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Aber Falls (Rhaeadr Fawr)

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Abergwyngregyn - Pay and display car park (SH 662720)

Ordnance Survey Map
OL 17 Snowdon – Conwy Valley.

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Distance: 4 miles Date of Walk: 9 September 2022


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1028ft (313m)
1038 ft (316m)

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Memory Map logo      gpx logo 

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

Sketch map for the wal;k to Aber Falls

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: Aber Falls (Rhaeadr Fawr in Welsh), in the Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve, is one of the best waterfalls I have ever seen, though I was lucky enough to visit after heavy rain. It occurs where the Afon Goch (Red River) tumbles 120ft over the edge of the Carneddau, into a pool clearly enjoyed by wild swimmers.

A bonus is that shortly after visiting Aber Falls on this route, you get a second waterfall; Rhaeadr Falls.

As the route progresses, you get some great, elevated views of the coast, including Anglesey and Puffin Island, views which those doing the easy ‘there and back’ walk miss.

Overall this is an easy walk. It is likely you will have plenty of company as far as Aber Falls, as it is a very easy track and a popular tourist destination but after that, I saw virtually nobody.

The walk starts from a small pay and display car park above Abergwyngregyn, around three quarters of a mile from the A55 coast road between Bangor and Conway (Conwy). It is clearly signposted. If that car park is full, there is another about three hundred metres further on but my directions start from the first car park. At peak times, it is likely to be busy. The road is single track in places so expect some reversing!

Start: From the parking area, go through the metal walkers’ gate, following the path past the notice board.

The path soon splits and you want the right hand fork, following the yellow arrows.

The path soon crosses the river, then turns right, passing the Anafon Hydro, a community owned hydro-electric scheme.

The path soon splits. Keep right, passing a round shelter, following the sign for the falls. You now follow the broad stony path all the way to the falls.

The shelter referred to in the text.

The broad, stony track into the valley.

At SH 668703, there is a short path off left up some rough steps to a viewpoint of fairly minor significance. Continue forward to rejoin the main path. The falls are only about three hundred and fifty yards ahead and in sight.

First sight of Aber Falls.

Aber Falls

Wild swimming at Aber Falls.

Aber Falls close up.

From the falls, retrace your steps a few yards to cross the river, via the footbridge. Climb some steps and look out for a gate on the right to continue the route, although it is worth getting a little closer to the falls at this side for a different view.

The footbridge at Aber Falls.

Aber Falls from the other side.

Go through the gate, alongside which is a notice warning there is no short route to the car park this way. Follow the obvious path.

Looking back to Aber Falls with the hill Drum in the background.

Arrive at a second footbridge by Rhaeadr Falls at SH 664699. Continue to a junction of paths (SH 660705) Turn right following the yellow footpath arrow.

Footbridge by Rhaeadr Falls

As you pass under some power lines, in the valley below you can see the broad track used on the outward journey.

A view back along the valley showing Aber Falls and the footpath.

A sea view showing Puffin Island and the tip of Anglesey

A view north east along the coast to the Great Orme at Llandudno.

Continue following the path, until after going through a gate, arrive at a post with multiple arrows. Turn right here, heading downhill on the clear track (SH 657721).

After only about three hundred yards, look out for a post bearing a yellow arrow and turn right. Follow the path down to the hamlet (Abergwyngregyn) and at the road, turn right to follow it back to the car park.

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.