Cwm Idwal was Wales’ first National Nature
Reserve (NNR). Officially recognised in 1954 by the Nature
Conservancy, it is one of the finest places to see how glaciation
and post-glacial processes shaped our dramatic landscape.
The cwm forms a magnificent amphitheatre behind the glacial lake of
Llyn Idwal and forms part of the Glydeiriau and Cwm Idwal Site of
Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
There is open access on the reserve with several walking and
rock scrambling routes leading up to higher ridges.
The rock scrambling access is a little rougher though. All
routes are uneven underfoot, with stiles and gates where the routes
cross walls and fences.
Photo by Mike Alexander, ©CCW
Photo by David Woodfall©
The terrain is difficult even under good conditions due to the
very steep and rocky nature of the rugged terrain. Visitors should
also note that conditions can vary dramatically with the
How to get there
The A5 passes Llyn Ogwen, within just half-a-kilometre of Cwm
Idwal, some seven kilometres south of the village of Bethesda.
A National Park car park is at hand with marked disabled bays -
and informal parking is available in lay-bys further south along
the main road.
The area is served by the
S6 bus service, which runs along the A5 between Bangor and Betws y
Photo © CCW
Check Gwynedd Council’s public transport information on their
website at www.gwynedd.gov.uk or contact Traveline Cymru on 0871
The National Trust, Snowdonia National Park and CCW all
co-operate in managing Cwm Idwal and the provision of
Photographs by Mike Alexander©CCW
This is a beautiful and important Welsh landscape, and it is
easy to see why there are benefits to such shared management:
- Is owned by the National Trust
- Lies within the heart of the Snowdonia National Park
- Is a National Nature Reserve managed by CCW
You can contact the National Trust Welsh Regional Office on
You can also reach the Snowdonia National Park Authority on 01766
770274 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, you can contact the CCW northern region reserves team
via the enquiries help line on 0845 1306229 or by email at
email@example.com. You can also write to us at the address under
‘Contact the team’.