Walking at Abercelyn, Bala, Snowdonia

Walks available include scenic walks, heritage trails, high-level mountain and more


When staying at Abercelyn there is a wide variety of walks available, including:

  • Walks directly from Abercelyn
  • Walks for families
  • All Ability Trails
  • Heritage Trails
  • Scenic walks
  • Mountain walks
  • Walks accessed using public transport or using the Bala Lake Railway

Walks directly from Abercelyn

  • Abercelyn Local Walk: a short walk (45 mins) through woods
  • Moel Y Garnedd (1180 ft/360 m): a circular walk of 2 hrs duration.
  • You can walk around the lake using the Leisure Network or Bala Challenge high route or part using the Bala Lake Railway or bus
  • Lake Bala Views: on the far side of the lake
  • Walk along the lake into Bala where a number of walks start

Suggested Programme of Walks

Short Walks:

  • Abercelyn Local Walk (Nurse College Woods and the poisoned stream)
  • Around Bala: several walks
  • Precipice Walk: near Dolgellau, one of the classic walks in North Wales
  • New Precipice Walk: near Llanelltyd, on the level with views of the Mawddach Estuary
  • Panoramic Walk: Barmouth with panoramic views of the Mawddach Estuary
  • Torrent Walk: Brithdir (near Dolgellau)
  • Pistyll-y-Meincian (waterfalls): from Rhiwargor car park (Lake Vyrnwy)
  • Pistyll Rhaeadr the highest waterfall in Wales (240 ft high)

Scenic Walks:

  • Moel Y Garnedd (1180 ft/360 m): from Abercelyn
  • The Tryweryn Trail at the National Whitewater Centre
  • Around Lake Bala or part utilising the Bala Lake Railway
    • Abercelyn - Llanuwchllyn (8 miles)
    • Llanuwchllyn - Abercelyn (6 miles)
    • Lake Bala circuit (14 miles)
  • Lake Bala Views: from the North end of the Lake
  • Mawddach Estuary: from Penmaenpoel
  • New Precipice Walk: Mawddach Estuary (on A496 to Barmouth)
  • Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall (240 ft high): from Tan-y-pistyll, near Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant (Berwyn mountains)
  • Mawddach Trail, Dolgellau to Barmouth or part
  • Creggennen lakes and Pared–y-Cefn hir with sea and mountain views
  • Cynfal falls and spectacular gorge

Some of the lower nearby hills have great views:

  • Moel Y Garnedd (1180 ft/360 m) direct from Abercelyn
  • Moel Emoel (1800 ft/549 m) from Bala or Llanfor
  • Moel y Llan (800 ft/241 m) near Llanfor
  • Foel Goch (2003 ft/611 m) near Sarnau or with Moel Emoel

Heritage Trails

  • Bala Town Trail
  • Betsi Cadwaladr Trail
  • A circular walk around Bala
  • Mary Jones walk – barefoot is optional!

Family Walks:

  • Family treasure hunt around Bala (Tegi-Bach)
  • All-ability trails are suitable for pushchairs
  • Walk along the lake and return by steam railway
  • The Tryweryn Trail at the National Whitewater Centre
  • Walk with a warden to learn about nature

Mountain ranges around Bala

There are three local mountain ranges (Arenig, Aran, Berwyn) readily accessible and Cadair Idris and the Rhinog Mountains, are a short drive away. Other parts of Snowdonia are also easily accessible including Snowdon, the Glyders, Tryfan, Carneddau, Cnicht and the Nantlle ridge.

To the south of Bala is the Aran mountain range with 14 summits above 2000 ft (610 m). An excellent walk is the Aran ridge, which includes principal summits: Aran Fawddwy (2969 ft/905 m) and Aran Benllyn (2904 ft/885 m).

To the west of Bala is the Arenig mountain range with 13 summits above 2000 ft (610 m). Arenig Fawr (854 m) is the principal summit - on the summit is a memorial to American Airman whose Flying Fortress crashed on the mountain. The famous artist, Augustus John, lived in a cottage “Nant Ddu” at the foot of the mountain Arenig Fawr. This inspired him to paint views of the Arenig Mountain under different light and seasonal conditions.

To the north-east and east of Bala is the Berwyn and Hirnant mountain range with 24 summits above 2000 ft (610 m). The three principle summits can be climbed in one walk, including: Cadair Berwyn (2723 m/ft 830 m), Moel Sych (827m/2710 ft) and Cadair Bronwen (827m/2710 ft). The highest waterfall in Wales Pistyll Rhaeadr (240 ft high) is located in the Berwyn Mountains.

Suggested High-level Walks

  • Aran Ridge (2971 ft/906 m)
  • Arenig Fawr (2800 ft/854 m)
  • Arenig Fawr (2800 ft/854 m) & Moel Llyfnant (751m)
  • Berwyn ssummits: Cadair Berwyn (785m), Moel Sych (827m) and Cadair Bronwen (827m)
  • Rhobell Fawr (734m) and Dduallt (662m)
  • Cadair Idris (2,925 ft/892 m): Pony Path, Foxes Path or Minffordd Path (circular)
  • Rhinog Fawr (2360 ft/720 m) and the Roman Steps
  • Rhinog Fach (2334 ft/7120 m)
  • Northern Rhinog tops

And much more…….

 

Walking without a car

Some suggestions if you don’t have a car:

  • Several walks either start from Abercelyn or within a short walk away (e.g. Bala)
  • The principal bus route Barmouth-Dolgellau-Bala-Wrexham stops on request outside Abercelyn. This bus route has many stops that provide access to walks, e.g.
    • Aran ridge (Rhydymain to Llanuwchllyn)
    • Llandderfel to walk back to Abercelyn
    • Llanuwchllyn to walk back to Abercelyn either side of the lake
    • Llandrillo: walks in the Berwyn Mountains
    • Llangollen: walks around Llangollen & the Dee Valley
    • Dolgellau: walks around Dolgellau
  • The Bala Railway (seasonal) can be used to reach several points, e.g. Llangower or Llanuwchllyn including walks around Lake Bala.

Useful information:

Public Transport Information

Bala Lake Railway

Walk in stunning mountain and lake scenery


Scenic or Mountain Walks


Arenig Fawr


Aran Ridge - Cwm Cywarch


Aran ridge descent to Lake Bala


Snowdon Horseshoe - Crib Goch