Llyn Mair


Lakes and woodland circular walk

Coed Hafod Y Llyn is an ancient wood on a horseshoe of land above Llyn Mair in Dyffryn Maentwrog. This valley lies between the village of Maentwrog and Rhyd. The wood is part of a wider area of walking trails in Dyffryn Maentwrog which encompasses land owned by six different bodies. Coed Y Hafod is a Woodland Trust property and features a pleasant circular walk which takes you past two pretty lakes.

The 41-acre wood was once part of the grounds of Tan y Bwlch, a grand estate which belonged to the wealthy Oakeley family. It features a network of paths which afford wonderful views of Snowdonia. The Ffestiniog railway runs around its boundary and so you might be lucky enough to see the train passing through. You can amble around the footpaths as you wish, take a longer route which includes neighbouring properties or follow the circular route described here. The trail is identified by yellow waymarkers and is an easy walk with no steep ascents. Please note that the footpaths in Dyffryn Maentwrog intersect and it is easy to get confused. Print the route map before you go to help you navigate.

This wood is popular with dog walkers as there is no livestock grazing and dogs don’t have to be kept on leads. The lakes are fabulous for dogs to swim in and there is plenty of terrain for them to explore.

You can join the trail from either of two parking areas on the B4410. The first of these is adjacent to Llyn Mair and the other is located at Tan y Bwlch. I started from the first car park and have described the walk from there.

Duration: 1.5 hours including a stop for refreshments.

Terrain: Woodland paths with no steep sections.

Llyn Mair at Coed Hafod y Llyn

Getting Started

You can join the circular trail directly opposite the small car park by Llyn Mair. Walk across the road and through the gate. You will find yourself in an attractive open area with picnic tables on the shore of the lake. If you have dogs with you, they can take a swim in the lake before you set out or you can save that pleasure until the end of the walk. The footpath is to your right and leads into the woods. After roughly 200 metres, take the path to the left and follow this around the lake.

You will pass through pleasant woodland and enjoy gorgeous views across the water. On the far side of Lyyn Mair there is a pretty Victorian ornamental pond to admire. Continue past this and then a little further on, take the path to the right which heads upwards and into the trees. You can now follow the waymarkers for the circular route. After crossing the railway line, and a little before a cottage which is visible above you, bear right towards the second lake, Llyn Hafod y LLyn. There’s another picnic table here where you can sit and relax while you soak in the scenery.

Picnic area at Llyn Mair
Llyn Hafod y Llyn

Llyn Hafod y Llyn

Llyn Hafod y LLyn is acertainly a lovely spot to linger for a while and is another great place for dogs to paddle or swim. When you feel like moving on, follow the footpath into the woods and then alongside the water to the opposite end of the lake. At the T junction, turn left and continue around the lake and then retrace your steps back to Llyn Mair. This isn’t a true circular route but you can turn it into to one by taking different paths back to the start point. Don’t worry about wandering off-piste because you shouldn’t become to disorientated.

Don’t forget to admire the interesting flora along the way and you may encounter the local wildlife including foxes, badgers and bats. If you hear the train coming, and you will will hear the whistles if the train is close by, stop to watch it passing through.

The footpaths in Coed Hafod Y Llyn are passable most of the year, even when there is snow on the ground which makes it an excellent choice for a winter walk when the snowy mountains provide a stunning backdrop.

Returning to Llyn Mair

Whichever route you take to return to Llyn Mair, you will be walking downhill until you reach the lake. You can stop to admire the occasional mountain view not to mention the vistas over the lake. You could spend anything from a hour to a whole day exploring the footpaths and there is something to discover around every corner. When you return to your start point, the picnic tables and benches enable you to sit down to rest your legs. There are usually plenty of birds around including ducks on the lake and if you are looking for another walk to complete a day out, Coed Felinrhyd is just down the road!

FFootpath in Coed Hafod y Llyn
Dogs at Llyn Mair


From the Woollen Mill, take the A487 south towards Porthmadog. Follow this road until you pass under a metal bridge which is after the turn for Porthmadog and then turn left at the roundabout towards Penrhyndeudraeth. Keep going straight on until you see the Oakely Arms Hotel on your left. Turn left here onto the B4410 towards Rhyd. The car park will be on your right and is opposite the lake. There is no charge for parking.