River report – Glaslyn grade II – 29th Dec

Driving to Betws Garmon on the eve of the 28th was very rainy – the Gwyrfai was flooding onto the roadA sort of clue.

We picked the easiest thing from Helen’s II/III wishlist – the Aberglaslyn grade II sections.

We don’t tend to do this river as a club trip – it is further from Deniollen than the Llugwy. The Lyn Dinas to Beddgellert section is popular with uni groups, with the add-on of the gorge section at the end for those in search of excitement.

Section from Lyn Dinas to Beddgellert 

Sue, Higgo, Clare, Alison, Helen and Ruth.

Group photo all set up - Higgo helpfully pushing everyone into the lake


Put in at a layby + style + footpath near the top of the section, or the layby by the side of the lake (Llyn Dinas).

There are two possible take-outs. Check the layby downstream of Beddgellert, and make sure you are confidant to get an eddie here – if not, you’ll be doing Aberglaslyn gorge (IV/V), so its fairly important to be sure. Alternatively, would be possible to get out in the village centre, on river right by or beyond a church. In that case, you’ll need to leave the car up the road in the public car park – the tiny lane to the church has very limited parking.

UK riversguidebook description, Welsh Rivers description.

Right from the start, the river was fast because of the high water. Plenty of rapids, nothing hard, but quick flowing with sharp eddie lines.

Next some trees to weave in and out of, and then more rapids. The section into Beddgellert is quite bouldery, and at this good high level, more like III, before easing off past Beddgellert church.

In the few 100yds below Beddgellert the river picks up a bit too, especially with the anticipation that we must make the getout. There was a big tree there in the main flow to avoid left or right. We got out in the small eddies river right of an island.

In the layby we met a party from the midlands who had just paddled the gorge section, one of them looking a bit pale and battered.

Section from Llyn Gwynant to Lyn Dinas

Sue, Higgo, Clare and Helen.


Getting in on Llyn Gwynant, there is a layby about midway along the lake, so you have to start with a longish flat paddle. The hoolie blowing across the lake that day was enough to make paddling in a big open space surprisingly challenging, actually gusting enough to knock a boat right over.

For the get-out, there is a convenient layby at the head of the Lyn Dinas.

This section has a much-less-paddled feel to it. The description in Sladden’s Welsh Rivers is one line long: “The section from Gwynant to Dinas is also very pleasant.”

We took that to mean “pleasant grade II” and that was indeed the case. Again there were trees to weave between, a bit more like lord of the rings: elves, swamp creatures, talking trees etc (“My my, we don’t see many paddlers round here. Oh dear, that blonde one is stuck on an ent-trunk. I expect Higgo will rescue her. Look, he got his ankles wet.”) Some nice rapids, and a proper feeling of exploring.

There were a few footbridges etc, and one stone bridge where we inspected the headroom of the six or seven arches to pick the one that doesn’t knock your head off.

This was a very pleasant run, all very nice.

Meanwhile Alison and Ruth took Baxter for a good walk.

Ended up in Lyn’s cafe for a cuppa, and then back to the hut to meet the tough delegation, who had done the Colwyn and the Ogwyn.


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