Craflwyn & Dinas Emrys

activities / Hiking & trekking

Craflwyn & Dinas Emrys information

A mile northeast of Beddgelert, near Llyn Dinas, National Trust–owned Craflwyn Farm is the starting point for several short walks, including a path to Dinas Emrys, one of the most significant yet largely unheralded sites in Welsh mythology. To stay at Pretty Craflwyn Hall contact HF Holidays (www.hfholidays.co.uk), which leases it on behalf of the Trust.

According to legend, Dinas Emrys was the hill where King Vortigern – son-in-law of Britain's last Roman ruler, Magnus Maximus – tried to build a castle. It kept collapsing until the young wizard Merlin (Myrddin Emrys) liberated two dragons in a cavern under the hill – a white one representing the Saxons (the Germanic ancestors of the English) and a red one representing the Britons (today's Welsh) – and prophesied that they'd fight until the red dragon was triumphant. The two dragons have been at each other's throats ever since.

It takes about half an hour to walk through fields, alongside a stream, past a waterfall and through woods to the summit. At the top there are the remains of 12th-century and Roman-era fortifications and wonderful views over the lake and the valley of Nantgwynant.