Updated: Mar 17
** Miners' Bridge Update 17th March 2022
I have it on good authority that the new bridge was open today. So after 2 years we can re-do this walk along the river from Betws y Coed.
Photo credit Nick Livesey
** Miners' Bridge Update February 2022 **
After 2 years without a bridge we've heard that the new bridge has been lifted into place. There is still work to be done before it is opened BUT the end is in sight!
As of March 2020... great news! The bridge has been retrieved and money has been set aside by the Council for repairs and reinstatement! Given the current crisis (i.e. Corvid-19) it might take a little time to be completed BUT the Miners' Bridge will be back.
This post was written back in February 2019. Unfortunately the Miners' Bridge was washed away during Storm Ciara in February 2020.
HERE is our original blog anyhow. The walk is do-able as a linear walk and hopefully, at some point the Miners' Bridge will be restored.
As there was snow and ice on the ground and we thought that most paths we usually walk would be slippery we decided to take a drive down to Betws y Coed. There wasn't as much snow there as everywhere else so we decided to do the Miners' Bridge walk along the river.
This is a favourite, circular walk of ours and today we did it clockwise... we usually do it anti-clockwise (TIP: reverse the direction of a favourite circular walk to see new things). We parked the car (for FREE) along the A5 near to the Miners' Bridge itself and made a start. It was cold getting out of the lovely warm car but we knew that we'd soon warm up.
The steps down to the river level were icy (and steep) but there are rails on both sides to hold on to. We were stood at the bottom looking at the river and the water pouring from an overhanging rock (and icicles hanging from it) when a springer spaniel came hurtling passed us. We thought that it was with the walkers who were a few hundred yards behind us - thought no more of it - it happens. Half way up the Bridge (steep and narrow) a rather hot and bothered looking guy asked to pass us urgently - takes all sorts! We were just leaving the top of the Bridge when he returned with the spaniel on a lead. Turns out he was putting the dog in his car, at a B&B on the main road I think when somebody came along the road with another couple of dogs who'd spooked the spaniel and it'd run. Thankfully it got over the road safely and "headed for the hills"!
That bit of excitement over we carried on.
This walk is lovely at all times of year. Rushing water, calm pools, herons (there's often one there and it doesn't seem to be bothered by people), mossy rocks, ancient trees and meadows. Given how close it is to the A5 it is quite peaceful.
At the Village end of the walk there's a nature trail with information boards and animal images for children (and others) to spot in the trees. I assume that there must be a leaflet available (or an app) with details.
Then you find yourself at Pont y Pair and its surrounding rocks. This is one of those places where tourists (especially foreign tourists) tend to gather for photos. I suppose that the fact that it is next to the loos makes it a good stopping off place too. Over the Bridge and then you're in the Village proper.
On this occasion we decided to walk down to the Station and have a look around the shops. There are a few cafes there too. We spent a while sitting on the Station platform watching the families go on the miniature railway at the Railway Museum and people watching.
Like Times Square in New York... spend enough time in the middle of Betws y Coed and you'll bump into somebody that you know. This visit was no exception - we bumped in to 2 separate sets of people.
Betws y Coed is around 30 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge accommodation further down the A470 towards Llandudno. The drive itself passed Trawsfynydd Lake, through the slate heritage of Blaenau Ffestiniog, across the Crimea Pass, below Dolwyddelan Castle before finally emerging at the junction of valleys and Betws y Coed, is a pleasure in itself. Try it!