Although it offers you more flexibility, a car is not essential for exploring North Wales. Public transport is quite good for such a rural area but does not compare with city frequencies so you will need to plan your outings to get the best out of your holiday. If you bring your bikes on the train you’ve got your own transport for exploring the area.
The Sherpa bus network has its own web page, the S2 and S3 pass within 15 minutes walk from Graianfryn.
Walking from the house
There are some lovely routes from Graianfryn affording fine sea and mountain views. Click on the links below to open the guides in a new tab.
Moel y ci (2.5 hours)
Moel Rhiwen (90 minutes)
Arthur’s well and the Padarn Railway (2 hours)
For a more strenuous walk you could walk up along the road and through the gate for the Marchlyn reservoir. Branch off and up over the peaks Carnedd y Filiast (821m), Mynydd Perfedd (792m) and Elidir Fawr (923m).
This map shows the route from the gate, distance is 4km to the gate, 9.5km for the walk and 4km back to Graianfryn. If you do have a car or bike, you could leave it before the gate to save 8km of tedious road walking.
Llanberis is 3 miles away: the first mile is along the road, then you can walk along the old railway line which runs the length of the lake and is now a cycle path. At Llanberis you can
- Hire a rowing boat on the lake (Llyn Padarn)
- Climb Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) via the Llanberis Path
- Ride the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the summit
- View the waterfall
- Explore the Country Park and perhaps complete a circuit of the lake
- Enjoy a leisurely steam train trip along Llyn Padarn
Getting around by bus
The recently upgraded Sherpa services pass a few minutes walk from Graianfryn so you can easily get to Llanberis or Pen y Pass for the most popular Snowdon hikes , or travel to Bangor, Caernarfon or via connections to other centres in the national park.
You can hire cycles in Caernarfon at Beics Antur.
Caernarfon’s a good place to start cycling from as part of the old railway line from Bangor to Afon Wen is now a cycle path. You can cycle south to Bryncir (12 miles) and possibly continue to Criccieth to see the castle and the coast. Or you could pedal along the Menai Strait then along quiet country lanes to the beach at Dinas Dinlle.
Cycling to Holyhead along some of Anglesey’s back roads which form the northern end of the Welsh National Cycle route makes a great outing. You can return the same way, devise a different return route, or put your bikes on the train as far as Bangor and cycle the seven miles from the station to Graianfryn.
If you’re bringing your own bike, this is our recommended route from Bangor railway station.
We have mapped a few cycle routes from Graianfryn, there’s a link to download the gpx route at the bottom of each of these pages:
Above and along Llyn Padarn
A short ride past a castle and up above Llyn Padarn with mountain views and a level return along an old railway.
Distance 10.5 miles
Time 1 hour
Anglesey and a beach
A circular ride on Anglesey, crossing both bridges to the island and with a swim on its best beach.
Distance: 46 miles
Time: 7 hours (including time for a swim)
Ceunant and Llanberis
A short but hilly ride over moorland past slate tips and back through Llanberis. Part of the route is along a rough track so a mountain or touring bike is required.
Distance: 12 miles
Time: One and a half hours
A demanding full day ride visiting the remote Cwmystradllyn valley, very little traffic is encountered until the return up Nant Gwynant and the Llanberis Pass. This is my favourite day ride from Graianfryn.
Distance 55 miles
Time: 8 hours
A circular ride through an abandoned slate quarry.
The quarry section is steep in places with a surface of slate waste so suitable only for a touring bike with strong tyres or a mountain bike.
Distance 11 miles
Time 2 hours
A stiff climb along quiet roads to Marchlyn Mawr (2126 ft above sea level) reservoir via the abandoned Dinorwic slate quarry.
Distance: 12 miles
Time: 1.5 hours, longer if you take both options.
A ride around the highest mountain in Wales
Distance 32 miles
Time 3.5 hours