Stretching east from Bala across to Llangollen are the Berwyn Mountains. A stunningly beautiful part of North Wales that is overshadowed by its big brother – the Snowdonia National Park which sits to the west of the Berwyns.
It is place of wild beauty and a haven for walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers and wildlife watchers. Unlike Snowdonia which often feels crowded and busy, the Berwyns gets less visitors which means you often have the paths and trails to yourself. And we think this is one of its greatest assets.
Places to stay in the Berwyn Mountains
Bala lies to west of the Berwyns and Llangollen to the east. Both are small towns with plenty of accomodation, pubs and places to eat.
On the south east side of the Berwyns, lying roughly in between Llangollen and Lake Vyrnwy is the small village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog which boasts two fantastic historic inns. This is where we have our holiday cottage which is available for rent. The cottage lies at the end of the Ceiriog Valley which is just over the hill from Llangollen.
To the north is Corwen which is a small village with a couple of pubs. To the south you have the small village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant which has a couple of pubs.
Berwyn Mountains - walks
As noted earlier, you will often not see another person when out walking. Which is part of the appeal but also means you need to be prepared. There is very little mobile phone coverage once you get away from the towns.
Two main routes that pass through the area are the North Berwyn Way and the Dee Valley Way. Alternatively there are more “wild” walks above Pistyll Rhaeadr (a spectacular waterfall which is also worth a visit). Stretching out from Llanarmon are plenty of footpaths which eventually lead up to Cadair Berwyn and other peaks.
From Llanarmon there are some beautiful walks in the Ceiriog Valley which has a very different feel to the Berwyns – more forests, rivers and grassland.
Berwyn Mountains - places to visit
Pistyll Rhaeadr is easily accessed via Llanarmon or Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and has a spectacular waterfall and plenty of walks in the area.
Bala has a lovely lake to walk around and good water sports. Llangollen is a very popular tourist town with steam train rides, historic houses and canal side walks.
To the south is Lake Vyrnwy which also happens to be one of our favourite spots in the area. In the summer it is a great place for a lake side picnic. There are plenty of walks, you can rent a canoe or paddle board on the lake and you can also cycle around the lake (takes about one hour). It is also an RSPB centre and there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching.
If you do visit Lake Vyrnwy be sure to visit the waterfalls at Rhiwargor (car park at the west end of the lake).
The Berwyns are also a great place for wild camping due to the relative isolation.
Berwyn Mountains - cycling and mountain biking
The roads to the south of the Berwyns running towards Bala are less busy than those to the north (Llangollen, Horseshoe Pass and Corwen area). Head off the main roads are there are endless miles of empty roads to cycle on. A particulary popular route is to follow the River Ceiriog from Chirk to Llanarmon and onwards to Llanrhaeadr.
For mountain bikers, to the north you have Coed Llandegla (One Planet Adventure). While not strictly within the Berwyns it is close enough to make it onto this guide. In the village of Llangynog to the south is Revolution Bike Park a dedicated downhill centre. From Llanarmon it is also easy to access the Ceiriog trail and the Wayfarers trail. Just get on your bike and explore – there are lots of trails in the area.
About our Glan y Wern
Glan y Wern is a traditional Welsh cottage in the small village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. Llanarmon DC is set in the beautiful Ceiriog Valley on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains. We have two wonderful historic inns serving food within a 2 minute walk of the cottage. There are mountain biking trails and walking trails straight from the door of the cottage. Please visit our website for more information about the cottage and things to do in the area.
- Sleeps 4 in two bedrooms.
- En suite and family bathroom.
- Comfortable lounge with log burner.
- Fully equipped kitchen.
- Traditional Welsh cottage finished to a high standard.
- Off road parking.
- Bike storage.
- Patio and BBQ overlooking open fields.
- Short walk to two historic inns serving fantastic food.
Glan y Wern makes a great holiday destination for couples, families with children, short breaks or longer holidays. Families, walkers, outdoor enthusiasts and mountain bikers love our North Wales holiday cottage.