All shades of red, gold and green await you during the autumn months in North Wales Forests. It’s a beautiful time of year to book a holiday getaway!
Autumn is such a magical time of year. As our forests and woodlands put on their Sunday best for one last dance before winter, there’s just enough of a nip in the air to sink into a cosy night in front of the woodburner. It is without a doubt our favourite season.
Our diverse landscapes in North Wales make it such a special place to explore in the autumn. As well as our magnificent forests and woodlands, the mountain bracken gives everything such a fabulously firey glow. It lights up the foothills of Snowdonia and makes everything look wonderful.
Autumn is also a great time to go foraging. Our berry crop is looking particularly bountiful this year, with plenty of blackberries and bilberries already ripe for the picking. And mushrooms too, if you know what you are doing.
One of our most important jobs of the autumn is picking sloes for our homemade winter gin stores. We have one bottle from last year stashed in the cellar, and it’s going to be cracked open to celebrate the first night our woodburner goes on.
Here are some of our favourite woodlands and North Wales Forests. Let’s raise a glass to a wonderful autumn for us all.
Gwydir Forest near Llanrwst, Conwy Valley
As well as boasting beautiful mountain and valley views, the Gwydir Forest is hugely atmospheric and has an intriguing history. Look out for the Llwybr y Ceirw Sculpture trail, inspired by Wales’s real-life Robin Hood figure – Dafydd ap Siencyn. The forest is also home to the infamous Marin mountain bike trail and the perfect day out for anyone who loves trail running or biking. Must visit: Llyn Crafnant, on the northern edge of the forest. Single track approach to the lake through the most beautiful beech woodland. Glorious all year round, but especially in autumn.
Coed y Brenin near Dolgellau, Gwynedd
This beautiful forest park covers 9,000 acres around the Mawddach, Eden, Gain and Wen river valleys. To the west are views across the rugged Rhinog mountains and, to the east, you’ll see the extinct volcano of Rhobell Fawr. The forest has an excellent visitor centre and a shop where you can hire bikes to explore world-class mountain bike trails. There is also a café, loads of family walking trails, a play area and riverside picnic areas. A family-friendly forest!
Link to forest: https://naturalresources.wales/days-out/places-to-visit/north-west-wales/coed-y-brenin-forest-park/coed-y-brenin-forest-park-visitor-centre/coed-y-brenin-forest-park-visitor-centre/?lang=en
Newborough Forest, Anglesey
You’ll find Newborough Forest on the southern corner of Anglesey, just a short hop over the Menai Bridge from the mainland at Bangor. Newborough is a very special place – a superb pine forest with a colony of red squirrels and plenty of walking and cycling trails. The forest pines run right down to a sandy beach, and you’ll often get the most wonderful pine scent as you walk along the beach. This beach is also home to Llanddwyn Island which, in the 5th century, was apparently home to the Welsh St Valentine, Dwynwen. Definitely one for the romantics, and one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Coed Felinrhyd, near Maentwrog, Vale of Ffestiniog
This ancient woodland dates back 10,000 years to the last ice age. If it’s unspoilt woodland idyll you’re looking for then head this way. Coed Felinrhyd is a marvellous place to get close to nature – and, well, away from everything else. Look out for otters playing in the Prysor River at the forest’s edge and expect waterfalls galore. Coed Felinrhyd has the rare distinction of being mentioned in the famous collection of Welsh legends, the Mabinogion, as the last resting place of Pryderi, King of Dyfed. There is one waymarked trail through the forest. Paths can be steep and tricky, so this is one for experienced walkers! Absolutely magical.
Coed Aber Artro, Llanbedr
This ancient oak woodland hugs the hillsides around the River Artro as it makes its way down to the sea close to Harlech. Home to loads of wildlife, look out for wrens and nuthatches who love the plentiful berries here in the autumn. Some wonderful hilly trails, and not too far from the Victoria Pub at Llanbedr if you fancy finishing your walk with a pint.