If there’s one thing North Wales knows how to do well, it’s waterfalls. Conway waterfall is just one of many waterfalls near Betws y Coed in Snowdonia National Park. Each is unique in their own way and Conwy Falls is no exception.
Conwy Waterfall Wales
Situated on the River Conwy, this waterfall is only accessible via a trail through scenic woodland. But that’s all part of the adventure. And the walk is more than worth it once you see the tumbling cascades of Conwy Falls.
Running through a deep gorge, Conwy waterfall is split in two by the natural landscape and plunges 15m into a deep pool. The rapids then continue along to another magical nearby attraction called the Fairy Glen.
Some Interesting Facts
The name of this North Wales waterfall in Welsh is Rhaeadr y Graig Lwyd. It means gray rock waterfall in English. It’s unknown why the English name differs. Certainly it is not located near the historic town of Conwy which is much further north as the name might suggest.
Conwy waterfall is famous for salmon jumping. A fascinating natural phenomenon that you can witness here during August as Salmons travel upstream to lay their eggs.
Underneath the water there’s an intricate system called a salmon ladder which helps the fish to navigate the fast flowing waterfall. It was built in 1993 and cost nearly £1 million. The zig zag design with pools at different levels allows the fish to jump up in stages.
There’s lots of wildlife and unusual flora here and as such the entirety of the 10 acres of Conwy Falls Forest Park in which the waterfall sits is a protected woodland. Being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) the dense forest needs to be kept as natural as possible.
Getting To Conwy Falls Forest Park
The entrance to Conwy Fall Forest Park is directly off the A5 road heading south out of Betws y Coed and towards the edge of Snowdonia National Park. The easiest way to get there is to drive. It’s well signposted and you’ll see Conwy Falls cafe as you pull in.
You can also walk from Betws y Coed village to Conway waterfall, which is just under 4km and will take you around an hour.
Conwy Falls Parking
Conwy Falls cafe has a decent sized car park and it is free of charge. You can even stay overnight for free if you have a campervan so long as you purchase a meal from the cafe.
Conwy Falls Cafe
You might be surprised to know that Conwy Falls cafe is a popular tourist attraction in its own right. You see, after Thomas Telford built the A5 Betws Road to Snowdonia in 1815 many places around here gained popularity amongst tourists as they became easily accessible.
And whilst originally a simple wooden hut, Conwy Cafe became so popular that in 1938 it was redesigned by Sir William Clough Ellis to complement the architecture of Portmeirion village.
It was supposed to be constructed on the cliff top so as to be looking over the edge of Conwy waterfall, but that design was never carried out. You can see a sketch of it in the cafe though.
Anyway, dip in here if you fancy some refreshments. They do snacks, cakes, light meals and all day breakfasts. But best of all are the afternoon teas – you’ll just have to give an hour’s advance warning if there’s more than 4 of you so they can get it prepared.
Conwy Falls Cafe opening times are 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week. There’s a lovely outdoor decked seating area and dogs are welcome. You can check out the menu here.
How Much Does It Cost?
So even though the car parking is free, you do have to pay to see Conwy Falls. This is because the waterfall is on private land and there’s a cost to maintaining the walking trails.
Entrance prices are £1.50 per adult, £1 for children aged 4-17 and under 3’s go free. There’s a kiosk that’s manned during cafe opening hours and an honesty box for when it’s not.
Conwy Falls Walk
The start of the walking trail to Conwy waterfall is just right at the side of the Conwy Falls cafe. Even though short, it’s an adventurous route that won’t be suitable for anyone with mobility issues or pushchairs.
As already mentioned because Conwy Falls and the surrounding area is a protected forest, the paths are all natural making the route more like a hike than a walk in some parts. There’s quite a lot of steep and uneven ground with plenty of rocks and tree roots to trip over.
Depending on the season and recent rainfall it can also be quite muddy to make you wear suitable footwear. Dogs need to be kept on leads and small children close by.
The circular loop takes you down to a viewing platform and back up through the trees. But if you’re feeling a little more daring you can also further down towards the bottom of the waterfall. Just be aware that it’s steep and can be very slippy.
If you fancy extending your walk, you can also pick up a footpath from the car park that takes you to the magical Fairy Glen. This is what we did as Conwy Falls car park is a spot for if you have a larger vehicle such as a campervan.
And if you still haven’t had your fill of Betws y Coed waterfalls, there’s also the seriously pretty Swallow Falls nearby.
How Much Time To Allow?
Depending on how agile you are, you probably need to allow 30-40 minutes to get there and back and take a few snaps.
What Facilities Are There?
There’s a few picnic benches at the start of the Conwy waterfall trail, however no facilities at all after that. Though of course, the cafe has toilets. Plus wifi and sockets to charge devices.
Where To Stay In Betws y Coed
Swallow Falls Hotel Complex is always a good shout as there’s different accommodation options. There’s glamping pods and camping as well as standard hotel rooms.
More On Wales
- Conwy Waterfall Wales: Essential Info
- Swallow Falls Wales: A Quick Guide
- 7 Epic Betws y Coed Holiday Cottages