Top 5 Picnic Spots in SnowdoniaPublished on 1 Jul 2013 by Gwion Llwyd
Here are my Top 5 Picnic Spots in Snowdonia. Beautiful locations in North Wales that are not too far away from the road (as you’ll have your picnic basket with you). And places where you can easily spread a blanket on the ground or sit at provided tables before tucking into your food. (Sorry about the shoe in the tree. I didn’t spot it until I got home.)
Cwm Nantcol is beautiful valley at the foot of the Rhinog mountains. A small campsite, car park and picnic spot are located on the banks of the river Artro some 2 miles up from the village of Llanbedr. There’s a small charge for parking but once there, visitors can sit at the tables provided and enjoy some of the marked walks that set off from this point. These include a quick 5-minute tour into the forest with different species of trees identified along the way. A longer riverside walk will take you up past the famous Nantcol Waterfalls into the hills beyond before returning you back to the picnic area.
This one’s technically just outside the Snowdonia National Park, but the beauty of this hidden cove is undeniable. Visitors should make their way up to Nefyn on the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula. Park near the golf club at Morfa Nefyn before taking the short path that leads you across the fairways down to the beach.
No benches at this one so take a blanket with you. Spread it out on the soft sand before tucking in to the goodies you’ve brought with you. Send the children off to paddle in the waves whilst you prepare perhaps. If your orange juice gets a bit warm in the sun, the landlord at Ty Coch Inn would be happy to serve you something a little stronger from his cool cellar.
There’s a wonderful picnic spot on the banks of the River Glaslyn a couple of miles North East of Porthmadog. It’s a beautiful spot in it’s own right but what makes this site especially wonderful are the neighbours. Rare ospreys. A pair of these fantastic birds have been returning to this spot to lay their eggs every year for the past ten years.
A nearby observation booth provides a ton of information as well as spotting scopes and monitors hooked up to a web cam located near the nest. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also travel to and from the site in style if you so choose. The Welsh Highland Steam railway stops off nearby on it’s route between Caernarfon and Porthmadog.
2 miles to the east of Aberdovey, the Bearded Lake or Llyn Barfog, is very popular with many guests who visit this southern tip of Snowdonia. A place of myth and legend that include tales of bearded monsters as well as King Arthur himself. My favorite story however, is one my Uncle John once told me.
Gwilym Owen, a poor welsh hill farmer, was wandering up near Llyn Barfog one evening when he spotted a heard of magical white cows grazing on the banks of the lake. One of these cows would be a welcome addition to his meager heard but how could he get past the Gwrgedd Annwn, female elves that lived in the lake and kept a close guard on the heard as they ate.
Every evening he would creep back up to the lake and hide in the tall bracken. Waiting for an opportunity, rope in hand. Eventually his perseverance paid off. A lone cow wandered further than usual from the rest of the heard and right into his hands. Gwilym Owen fortunes quickly changed. The once poor farmer became famous for having the finest milk, butter and cheese in the whole of wales and calves bred from the magical creature were the envy of all his neighbours.
After many prosperous years, fearing that the cow was growing too old to bear many more calves or provide much more milk he decided to call on the butcher. The butcher came to the farm as summoned and prepared his knives. But as he raised his hand, ready to strike the fatal blow, a fearful cry was heard across the valley. Both farmer and butcher, frozen to the spot, watched helplessly as the cow broke free from her bindings. Marching across the fields, with all her offspring at heel she returned to the lake never to be seen again. Gwilym Owen returned to a life of poverty and despair.
Cae’n Y Coed
Cae’n Y Coed, which means Field in the Woods is just outside Betws Y Coed near the famous Swallow Falls. The car park and picnic benches here are perfect for families looking for a safe quite haven to enjoy their lunch. From here guests can also enjoy a well-marked circular walk up into the woods. The walk is about 1.5 miles long, a perfect stroll once you’ve polished off those ham sandwiches perhaps.