Set high in the hills above the Dwyryd estuary is Tan y Bwlch Railway Station. Set amongst the trees, this must be one of the most attractive stations on the railway. Although many of the slopes have been covered with commercial forestry, there are still the remains of the original oak woodland below the station. There is a lovely short nature trail from the station to the Llyn Mair in the valley below. There is plenty of interest for little legs to with a bridge across the stream and places to paddle or throw stones. The path isn’t wheelchair of pushchair friendly but is easily managed by most people, even me with dodgy knees and a walking stick.
The circular walk is well signed from the station and takes about 20 minute to complete – there is plenty of time to do the walk between trains and also have a scone from the “station cafe”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/148375-review-tan-y-bwlch-cafe.
From the station, take the right hand fork which drops down a well made path to a picnic site on the shores of the lake. This was created by WE Oakeley who lived at Plas Tan y Bwlch and owned large slate caverns in the hills above Blaenau Ffestiniog, as a birthday present for his daughter.
To return to the station, walk along the car park and across the stream to pick up a footpath which climbs back up following the right hand side of the stream. This is a longer route and much steeper. It crosses back over the stream beneath a massive stone embankment of the Ffestiniog railway.
There is a map “here.”:http://my.viewranger.com/route/details/MjNfMjU0Ng
For those wanting a longer walk, follow the road along the side of the lake and then go through the lodge gates to pick up a well made track that will take you round the lake and back to the picnic area. This will take about an hour, depending on how fast you walk. There are miles of footpaths to explore through the woodlands around Tan y Bwlch and Plas Tan y Bwlch. Maps are available from the station cafe or Plas Tan y Bwlch. Junctions are numbered to help with map reading. Or download a map “here.”:https://www.snowdonia.gov.wales/visiting