Llyn y Garnedd


A secret walk to a pretty lake

Why a secret? Well, because this walk is so poorly publicised that you could be forgiven for never finding it! There are no waymarkers either which is very disappointing.  We tried in vain to equip ourselves with at least a little information before we set out but couldn’t find anything of use other than an indication that there was a path from Tan y Bwlch station to the lake!

I have to admit that the trail to Llyn y Garnedd isn’t the best walk in North Wales, but there is much to enjoy, especially the isolated lake which feels wonderfully serene. The hike to the lake isn’t challenging, although it is mostly uphill. There is only one section of the trail where you may encounter livestock, making this a good walk if you have dogs to entertain. The lake is a lovely spot for a picnic and there is plenty of wildlife and interesting flora to admire on the journey.

Duration: 1.5 hours from the car park to the lake and back

Terrain: Gravel road and woodland paths

Getting started

You can start this walk from the car park in front of Tan y Bwlch railway station but we found that taking advantage of a small parking area next to the A4410 enabled us to enjoy a pleasant area of woodland that we would otherwise have missed. The parking area is on the left just after the turning for the station. From this parking area, walk across the road and follow the gravel track through the woods. After a short distance, the track bears sharply left. At this point and to the right, there is cut-through to a tarmac road. The road leads to the same point as the track you are on but is a less pleasant stroll. Stay on the trail and you can enjoy a pleasant stroll through the woods.

Further up the trail you will arrive at the road again. Cross over the road and you will see a track leading off to the right with a barrier for vehicles which you can step round. You might encounter livestock on the portion of the trail immediately after the barrier as we saw several sheep here, but none after a sharp bend to the left a little further on.

Keep following the trail until you see a gate to the right with a very obvious path leading downwards. This takes you to the lovely LLyn y Garnedd, a serene mountain  lake which feels wonderfully isolated.

Trail to Llyn y Garnedd
Llyn y Garnedd

At the lake

The lake is modest in size but feels unbelievably peaceful. Ducks swim on the clear water while buzzards circle over the surrounding countryside. Dogs will enjoy a paddle or a swim here while you settle down on the shore for a cuppa and a snack. If you feel restless, it is possible to walk around the lake on the somewhat uneven ground which features large patches of heather and numerous saplings.

After enjoying your time in this most peaceful of settings, you can retrace your steps to the parking area. Allegedly, there is another route back which creates a circular trail but in the absence of any waymarkers or signposts, we decided to walk back the way we came. If you have time on your hands, it would be worth exploring the area to see where you end up! You won’t find yourself far from civilisation, whatever you decide to do and there are a variety of firs and pines plus other interesting fauna to investigate along the way.


From the Woollen Mill, take the A487 south until you have passed Porthmadog. After driving under a metal bridge, turn left at the roundabout towards Penrhyndeudraeth. Pass through the town and then keep on this road until you see the Oakley Arms hotel on the left. Turn left just before the hotel and continue for 1 mile. Just after the sign for Tan y Bwlch station, there is a small parking area on your left.