From Beddgelert, follow the Afon Glaslyn along a paved path through parkland, maybe visiting the nearby grave of Gelert. After crossing the river and the railway, take the rugged exciting path, crossing bridges and passing along boardwalks hugging the sheer rocks. This is the Aberglaslyn Pass. At the end of the riverside walk, climb left alongside the road to reach the National Trust car park at Nantmor, where there are toilets.
Next, take the narrow lane through the pretty village to Bwlchgwernog where the drovers` road crosses the moorland to Croesor. Look out for the ancient marker stone.
Along the way
The story, as written on the tombstone reads:
“In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent.
On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood.
The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.
Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here”.
Despite the presence of a raised mound in the village called Gelert’s Grave, now a tourist attraction, there is absolutely no evidence for Gelert’s existence. The “grave” mound is ascribed to the activities of a late 18th-century landlord of the Goat Hotel in Beddgelert, David Pritchard, who connected the legend to the village in order to encourage tourism. Similar legends can be found in other parts of Europe and Asia.
This is one of Wales’ most well-known beauty spots.
Pont Aberglaslyn carries a myth of its own, having being built by the Devil on the understanding that he would be given the soul of the first living creature to cross over it. On completing his bridge, the Devil called in at his local pub, Y Delyn Aur, where he came across Robin Ddu, a magician, who duly went to inspect the new bridge. With him was the pub dog, enticed there by the loaf of bread he was carrying. Robin suggested to the Devil that the bridge may not even be strong enough to carry his loaf of bread. The insulted Devil told the magician to throw his loaf onto the bridge to prove its strength. The loaf was duly thrown onto the bridge and the dog chased after it. Thus the devil was cheated out of a human soul and Robin Ddu returned to the pub to finish his pint.
Nantmor is perhaps most famous for being the home of Dafydd Nanmor, a renowned 15th century bard (died c. 1490), who took his name from the hamlet.
The 20th Century Fox film, the Inn of the Sixth Happiness was filmed in Nantmor in 1957 and was based on the true story of Gladys Aylward, a tenacious British maid, who became a missionary in China during the tumultuous years leading up to World War II.
Carneddi, a nearby hill farm, was the home of Ruth Janette Ruck, who published a trilogy of books about her experiences in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, namely Place of Stones, Hill Farm Story and Along Came a Llama.
Croesor is a tiny hamlet located at the foot of Cnicht, the Matterhorn of Wales. The Croesor Tramway travelled along the bed of the valley, before rising steeply to Bwlch Rhosydd via Croesor Incline to serve the Croesor quarry.
Have a look at the public art just outside the car park, depicting the heritage and culture of the village.
Caffi Croesor provides a welcome break and good cake