Rhyd Ddu

The mountain Y Garn which begins the Nantlle ridge is reflected in the calm waters of Llyn y Dywarchen

Rhyd Ddu is a small village in Snowdonia.


The name of this village, translated from the Welsh, means "Black Ford", and the village would originally have grown up around this crossing point on the Afon Gwyrfai river. Since the 19th century Rhyd Ddu has been a popular starting point for climbers ascending Snowdon, the village is also the main centre from which to climb Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge to the west.

Get in

Rhyd Ddu lies on the A4085 road between Beddgelert and Caernarfon, at the junction with the B4418 Nantlle Valley road. It is served by the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon and Porthmadog , and by Bws Gwynedd and Snowdon Sherpa bus services.



Most visitors to Rhyd Ddu are here to climb Snowdon. As you might guess the Rhyd Ddu Path starts from the village itself, while the Snowdon Ranger Path starts just under a mile to the north of the village, from the eponymous youth hostel and railway station.

While most walkers and climbers head east from the village up the Snowdon paths, those seeking a more solitary experience should head west for the underrated Nantlle Ridge, the westernmost of Snowdonia's mountain ranges, which offers marvellous views of Snowdon itself to the east, and the Lleyn peninsula and Tremadog Bay to the south and west.

Scuba Diving

The famous Dorothea Quarry is located 9km to the west of the village, in the Nantlle Valley. Dorothea is a flooded disused quarry, which is now a popular (unofficial) training site for divers from across Wales and central and north-west England. It has acquired a bit of a bad name due to a number of accidents and fatalities. Parts of the quarry are up to 100m (300ft) deep, and it seems that some divers are tempted to push the limits too far.


There is no shop in Rhyd Ddu, soft drinks, snacks and fruit can be purchased from the tea rooms. There are a number of shops in Beddgelert, 5km to the south.




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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, August 14, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.