princes of gwynedd


Walk 1 – Llanrhychwyn Church, Trefriw

Llanrhychwyn Church

Llanrhychwyn Church

Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls

  • Length: 4 miles – steep in places. Allow 2½ to 3 hours
  • Ascent: 989 feet
  • Refreshments: Trefriw


“The little church of St Rhychwyn was cool and still. Not even the parish priest was there to disturb Joanna. … I need the solitude of Llanrhychwyn, need that time alone to pray for loved ones … and to remember.” - from 'Here Be Dragons'

This is an enjoyable walk through woodland with views over the Conwy Valley and passing old mine workings before reaching Llanrhychwyn Church. The mainly 18th Century mines were for zinc and lead ore.

Llanrhychwyn Church was established in the 6th Century and during Llewelyn Fawr's time the village of Llanrhychwyn was larger than Trefriw. The oldest parts of the church date from the late 11th or early 12th Century. The church bell is believed to be 14th Century and may have come from Maenan Abbey. Llewelyn Fawr supported the monks of Aberconwy Abbey (who later moved to Maenan Abbey) and it is believed that his influence may have lead to the adding of the chancel.


This route follows the Trefriw Trails which are waymarked.

From the car park in the centre of the village, cross the main road in front of the Woollen Mill and turn right. At the end of the row of shops opposite the Fairy Falls Hotel turn left and walk up the hill. After a few yards, turn left onto Trail 4 that will take you to the Fairy Falls.

From the Falls climb up to the footbridge and follow the Trail 5 waymark signs. Trail 5 takes you up into woods above the village and climbs steadily up 680 feet above Trefriw before Trail 8 branches off up a steep slope to a cluster of houses at Penrallt.

From here keep an eye out for the Trefriw Trail waymarks – at one point there is a sign for ‘Llanrhychwyn/Trefriw' which points left but you need to follow the waymark to the right for the church. From here, the Trail winds around the small community of Llanrhychwyn, including taking in the famous 6th Century church. During the 19th century Llanrychwyn had a larger population than Trefriw with 87 recorded houses and a population of 376. By 1851 the population had increased to 586, due mainly to the flourishing mining industry.

From Llanrhychwyn Church, Trail 8 takes you into Gwydir Forest before a short stretch of narrow road and then a path which descends (steeply in places) through woodland to the Conwy Valley floor. The trail crosses the B5106 (Trefriw to Llanrwst) road). WARNING: This road can be dangerous and you are advised to cross with caution. Trail 8 takes you along a farm track (ignore the waymark on a turning to the right as this is not a Trefriw Trail waymark), a narrow footpath, and then onto the Cob (flood defences) and along the River Conwy to the suspension bridge. To return to Trefriw follow Trail 1 or extend your walk by following Trail 2 in a loop back to the village.

List of all Walks

Walk 1 – Llanrhychwyn Church, Trefriw

Walk in the footsteps of Llewelyn Fawr and Joanna to reach the spiritually uplifting church at Llanrhychwyn. (You are on this page).

Walk 2 - Dolwyddelan Castle

Enjoy the views of Dolwyddelan Castle and the Lledr Valley on this walk.
Find out more

Walk 3 – Aber Falls

Visit the stunning waterfall at Aber walking in the footsteps of Llewelyn Fawr and his grandson Llewelyn ap Gruffydd.
Find out more

Contact Information

For more information please contact us at:

E-mail: info at princesofgwynedd dot com

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