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Betws y Coed from Conwy

by SandiM Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 8:25 AM

We are staying 1 night in Conwy, arriving around noon on one day and leaving again around 10am the next, so not much time. I was wondering if it's possible to hire a taxi to drive us to the Fairy Glen at Betws y Coed (and wait for us while we take some photos) and then drive us back to Conwy? Does this kind of thing happen? Any idea of cost? We are using public transport, no cars (we don't drive). Is it do-able in a couple of hours?

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  • Blahnix's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by Blahnix Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Hi, I can't see any reason why you could not hire a taxi to take you to Betws Coed. It is a lovely place and the type of place where you can spend as little as 30 mins. or pack a picnic lunch and spend a couple of hours. When you call the taxi firm, ask if it would be possible to be left ( for the amount of time you think you can afford ) and he pick you up at a specified time. If he says this is not possible then you might ask if he will wait and what the cost would be.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Yes, it is of course possible. But it is something you will need to negotiate with individual taxi companies in Conwy, preferably well in advance of your visit. There will be a charge for 'waiting time' as well as for mileage. Cost is impossible to gauge really; it's up to the taxi company concerned. You'll also need to negotiate with them about whether the taxi will wait or whether another taxi will be sent to pick you up (the latter might be a cheaper option but there's no way of telling).

    I've found this Conwy taxi company:

    http://www.castlecabsconwy.co.uk/

    and more listed here:

    http://www.taxinumber.com/taxis/conwy/

    Journey time Conwy>Betws is around 30 minutes so (traffic being fair-to-middling), all being well, you may get an hour or so at the falls..not a lot, especially if you are visiting at a busy time.

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  • Blahnix's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by Blahnix Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Sorry, yes it would be possible to do this in two hours.

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  • SandiM's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Thanks! Has anyone been to this 'Fairy Glen'? I wondered what kind of walk is involved, how far from town centre to get to it, etc. Also, I've seen some amazing 1-arched mossy bridge photos on the 'net from around this area and wondered where are they in relation to the start of the walk to the Fairy Glen gorge.

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  • cubsur's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by cubsur Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Not good by train as there are very few of them at Betws y Coed.

    There is a bus once every hour on weekdays and Saturdays between Conwy and Betws y Coed, irregular on Sundays. Takes about 45 minutes.

    Arriva Cymru route 19 timetable

    arrivabus.co.uk/uploadedfile...

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I've been there more than once...it's classic...but the last time was many decades ago. It takes about 15 mins to walk to the glen itself. I recall it as being very pretty in a very Welsh way: very green, rocks, damp, moss etc etc.

    This site has a link to the zoomable OS map of the area, showing waypoints for the FG walk:

    carfreewalks.org/walks/848/f...

    Betws is pretty small: it's not a long way to walk to the start of the FG path.

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  • SandiM's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Wow, as I've been doing more and more research on this place it's really making me froth at the mouth--I so want to photograph it now!! The bus info was a huge help, thanks! I do see that I can get there and back in 1 day, and still enjoy the castle at Conwy (although I'll be run off my poor feet!). I noted that some of the photos of Betws y Coed involve very old, single arch 'Roman' bridges. Can someone give me a clue where they might be or over which brook? I see the entrance to the Fairy Glen is beside the Fairy Glen Hotel which is near Beaver Bridge--is that a nice old bridge to photograph? Can't tell by looking at google.....wow this is going to be soooo much fun!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    There's a photo of Beaver Bbridge here:

    pictures.walesdirectory.co.u...

    I wonder if it's the one you are thinking of?

    Or it might be Pony-y-pair? It's not Roman; it dates from 1468 (not so very old in UK terms) and crosses an area of falls near the confluence of the two rivers (not brooks..they're quite large) a very short walk from the centre of Betws, It's accessed from the A5...a narrow-ish (two-lane) but major road which carries lots of traffic.

    Again, there's a zoomable OS map and waymarking points (Pont-y-pair is 6) here:

    carfreewalks.org/walks/906/f...

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  • SandiM's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Yes, the Pont y Pair is one that I will photograph, but I'm more interested in this one:
    flickr.com/photos/hamishfent...
    It seems to be south of BYC near someplace called Penmachno? (sp?) and wondered if the spot was walkable. So many bridges...so little time....! :)

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Penmachno (a very small settlement) is about 5 miles from Betws, along the A5 (not nice walking...narrow + traffic) and then up the B4406. Unless you intend to spend a goodly chunk of the day walking it, you'll need a taxi from Bettws. There's this one:

    taxinumber.com/betws-cars-be...

    but best to phone them before the day you go to Bettws.

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I was looking for a taxi number next, thanks! Yup, I did some more research and found that the bridge I want is called Paddy Bridge and it's just beside the old woollen mill off the B4406. I think a bus goes there, too, will look it up. Whew! That was some treasure hunt! I hope my photos will turn out ok!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I hope so too. :-)

    Pity someone found my last post 'unhelpful'......

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Here's the bus timetable Bettws>Penmachno:

    conwy.gov.uk/upload/public/a...

    Route 64. Services aren't very frequent so if you are thinking of a half-day trip then taxi there with, perhaps, bus back may well be your best option.

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Maybe they hit the wrong thumb thingy? The new layout on VT is a bit perplexing now...still figuring it out......:)

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  • Blahnix's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by Blahnix Online Now Mar 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I was thinking the same thing. I can't imagine anyone not finding your answers very helpful indeed.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Thank you Sandi. I know why it's happening but on this occasion, I didn't bite my tongue when I should have done so. My apologies.

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Holy carp! A taxi cab service from Llanrwst email me back and said for 2 hours touring in their cab from Betws rail station to Penmachno Bridge and back to Betws via the Fairy Glen, they wanted 100GBP!!! I mean, I get that it is out of the way (the whole trip would last about 2 hrs and approx 20 miles) but I mean COME ON are they serious?? I thought maybe 60# tops but 100??? And even higher, if we wanted to do more than that! I'm waiting to hear back from a company in Conwy, and another in Llandrwst, just to be sure of things. And the bus serive is so wonky, making me choose the route to the bridge or to the Fairy Bridge, but no connection between the two, so we'd have to bus it all the way back to centre and head out again. That's not something I have the time to do. It'll be a real sock to the knackers if I had to cough up 100quid and 'maybe' get both areas done.....thoughts?

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Yes, it does make sense I'm afraid and, for car + driver for 2 hours, is not much above what I'd expect to pay. These are small companies serving small areas and whilst your driver is tied up with you they are losing money from other fares (does that make sense?). So you'd be paying what the company would earn per hour, regardless of distance.

    If you really want to do both bridges then the best idea, imo, is to get the taxi numbers into your phone (will you have a functional mobile?) and make the bookings separately, But do it in advance of the day you travel, because small firms can't always send a taxi immediately.

    Easiest option is probably to stick to just the FG, especially as (I think?) you just want this to be half a day?

    Or, fi you must do both, something like:

    Arrive Bettws, time for look round & cup of tea. Get pre-booked taxi to FG. Allow time to take photos etc (1.5 hours or so?) then get pre-booked taxi for collection & travel to Penmachno then use bus 64 (the 1512?) for the return.

    That will cut down taxi costs somewhat but may take longer than you wish to allow. It also has the disadvantage of leaving you potentially hanging around FG or Bettws in the pouring rain. And if it's pouring with rain (and it can and does pour in Wales..I lived there for years!) I'd guess you won't be taking so many photos?

    If it were me, I'd probably stick to Bettws itself and either Swallow Falls or FG. A note about the latter: it's been a long time since I've visited but I've seen recent warnings about steep & slippery steps & rocks (not really surprising, given the Welsh climate) so if you're not steady on your feet it might possibly be worth a re-think.

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  • SandiM's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Ah, are you saying there's a walking path shortcut from the fairy glen along the river then on to Pandy bridge on the B4406? Is the path fairly well-marked?

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    It's possible to walk (footpaths & bits of road) as described by the poster. Have a look at

    getamap.ordnancesurveyleisur...

    to see public footpaths and roads in more detail (search for 'Bettws-y-Coed' , click 'Leisure' and then zoom in).

    But it's 7 miles or so. Will you have time for that?

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I suppose we can always take the 422pm bus #64 from Penmachno back to the rail station? How does it work in Wales to catch the bus, ie what side of the road should we be on and do we flag him down to get him to stop? When I street-viewed it, I didn't see a stop on both sides of the road, so wasn't sure. I would hate to have him bolt by us and not stop! I could also pre-arrange a taxi but none of those taxi cab companies (2, I found and none in Betws) responded back to my inquires.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    You need to be on the side of the road the bus will be travelling (even though it's a narrow road) because that's where the bus door will be. You'll see from streetview that the B4406 is pretty narrow, so no worries about you not seeing (probably hearing first!) the bus or the bus not seeing you. There is often a bus stop sign only on one side of the road. In rural parts of the UK it's always a good idea to stick your arm out (no need to wave) to tell the driver you really do want the bus and you're not just having a rest! :-)

    If you put 'Pandy Mill Penmachno' into google and look at streetview you'll see the bus stop by the crossroads, but on the opposite side to the one you will want. For buses going in the opposite direction I'd wait in the entrance to the small lane which leads away from the B4406 on the opposite side to the bus stop. There's a tiny red postbox set into the wall.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    The trouble with email is that you can never be 100% certain that the mail has arrived...it could be in the spambox or even blocked as spam at server level (my ISP has a nasty habit of doing that).

    Phoning once you have arrived here is a much better option. With enough notice, and unless you hit on times when the taxis are pre-contracted (as mentioned above) you should be able to sort something out.

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  • SandiM's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    I just got another email from Menyn's in Llanrwst (the one that quoted me 100GBP for 2 hours taxi hire) and they knocked the price down to 80GBP. That was very cool of them, and now I'm seriously considering it. Leics, you probably know me from way back that I am an avid photographer and sell my photos at my local farmers market here in Edmonton so having new and fresh material is key to my sales AND that bridge would definitely fit the bill so I'm tempted to do it. Roundtrip 14 miles, they wait for me and mom to shoot what we need to shoot, should take less than 2 hrs, back to station. She also mentioned that that weather is kind of crap right now? How crap are we talking, anybody over there in Northern Wales can tell me? We won't be there until April 3, so what's the weather anticipated to be around that time? Will I even be able to view the Fairy Glan and bridge? I can handle a LOT of inclement weather (we just got 15cm of snow ourselves this last week!) so I've trekked through worse but I have to think of dear old ma who could probably just remain comfortably in the car while I venture forth. So, I guess I'm asking, how warm should I be dressed at this time of year for Northern Wales?

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by leics Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    At the moment we (much of the UK) have seriously heavy snowfall and it's pretty cold. I'm half-expecting to have my late afternoon flight today cancelled or substantially delayed.

    We don't cope well with snow in the UK simply because it is, in the normal run of things, pretty unusual.

    But what the weather will be like next week is anyone's guess....absolutely seriously. There is simply no way anyone can tell you what the weather will be like so far in advance: this is the UK. You'll have to check just before you leave. Use

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/

    and check each place you'll be visiting. Our weather varies hugely within quite small areas.

    Equally, no-one can tell you how warmly you need to be dressed. But given that Easter is at its earliest point this year, and that the winter so far this year has been long and cold, I'd suggest you make sure you have plenty of layers, warm waterproof outerwear, hat/scarf/gloves and sensible footwear with a good grip.

    Fingers crossed that you'll be able to make the visit but if it is snowy or icy underfoot I'd be very wary indeed of visiting FG.

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by Blahnix Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Hi SandiM,
    When exactly are you planning to visit the Fairy Glen ?
    We go to Anglesey quite often for lunch and Pass Betws Coed on the way. If we are going we may be able to solve your problem and it would be nice to meet a fellow VTer, Franki

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Hi Franki, we may be there on April 3. It's now a matter of...is the weather going to comply or not? No point going there if there's snow or flooding etc. If we do go, I'm probably going to go with the taxi service since they have agreed to wait for us and truck us on to the next photographic spot etc. Much easier that way, all for 80GBP (which is ok if I can make it all back in sales of the photographs and I 'should' if I know what I'm doing, ha ha!). Thanks for the offer though! :)

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by Blahnix Online Now Mar 25, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Hi SandiM,
    You are quite welcome, just thought having the money in your pocket was better than in the cabbies and I guess I should have asked when you were planning to be there first as we will probably be in France and Italy then,I have been looking up flights hoping to find a decent route that will accommodate the places we want to visit without too much trouble.
    Anyway, hope you have a good trip and take lots of lovely photo's.

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 25, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    I don't mind helping out the economy (and this way I can be the boss in the car! ha ha!) :) Now, I'm learning some key Welsh phrases so that I can impress the locals........

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    Re: Betws y Coed from Conwy

    by SandiM Online Now Mar 25, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    One last thing, all! I can't find prices for bus tickets for the Arriva bus 19 fron Conwy to Betws y Coed. Any help on this?? thanks!

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