Distance 10.5 miles
Time 1 hour
A short ride past a castle and up above Llyn Padarn with mountain views and a level return along an old railway.
At the bottom of the track from Graianfryn, turn right and ride through the village of Penisarwaun. Follow the road as it turns left at a junction, down the hill and across two small bridges, the first over the long closed railway to Llanberis and the second over Afon Rhythallt (afon is Welsh for “river”). Take the left fork in Llanrug, the Penbont pub will be on your right, and ride on up the hill and straight across at the main road junction.
Soon you will come to a left turning with a brown sign for “Castell Bryn Bras”. Take this turning and after about a mile you will pass to the right of the castle. The Castle was built in the Neo-Romanesque style between 1829 and 1835 for Thomas Williams (1795-1874) a lawyer. The architect was Thomas Hopper who also designed Penrhyn Castle, Bangor. Unlike the National Trust Penrhyn Castle, Bryn Bras is not open to the public, it contains holiday apartments which have mixed reviews on Trip Advisor.
You’ll pass the Bryn Teg caravan park on your right followed by a lake which is mostly hidden by trees. Continue climbing steeply up, you will be rewarded by a fantastic view of Snowdonia stretching out in front of you, with Llyn Padarn below to your left. It’s downhill all the way to Llanberis, continue until you reach the High Street. On the map, we turned right because we needed to call into the Spar shop, then we turned left along the by-pass. Alternatively you can turn left past the excellent ice cream parlour. The by-pass was built on the trackbed of the railway, and we’ll follow this along the western shore of the lake. On the eastern side ran the Padarn Railway which transported slates from the Dinorwic Quarry to the sea at Y Felinheli for onward transportation. The lake section was converted to narrow gauge as a tourist railway operated by some of the locomotives that worked on the narrow gauge upper levels of the quarry.
There are several outdoor shops in Llanberis, cafés, a waterfall and the start of the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the summit.
After cycling through a lit tunnel, the track brings you out at the main road, cross over and turn right along the path which soon turns left through a pair of gates along part of the old road. Continue through Brynrefail, there’s an excellent café called “Caban” in the village. At the junction with the A4244, you can either cross it and ride up to Penisarwaun as shown on the map or turn right and ride beside the main road along the multi-user path to the turning for Graianfryn.