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Almost all of the vast quantity of rain that falls on Snowdon spills down into the Glaslyn River in Nantgwynant or the Colwyn River in Nant Colwyn. At the rivers' confluence – amidst majestic mountain scenery – huddle the few dozen hard grey houses that make up BEDDGELERT. It's a curiously enchanting place, with front gardens and window boxes bursting with flowers, and lots of places to eat and drink.
A sixteenth-century former farmhouse, inn, general store and tearooms right in the heart of the village – known as Llywelyn Cottage – is now Tŷ Isaf (Easter–Oct Wed–Sun 1–4pm; free), which puts on good exhibitions usually on some aspect of Snowdonia's cultural history. The red-brown stain on the hillside opposite identifies the Sygun Copper Mine (daily: Easter– Oct 9.30am–5pm; Nov– Easter 10.30am–4pm; Web: www.syguncoppermine.co.uk ; £7.95), whose ore drew first the Romans, then nineteenth-century prospectors. A 45-minute self-guided tour leads through the multiple levels of tunnels and galleries, accompanied by the disembodied voice of a miner describing his working life.
Good places to stay are Beddgelert Bistro & Antiques, Waterloo House, directly opposite the bridge (Tel:01766/890543, Web: www.beddgelert-bistro.co.uk ; Price: £40), with three attractive en-suite rooms above the restaurant; Plas Tan-y-Graig (Tel:01766/890310, Web: www.plastanygraig.co.uk ; Price: £60), also near the bridge, a comfy B&B aimed at walkers and cyclists; and Sygun Fawr Country House, three-quarters of a mile away off the A498 (Tel:01766/890258, Web: www.sygunfawr.co.uk ; Price: £70), a sixteenth-century house with a sauna and great four-course evening meals (£22.50). The excellent Beddgelert Forest Campsite (Tel:01766/890288) is a mile out on the Caernarfon road, four miles before the highly rated Snowdon Ranger YHA hostel (Tel:0870/770 6038, Web: www.yha.org.uk ; dorms £12; mid-Feb to Dec). The Bryn Gwynant YHA hostel (Tel:0870/770 5732, Web: www.yha.org.uk ; Jan– Oct; dorms £12) is beautifully sited in Nantgwynant, four miles northeast of Beddgelert on the A498, and has a campsite where you can use the hostel's facilities for half the adult rate. Also at the budget end is Bryn Dinas (Tel:01766/890234, Web: www.bryndinasbunkhouse.co.uk ; bunks £9), which consists of a number of small but functional sleeping cabins huddled around communal showers and kitchen, also a couple of miles north of Beddgelert.