From Conwy to Groesffordd




6.75 miles (10.9kms)

1493ft (455m)

About the walk

Conwy is special. Approaching from Llandudno Junction, three fine bridges (including Thomas Telford’s magnificent suspension bridge of 1822) cross the estuary beneath the mighty castle, allowing the road and the railway into this medieval World Heritage Site. The fortress dates back to 1287, when the powerful English King Edward I built it as part of his ‘iron ring’ to repress the rebellious troops of Llewelyn the Great, who had given him a great deal of trouble in his conquest of Wales. Great town walls with gates and towers still encircle old Conwy. This walk begins at the quayside, not the car park, as you will probably want to take a good look around this medieval town. The route starts on a shoreline path under the boughs of Bodlondeb Wood.

Not long after passing through Conwy’s suburbs you’re walking the hillside, on a path threading through gorse and small wind-twisted hawthorns. Looking back you can see the castle, towering over the town’s rooftops; but now added to the scene are the Carneddau, the limestone isthmus of the Great Orme and, across the great sands of Lafan, Anglesey. There is quite a network of paths criss-crossing the ridge and usually the best course is the highest: you’ll need to be on the crest path to see the remains of Castell Caer Seion. This 10-acre (4ha) fort has been linked to both Roman and Iron Age settlers – it certainly has formidable defences, with clearly visible artificial ramparts that overlook spectacular sea cliffs on one side, and a wide view of the land to the south.

Beyond the fort, the path misses out the peaks of Penmaen-bach and Alltwen, which is just as well, for the former has been heavily quarried for its roadstone. Instead you should descend to the Sychnant Pass, a splendid, twisting gorge that separates Conwy Mountain from the higher Carneddau peaks. It’s mostly downhill from here, but the scenery becomes more varied and still maintains interest. As you descend you can see the tidal River Conwy, twisting amongst chequered green fields. Little hills present themselves to you, on your way back north. One last hill has pleasant woods and it gives you another fine view of Conwy Castle before returning to base.

Walk directions

From Conwy Quay, head northwest along the waterfront, past The Smallest House and under the town walls. Fork right along a tarmac waterside footpath that rounds Bodlondeb Wood. Turn left along the road, past the school and on to the A547. Cross the road with care, then the railway line by a footbridge. The track beyond skirts a wood then follows a short street to a road, where you turn right.

At a fork, bear right past a house to a waymarked stile, from which a footpath rakes up wooded hillsides onto Conwy Mountain. Follow the undulating crest of Conwy Mountain and continue past Castell Caer Seion.

Descend and loop around two walled enclosures until you reach a broad saddle where several tracks converge. Here, follow signposts for the North Wales Path along the track over the left shoulder of Alltwen and down to the metalled road traversing the Sychnant Pass.

Follow the footpath through a gate on the other side of the road, skirting the woods on your left. Over a stile carry on past a pool, Gwern Engen, to meet a track. Go right and shortly after bear left, dropping above the Lodge to reach a lane. Turn right along the lane, then turn left onto a tarmac byway which leads down into Groesffordd village. Carefully cross the road, then take the road ahead that swings to the right, then the left (southeast) towards Plas Iolyn.

Turn left at the end but then leave opposite a white house on a path through a kissing gate. Cross a track by a cottage and continue upfield to the B5106. Go left to Conwy Lodge Park. Follow the drive to a hairpin bend, from which a waymarked path climbs through trees, eventually recrossing the drive. Cross a metal stile ahead (ignore one to the right) and swing left to follow the hedgeline along an undulating ridge across several fields, finally meeting a lane.

Turn left, shortly leaving right along a track past a radio mast to Bryn-Iocyn. Continue at the edge of fields beyond to a stile by Coed Benarth, from which a path drops beside the wood.

Go left over a ladder stile and descend a field to a roadside gate. Turn right onto the B5106 to return to the quayside, or turn left to get back to the main car park.

Additional information

Good paths and easy-to-follow moorland tracks, some stiles

Town, coastline high ridge, farmland and copse

OK on high ridges, but keep on a lead elsewhere

OS Explorer OL17 Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa

Large car park on Llanrwst Road on the other side of the railway line from start point

At car park

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Walking in safety

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About the area

Discover Conwy

The majority of the population of Conwy lives along its picturesque coastline, while a third of the county falls within jaw-dropping landscape of the Snowdonia National Park. The town of Conwy, which takes its name from the county (which in turn was named after the river that runs through it), is undoubtedly one of the great treasures of Wales.

Three fine bridges – Thomas Telford’s magnificent suspension bridge of 1822, Robert Stephenson’s tubular railway bridge, and a newer crossing – all stretch over the estuary beneath the castle, allowing both road and the railway into this medieval World Heritage Site. Pride of place goes to the castle, dating back to 1287.

Conwy is the most complete walled town in Britain, with walls measuring an impressive six feet in thickness and 35 feet in height. The walkway along the top offers splendid over-the-rooftop views of the castle, the estuary and the rocky knolls of nearby village of Deganwy. At the wall’s end, steps descend to the quayside where fishermen sort their nets and squawking seagulls steal scraps.