Dinas Emrys (Merlin) walk, Beddgelert
This is a mystical walk through ancient woodland with cascadaing waterfalls following in the footsteps of welsh legends to the ancient site of Dinas Emrys, but tread carefully, a dragon sleeps beneath.
A tale of two dragons
According to legend King Vortigern wanted to build a castle on top of Dinas Emrys, but every night his castle walls would fall down. The King sought counsel who advised that the ground should be sprinkled with the blood of a child born to a human mother and a father from the ‘other world’
A search was launched and eventually a child was found in Caer Myrddin (Carmarthen) and preparations for the sacrifice were made. But the child, Myrddin Emrys, was no ordinary child - he was Merlin, the wizard.
Merlin convinced Vortigern that two dragons were fighting beneath the hill causing the walls to fall. Vortigern and his men dug into the mountain and released two dragons. The red and white dragon fought, eventually the white dragon fled, and the red dragon returned to his lair. Vortigern’s castle was built and named Dinas Emrys in honour of Myrddin Emrys (Merlin), and the red dragon has been celebrated ever since.
It takes about an hour to the summit. At the top are the remains of 12th-century and Roman-era fortifications and wonderful views over the lake and the valley of Nantgwynant.
Distance: Approx. 3 miles
Time: Approx. 1-2 Hours
Postcode for Sat Nav: LL55 4NG (approx.)
Grid Ref: SH 600 489
Ordnance Survey Map: OS Explorer OL 17 Snowdon and Conwy Valley
The walk starts at the National Trust's Welsh Princes Centre at Craflwyn, where you can park your car. Car parking is free although there is a gratuity box for the National Trust.
1. Starting from the car park look for a sign in the far corner of the car park and follow the footpath up through the woodland.
2. The path levels and at the fork, take the path to the right and in a while you will come across a slumbering dragon. Take a seat and enjoy the view before continuing along the path and up some steps to the right of a small waterfall.
3. Continue on along the path until you get to a three way junction in an open area. Take the path leading straight ahead, up towards the woodland. Continue on the path over a small wooden bridge until you get to a beautiful waterfall.
4. At the waterfall, stop for a moment or two it's a great spot for taking photographs. Cross the bridge and continue to follow the footpath over open country looking out for a stile on your left.
5. Continue until you reach another fork in the path and bear right. You’ll soon reach a stile in the wall on the right.
6. Continue over the stile following the path up into the woods. Follow the zig-zag path up the rocky outcrop towards Dinas Emrys.
7. The final ascent to Dinas Emrys is steep and rocky. When you are ready to return, retrace your steps to the car park.
Please note. These directions are for guidance only, we can accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or injury resulting from the use of this information. Always take a map with you and be prepared for the weather to turn. Do not venture out in bad weather.