Snowdon Watkin Path Waterfalls – The Most Beautiful Spot in Snowdonia?

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This has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Snowdonia and, maybe therefore, in the whole of the UK?

There are numerous tracks up to the top of Snowdon, the Watkin Path being one which we find to be the most picturesque.

Although we’ve walked to the top of Snowdon several times, we’ve never followed the Watkin Path all the way to the summit, largely because close to the top it gets extremely steep and dangerous – too much so for us with young children.

But every time we visit Snowdonia, we take a walk about a quarter of the way up the Watkin Path to the waterfalls – a spot where you can stop off and enjoy a stunning place that’s quite like any other we’ve found in the UK at least.

You can’t miss the waterfalls from the Watkin Path – after you get through the wooded section at the start of the trail you round a corner to see the magnificent sight of them straight ahead of you.

The main track takes you alongside the river and ultimately past the waterfall, but there’s a small path branching off the main track which you can follow down to the edge of the river right beside the waterfall.

There’s a makeshift bridge across the river made from a precarious looking stone slab and, from here, you have access to several grassy areas right on the bank of the river where you can sit for lunch directly next to the waterfalls.

There’s a series of waterfalls and large, deep, clear pools one after the other. It’s a spectacular sight – not just the waterfalls themselves but the wide open views from here across the valley and mountains beyond.

The best experience is on a warm sunny day. Unfortunately these don’t come along often in Snowdonia (which is officially the wettest region of the UK) but we got very lucky on a recent trip in June, when the weather was uncharacteristically hot and sunny.

The walk up to the waterfalls is only about half an hour or so, maybe 45-minutes if you’re trying to drag reluctant kids along with you!

It’s one of our favourite experiences to make the climb up here, carrying our heavy bags with our big, hefty walking boots on, trudging up the rocky path in the hot sunshine to arrive, sweating and tired at the edge of the waterfalls, put all our stuff down, take off our boots and socks and get in to our swimming stuff and jump in to the icy cold, crystal clear river!

Deep, clear (but very cold!) pools carved out by the waterfall are irresistible for jumping in on a hot day!

It’s difficult to believe this spot hasn’t been man-made, it’s so perfect for swimming, jumping in or just relaxing. The way the river has carved out these great, deep and clear natural pools with perfect grass edges that you can use to slide in to the stream or jump from if you prefer.

This spot is a superb feature of nature and one we can happily spend hours at with a picnic and our swimming stuff. We’ve headed higher up the path from this point in the past (though as mentioned, never all the way to the summit from here) but quite often we’ll just walk up to this point and stay here without venturing any higher – we find just coming up to here is a day out in its own right!

Hot sunny weather doesn’t come along often in Snowdonia but, when it does, there’s no better place to be!

In the earlier years of our trips to Snowdonia, it was rare to find anyone else down at this spot but as the years have gone by, the little path that deviates from the main track has become clearer and now we often find others here with the same idea as us – although by no means many. I was slightly reluctant to even write about it on here at the risk of encouraging more people in to our secret spot but it’s too good not to share!

The whole family, even Sophie the dog in the foreground who loves coming up here just as much as we do

Getting to the Watkin Path waterfall

The Watkin Path itself starts from the main A498 road, a couple of miles or so outside Beddgelert. There’s a car park at the roadside between the two big lakes – Llyn Dinas and Llyn Gwynant. This car park is often full and you’ll find people parked up on the roadside.

The starting point of the path is up a stone staircase which is opposite the car park and next to the Red Dragon holiday cabins and ‘Cafe Gwynant’ which are at the roadside.

Simply follow the Watkin Path up the hill through the woods and, after about 20 to 30 minutes walking, you’ll see the waterfalls in front of you.

As you approach the waterfalls, you’ll see one or two small paths leading off the main track, which you follow until you get to the stone bridge. Cross over the bridge and explore up and down the river bank from here.

If it’s a choice between this and the campsite shower block, this wins hands down!

20 Comments

  • Caroline

    Thank you so much for sharing. We have been to this area several times and after reading this on a recent visit we enjoyed a glorious warm sunny Saturday afternoon at these beautiful falls. ❤️

  • Claire

    Are the pools/ waterfalls in fairly quick succession or are they spread out along up the path? Is there a “best” one or your favourite which we should see before turning back?

  • Andrew Brittain

    Hi Zoe, I don’t think it is. We were always pretty adventurous with our buggy and we had a decent ‘off road’ one but even that would never have made it up the path. A carrier on the back was always our choice, you’d have no chance getting a buggy up there, even though it is a relatively mild climb, it’s still rocky with narrow bridges / steep steps, etc.

  • Andrew Brittain

    There is a small car park (more like a lay-by) close to the bottom of the Watkin Path and it seems, nowadays as the area has increased so much in popularity, a lot of parking along the road. If you’re looking for a satnav destination I would suggest using: Bethania, Nant Gwynant, Caernarfon LL55 4NH (Cafe Gwynant, which is right be the start of the footpath)

  • Andrew Brittain

    They’re all together really, it’s a series of pools connected by waterfalls all at the same place

  • Chloe Rose Thursby

    We are walking up snowdonia on the Llanberis Path. Can you somehow get to these pools on the way or anything, just thought we could have done it all in one day

  • Simone

    This is a great place to visit while In Snowdonia. We tried as a family of 5 yesterday, 2 adults and 3 teenagers. It roughly took us around 30 minutes to get to the waterfalls. Although we got side tracked along the way by the mini pools that run alongside the walk up. It was really beautiful although do not get to immersed in the beauty as it is also dangerous as all natural wonders can be. My 16 year old daughter slipped on a rock and hit her head while entering the pools. Fortunately she was extremely lucky and didn’t seriously injure herself although we did end up in A and E. So be warned have fun but be safe!

  • Camilla

    Hi, once you’ve seen the waterfalls can you make your way back to the top of snowdon using a different path to Watkins?

  • Andrew Brittain

    Hi Camilla, the waterfalls are on the Watkins path, which literally goes right past them so if you’re heading up to the summit, just carry on up past the waterfalls to the top.

  • Andrew Brittain

    Not really, no. Llanberis is over the other side of the mountain so you’d probably need two separate days to visit both

  • Andrew Brittain

    Hi Victoria. Yes, we’ve been up here with our dog and it’s no problem – and the dog loved it. Just be aware of all the sheep and the possibility of a dog off the lead chasing them.

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