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A lovely place but don't forget your ice cream!
Beddgelert (Snowdonia, Wales)
Member Name: SusanLesley
Beddgelert (Snowdonia, Wales)
Date: 23/06/08, updated on 23/06/08 (1292 review reads)
Advantages: Spectacular scenery, lovely walks, good places to eat and stay
Disadvantages: Don't be silly!
A while ago I said that I would write some reviews about local attractions and places to visit now that I live here in Llandudno. I did a couple at the time but have just got round to doing a couple more.
This particular review is about a place that we visit on a regular basis - the reasons will become apparent as you read on - and it is called Beddgelert.
Where is it?
Beddgelert is located in Gwynedd, North Wales. It is just off the A498 slightly north east of where that road meets the A4085. The postcodes begin LL55 if you want to put that into your satellite navigation system.
It is set on the banks of the River Glaslyn which then continues down the Aberglaslyn Pass to join the sea at Porthmadog.
Caernarfon is 13 miles from Beddgelert, Porthmadog is 8 miles and Betws-y-Coed is 18 miles away.
Why is it called Beddgelert?
Beddgelert literally means the grave of Gelert and it is reputedly named after the dog which belonged to Prince Llewellyn who lived in the thirteenth century. Apparently one day the prince went hunting without his faithful hound Gelert. When he returned Gelert ran to greet him but was covered in blood. The prince was shocked and ran into his son's room to find the baby's cot empty and the bedclothes covered in blood. The prince, thinking that Gelert had killed the child plunged his sword into Gelert's side, but as the dog died he heard the cry of a baby. When he found the child he was unharmed and lying next to the body of a huge wolf which Gelert had killed to save the child. It is said that the prince never smiled again. He buried the dog at the place that is now called Beddgelert. How much of this is true I don't know but there is a gravestone with the story of Gelert on it.
So what is it like?
It is a beautiful village set in a valley with the mountains of Snowdonia all around. It isn't a big place by any means but has a couple of pubs, a large hotel, a few restaurants and cafes, a home made ice cream shop, a few other shops, a post office, an information centre, a church and some beautiful scenery.
There are plenty of places to stay in and around Beddgelert - camp sites, bunkhouses, bed and breakfast accommodation, guest houses and hotels.
Now for some more specific information
To get into the village you will go over a bridge which spans the river. Before you cross the bridge there is a very nice tea room and restaurant called Beddgelert Bistro and Antiques and the River Garden Restaurant is also on that side of the river as is one of the village pubs.
Over the bridge straight ahead is another of the village pubs and Lyn's Café and Tea Garden which serves a good range of snacks, meals and nice puddings!
If you turn right over the bridge you will be in the main street of Beddgelert with The Royal Goat Hotel ahead of you. At the top of the street to the right of the hotel there is a good sized car park where you can park all day for £2 (I think that's the current cost - I know it is very cheap by today's standards). As you leave the car park and walk back towards the bridge you have just crossed you first pass the Information Centre where you can find free information about the local area, accommodation, walks etc.
Further down this street you will come to the Glandwr Café and Glaslyn Ices. This is one of the big reasons for us visiting Beddgelert so regularly! The café sells a range of freshly made pizzas and a selection of other meals and snacks - and the best bacon baps I have ever eaten! As you then leave the café area you just have to go into the ice cream shop where they sell ice cream and sorbets made on the premises. There are usually about 15 flavours of ice cream and about 6 sorbets available and I haven't had one I didn't like yet! They used to make grapefruit sorbet which was to die for but they tell me that it is a very difficult one to make so they rarely do it these days. Just top prove how good it all is there are framed certificates all round the shop showing the prizes that the ice creams and sorbets have won.
Further down the street there is the small post office and gift shop and a general store.
This then brings you back to the bridge by which you came into Beddgelert so now carry straight on and walk alongside the river where there is a lovely little gift shop and also a shop selling all sorts of wood and carvings.
There are public toilets along this road too and they are usually nice and clean.
At the end of this short road is a footbridge over the river where you can find the local youngsters jumping into the river when the weather is hot. It looks rather dangerous to me I have to say!
You can cross the footbridge and take a walk along the river on the other side or you can turn right just before the bridge and walk along the nearside of the river bank.
This walk will take you directly alongside the river and then you can go across the field, keeping to the paths, where you will see Gelert's Grave. This is a lovely walk which will take about half an hour. It is flat and easy so it can be attempted by anyone and it is OK for pushchairs and wheelchairs too.
So what can you do here?
If you decide to spend some time in Beddgelert the local area is fantastic for walking either along the river or up into the mountains. The information centre will have plenty of details for you.
As I said earlier you will also be close to Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Betws-y-Coed, but you are also within driving distance of Llandudno, Conwy, Colwyn Bay and many more places along the coast.
The Sygun Copper Mine and The Red Dragon Heritage Centre is just outside Beddgelert.
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness starring Ingrid Bergman was shot in Beddgelert and if you drive towards Snowdon you will drive through Nant Gwynant where Carry on up the Khyber was filmed. There was also an episode of Midsomer Murders which was partially filmed in Beddgelert recently.
http://www.beddgelerttourism.com/ is an excellent website for finding out some information about the place before you go.
I love Beddgelert and we regularly visit even if it's just for a bacon sandwich and an ice cream! We have done some lovely walks starting at Beddgelert and love the area and the scenery.
If you're in the area pay a visit to the village I'm sure you'll like it!
Summary: I love Beddgelert!