Gaze out over this beautiful series of waterfalls, a popular tourist attraction for over a hundred years.
Head down the path to Swallow Falls, where the River Llugwy splits into multiple waterfalls. Watch the water as it careens around the rocks before tumbling into a natural pool at the bottom. Look for wildlife as you relax and possibly see herons fishing in the river.
Swallow Falls has drawn visitors since 1913, when it was gifted to the local council by the second Lord Ancaster, a local landowner. The council opened the falls to the public and charged a small fee to view the falls up close. The beautiful spot proved so popular it soon cleared the council’s debts. Visit today and appreciate why it has remained one of the area's most popular attractions ever since.
Take a 2-mile (3-kilometer) walk west from Betws-y-Coed along the road to the entrance to the falls. The turnstile collects a small fee and lets you through to the falls themselves. Be careful if the weather has been bad or you have mobility problems. It’s not a strenuous walk, but it can be slippery in places.
If you want to avoid the crowds and the fee, follow a less well-known path around the northern bank. A 5-mile (8-kilometer) walk from Betws-y-Coed, the path is well maintained but still wild, so be sure you’re prepared. It should take you about 2 or 3 hours, through the dense woodlands of Gwydyr Forest and alongside the river. When you get to the hidden spot, the views are even better. Sit down on the bench and enjoy the peaceful setting.
Be aware that the turnstile doesn’t give change and can be a little tricky to operate. If you’re driving, use the parking along the main road. The nearby hotel has a parking lot too. Swallow Falls are accessible year-round, but are much more impressive after heavy rainfall, making November and March the best times to see them.