was Constructed in the Same Year
that the Battle of Waterloo was Fought"
Just a few short miles from the town of Llanwrst
but a world away in terms of the tourism lies Betws-y-Coed. Like
Llanwrst, Betws also has a bridge across the River Conwy.
one, made of cast iron, was built in 1815, the year of the Battle
of Waterloo. It carries an inscription to commemorate this fact
and is popularly known as the "Waterloo Bridge" (see
above). This is not the only bridge in Betws: the Pont-y-Pair
or Bridge of the Cauldron is another very popular and much photographed
The two photographs above were both taken from the
bridge looking upstream, as was the one below left which serves
to illustrate how well the bridge is named with the mountain
waters tumbling ferociously over the rocks. The picture below
right is also looking upstream from the picnic area at the side
of the River Llugwy.
this image on the right is from the same place but looking downstream.
Sunlight reflecting off the river and rain drenched rooftops
adds to the atmospheric feeling as the spray from the cascading
water shrouds the Pont-y-Pair. Yes, rain! We arrived in Betws,
got out of the car and back in again. It poured for about 5 minutes.
The waitress serving us morning coffee, said that it had rained
non-stop the previous day so we counted ourselves lucky and prepared
to explore further as we walked through the village.
Trains, trains and more
much more to Betws-y-Coed than its famous bridges as we soon
found out after walking down the main street. Situated on the
edge of the Snowdonia National Park, it caters well for tourists
of all kinds whether they be holiday-makers like ourselves, day-trippers
or more serious outdoor types such as anglers, climbers or ramblers.
Simple dwellings built in the wooded valley ( above
left) vie with larger hotels like the Royal Oak (above right)
to offer accommodation and a base to explore and enjoy more of
this beautiful area.
also features a number of cafes, restaurants and shops to suit
all tastes. A small shopping complex sells equipment for the
outdoor life whilst many more shops are to be found in the converted
railway station buildings.
Welsh craftware and "touristy" souvenirs are prominent
but it is not difficult to imagine steam age travellers of a
bygone age on the busy forecourt.
Passing through an archway halfway along, one emerges onto the
platform that still serves as a station for the village on the
Conwy Valley line.
The single track line runs between Llandudno Junction
and Blaenau Ffestiniog and on the other side of the track is
the Conwy Valley Railway Museum. Miniature railway and tram lines
operate for the entertainment of children although it is not
unusual to see adults riding too.
Betws also boasts a Motor Museum and a 14th Century Church in
Yes, there's far more to Betws-y-Coed than its famous bridges.