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Betws y Coed

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Conwy : Betws y Coed
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Betws y Coed[1] (meaning Chapel in the Woods) is a village in Conwy, and is one of the primary tourist resorts in the Snowdonia National Park. The village claims to be Wales' most popular inland tourist resort. The name is often abbreviated to "Betws" or even "BYC".

Get in

By Car

Betws y Coed is on the historic A5 London to Holyhead trunk road, but is also accesible via the A470 from Llandudno.

By Train

Betws y Coed station is on the Conwy Valley[2] branch line from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

By Bus

Betws y Coed is served by Bws Gwynedd[3] services

  • S2 (Llanrwst - Capel Curig - Betws y Coed) (every 1-2 hours on workdays)
  • S97 (Porthmadog - Penryndeudraeth/Beddgelert - Betws y Coed) (less frequent)
  • X1/84 follows the same line from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog as the train but is more frequent (every 1-2 hours on workdays)
  • Local busses to Llanrwst

In effect bus travel to/from Betws y Coed is not easily managable - many busses run only on certain days, dates or periods - especially in summer. And times are not evenly distributed - at some times there may be 3 busses to Llanrwst in one hour and then 2 hours before the next one goes. In sundays there are almost no busses except the S2.

The bus station is found some 100m north of the entrance to the railway station, at the entrance to the large car park, and is referred to as "Platform 2" while in fact it is nothing like a platform and not even part of the station complex.

Get around

As the village itself is quite small it is easiest to get around on foot - and it is quite managable. The S2 bus can be used to get to the westernnmost part of town as well as to the Swallow Falls Hotel complex, the Ty y Hyll trailhead and Capel Curig. Many places however cannot be reached by public transport at all, so a car i very handy. A bike is also handy but it must be suitable for hilly terrain.

See

  • Conwy Valley Railway Museum - a very small railroad museum, but it has a small rideable model railroad for kids and an electric tram
  • Conwy Valley Motor Museum
  • Small exebition on the national park information centre & TIC
  • Swallow Falls. 2 miles to the west on the road to Capel Curig. The path to the falls is accessed via a turnstile at a charge of £1. While the falls are indeed beautifull there are similar rapids closer to town and fee of charge - for instance at the Miners bridge (1 mile west) and at the Pont-y-pair bridge (in town) - both free of charge
  • Nice forest boardwalk just west/north of Pont-y-pair bridge - impressive Douglas firs
  • The Ugly House (Ty Hyll), Home of the Snowdonia Society[4]. 01690 720287. On the A5 road to the west of the village. Open 0930-1700. 7 days in summer, Mo-Fr in winter.

Do

Betws y Coed's location in the heart of Snowdonia's mountains means that many visitors are here for hillwalking, Mountain Biking and climbing.

  • Plas y Brenin[5] - the National Mountain Centre. In the village of Capel Curig, about 5 miles away. 01690 720214. Offers courses in Hillwalking, Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Orienteering, Skiing and more. The centre has a pool, climbing walls, ropes course and a dry ski slope.
  • Mountain Biking — check out the Marin and Penmachno Trails [6]
  • The surrounding Gwydyr forrest is rich on both marked and unmarked trails. The marked trails range from 1 mile walks on level roads to 10 mile walks in streneous terrain. The lower parts of the Llugwy valley offer forests remniscent of temperate rainforests with a thick cover of moss and lichens on the trees and on ground. Another speciality is the exploring of old mines and quarries of which many are partly (and safely) accesible.
  • Betws y Coed is a great base for exploring the Great little Trains, narrow-gauge heritage railways found all over North Wales. Apart from the railway museum the Conwy valley line itself is quite intereesting, and provides access to Blaenau Ffestiniog with the Ffestiniog Railway and the mine tramways of the Llechwedd Slate Caverns as well as to the Chester to Holyhead mainline via Llandudno Junction. Sherpa bus S2 provides easy access to Llanberis with both the Snowdow Mountain Railway and the Llanberis Lake Railway (1 proper railway, 3 narrow-gauge heritage railways and 4 smaller mine or model tramways)

Buy

There are a number of outdoor clothing and equipment shops and also some shops selling local crafts. Comparative to the size of the village the number of outdoor clothing and equipment shops is large (5-6), but otherwise there is nothing special to get which can't be purchased in similar shops otherwise. A few shops sell slate specialty products and souvenirs, but in general Llanberis (Welsh Slate Museum) and Blaenau Ffestiniog (Llechwed Slate Caverns) are better choices for slate.

Eat

Compared to the number of hotels and B&B's and the number of visitors seen on a summer weekend, there are relatively few restaurants - most of them part of a hotel, and most of them serve only classical english/welsh food or have a bar menu. There is one chinese restaurant and one indian.

  • Ty Gwyn Hotel & Restaurant, (On the A5 just south of the village by Waterloo bridge), 01690 710383. Bar and restaurant in 18th century coaching inn, big portions, excellent food and service. Booking advised.
  • Pont-y-Pair Hotel, (Centre of Betws-y-Coed opposite Pont-y-Pair bridge), 01690 710377, [7]. Reasonably priced bar food in a traditional pub as well as a restaurant
  • The Royal Oak Hotel (see below) have 3 restaurants of fair quality - all have standard english/welsh cuisine
    • The Royal Oak Restaurant is a classic hotel restaurant with good but traditional and somewhat pricy menu
    • The Grill Room right next to the restaurant is a tad cheaper, and have more grill dishes on the menu - quite good. Full on fridays and saturdays.
    • The Stables is a bar with both indoors and outdoors seating. The menu is a subset of the menu from the Grill Room, but a few quid cheaper. Can be quite full fridays and saturdays.

Drink

Sleep

Compared to the size of the village there is a huge number of hotels and B&B's - you get the impression that more than every 2nd house is some form of accomodation. Amongst others are

But there are many, many more...

Camping

There are many campsites in the area, especially on the road to Capel Curig. One large camping site next to the railway museum.

Hostels

  • YHA Betws-y-Coed, 01690 710796, [8]. 2 miles west from the village centre, part of a larger hotel and bar complex next to the Swallow Falls. Open 365 days a year. Reception hours 0800 - 2100. 78 beds. Family rooms available.
  • Plas Curig [9] is only 5 miles away in the village of Capel Curig.
  • The Vagabond, Craiglan Road, Betws y Coed, 01690 710850, [10]. checkout: 10am. Independent hostel in a detached Victorian villa. 36 beds, self-catering kitchen, bar, common room, meals available, climbing wall. Bed linen provided. Bed per night £14. B&B (obligatory at week-ends) £18. B&B and evening meal £25.

Contact

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