Coed for children and adults alike, this Zip World branch plunges you into an idyllic woodland and tests your adrenaline levels.

Tree hoppers, a Zip Safari, Europe’s highest swing, zip lines, and even the UK’s only alpine coaster: what are you going to try first?

6. Hop on a mountain bike

Betws-y-Coed is also a hub for mountain bikers in North Wales and beyond thanks to its charming setting and challenging trails.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try the infamous Marin and Penmachno trail, or drive fifteen minutes to reach Antur Stiniog.

7. Go below… with Go Below

You’ve probably been on mountains before, but how about… through one?

Go Below offers something for everyone (as long as you’re not claustrophobic), including children as young as ten. When you zipline, sail, or climb around this abandoned mine, you’ll also be wowed by caverns and hidden lakes.

8. Take a picture of the Sappers Suspension Bridge

Almost a hundred years old, this quaint suspension bridge is the best way to cross the Conwy River.

Heads up: children tend to particularly enjoy walking on it since it can get fairly wobbly, so get ready to cross it more than once.

9. Pay a visit to its churches

Right next to the suspension bridge, you’ll find St. Michael’s Old Church: as the name suggests, this 14th-century building is also the most ancient in the village.

You should pop into St. Mary’s Church too, a dramatic rubble and slate building in a Transitional Norman style that officially replaced the former in 1873.

10. Let your kids be detectives with the Betws-y-Coed Spy Mission Treasure Trail

If your kids tend to get bored when you go sightseeing, here’s one of the best things to do around Betws-y-Coed as a family: a spy mission!

This 1.5-mile-long path around the village will never look the same once you start finding all the clues to solve its mystery. And, if you get stuck, you can always opt for text messages with additional hints.

11. After enjoying so many things to do around Betws-y-Coed, head to one of its indie cafés & restaurants

Another aspect that characterises this postcard-style village is its range of unique, independent cafés and restaurants, including some of the very best places to eat in Snowdonia.

We especially recommend Hangin’ Pizzeria, Olif (a Welsh tapas bar), Ty Gwyn for locally sourced produce, and Alpine Coffee Shop for delicious treats in a more relaxed atmosphere.

There are so many things to do around Betws-y-Coed that you’ll definitely want to come back.

Have you considered a base in this breathtaking part of the country? Check out the stunning lodges of our park: North Wales could be right on your doorstep.