A walk over lower hillsides and through ancient woods to one of Snowdonia's most picturesque lakes.

The locality is steeped in history and has links with both the Dark Age bard Taliesin and Prince Llywelyn. Paths are generally good with steeper ascents and descents near the start and end of the walk.

Distance: 6 1/2 miles

Start: There is limited parking along with WC facilities available in the centre of Trefriw opposite Trefriw Woollen Mill in 'Gower Road'.

Grid ref: 780 630 (Ordnance Survey Explorer OL17).

The walk

1. With the woollen mill facing you, turn right over the bridge, then left up the hill opposite the 'Fairy Falls Hotel'. Take the first footpath on the left in about 30 yards. Keep right where this path forks and walk beside the river to the Fairy Falls.

The falls were given their name by the Victorians who were fascinated by fairies and associated them with any romantic spot such as this.

From here the path bends sharp right up to a kissing gate. Go through the gate and turn right over the footbridge which crosses the rocky gorge containing the river. At a road cross over, go straight ahead and after a short rise, where the road bends left, follow a short footpath

straight ahead.

At the top of the rise turn right along the road and look for a signed footpath which leads into woods on the left (approx 50 yards). This path rises gently for about 250 yards through the trees to a stile. After the stile in about 100 yards there is a fork, ignore the path on the left

continuing ahead on the main path. This traverses the hillside with occasional glimpses of the valley through the trees.

Eventually you break out of the trees and you have a 'bird's eye view' into the valley.

A little further on the path zig-zags up to an even better viewpoint. From here you can see you can see up the valley to the gap in the hills containing Llyn Crafnant with old mine buildings in the bottom of the valley.

Soon after this the path forks; ignore the path on the left, instead keep ahead on the more defined lower path which soon passes small walled fields on the left. Continue to contour crossing a stream by an old stone footbridge until you join the minor lane which runs

beside Llyn Geirionydd (about 1/2 mile).

Bear right along the lane and turn right through the kissing gate at the start of the lake. Follow the track over the outflow and immediately after the first building on the left, turn left (post and sign) and follow a well-defined path along the lake for about one an a quarter miles.

Just before this, a stone monument can be seen to the right of the track. If you visit the monument return to this point to continue the walk.

2. At the far end of the lake join a gravel track, turn left and continue to the lane. Turn right and follow the lane uphill for about 500 yards to the first conifer plantation the left. Take the forest road on the left here and after 50 yards bear right onto a narrower footpath. This

path eventually leads into fields by a stile. Bear half-left through the field to join an access track near spoil heaps on the left. Turn left here and follow the track to the right of the spoil heaps to a house. Pass through the garden of the house by two stiles (ignore a gate by

conifers below on the right) and continue ahead on a faint grass path to a large metal gate.

Go through the gate and walk straight ahead past a group of boulders to a stile in the fence on the right. Cross the stile and bear left through woods. A second stile in the fence on the left takes you out of the trees and along the woodland edge (for about 200 yards). The next stile takes you back into the trees again. In a few yards turn left onto a good footpath and follow this down the hillside past a

number of old mine workings on the left.

At the bottom of the slope turn left onto a forest road and follow this to a farmhouse on the right. Immediately adjacent to the farmhouse, turn left up steps to a gate. At the top of the steps go through a kissing gate and bear left up the field to a second kissing gate adjacent to a small cottage. Go through the gate and walk directly up the following field and through a third kissing gate.

Turn left to visit Llanrhychwyn church. Emerging from the church gate go left to a kissing gate in the field corner and turn right along the lane. Take the first lane on the left in about 100 yards, signed to 'Llyn Geirionydd'. Follow the lane passing a farm on the right and where it bends left immediately after a gate across the lane, turn right down a driveway lined with pine trees ('Penrallt'). This is about 500 yards

from the previous junction. Just before the house turn right along a track, then turn left and at a T junction (house to the left) turn right again.

Keep right at a second T junction and immediately after the next gate, turn left up the bank. There are numerous sheep tracks here but this field is open access land so the exact line of the right of way is not important. It is best to stay parallel to the fence on the left. At the top of

the rise bear right to the top of the rounded summit of Grinllwm for a fine view of the surrounding countryside.

The view takes in the Geirionydd and Crafnant valleys, with Moel Siabod peeping over the wooded slopes of Mynydd Deulyn. To the north, the hills plunge steeply into the Conwy Valley with the village of Trefriw at your feet.

3. Return to the fence and turn right to a ladder stile over the wall. This leads onto a good path which drops steeply through the bracken. As the woods thicken, the path curves right to join a well worn path at a T junction. Turn right and follow the path to a stile in the

lower right-hand corner of the wood. This leads into conifer woods and a good path takes you down to the road. Turn right along the road and after about 50 yards, look for a signed footpath on the left. Follow this path and where it joins the lane, keep left down the hill. At the next junction take the footpath opposite and cross the river by the footbridge. Keep right after the bridge and at the road turn right. At the

next junction keep right again and walk down the hill to the main road opposite the 'Fairy Falls Hotel'. Turn right over the bridge and left into 'Gower Road' to complete the walk.

This walk is taken from the book Walking in the Conwy Valley by Carl Rogers and published by Mara Books (ISBN 978-0-9522409-7-6) Copies are available in local bookshops or online at: