Llyn Elsi is a small reservoir located above Betws-y-Coed that provides water for the village. There is a small 20 foot dam at one end (built in 1914). This 2 hour (ish) walk up the hill and around the lake has spectacular views panoramic views of Snowdonia and would be a perfect place to stop for a picnic.
There are several paths to reach the lake but we always start from St Mary’s church on the main road in the village, this route does involve a steep climb to start so comfortable walking shoes are required. We like this route as it tires Bert and Pedro out for the rest of the day and after the initial 50m to the start of the path it is quite safe for them to be off their leads for the rest of the walk, though you should be aware that you may meet forestry traffic occassionally.
Parking is available at St Mary’s church, this is the most convenient place as the start of the walk is just off the road located behind the church. From here you will climb through the woods on an unmade road up to the start of the lake. Following the trail around the reservoir brings you back to the top of your steep climb ready for your descent. The route is very easy to follow so you won’t need a map. There are parts around the reservoir where you can get down to the waters edge for the mutt’s to have a drink if need be.
In the future we plan to take a picnic so that we can sit and enjoy the views but on previous visits we have always stopped at the Alpine Coffee Shop in the village. This is a doggie friendly cafe with great food options (we are both veggie’s so look for more than the default pasta or veggie burger!). Bert and Pedro also like it here as they sell single sausages for your doggie friend, they even get doggie loyalty cards so once they have had 6 sausages they get a free one (Bert would like us to buy him all 6 in one visit and have the free one at the same time!).
Bert & Pedro’s rating of the walk and cafe would be a very healthy 5 paws!
How to get there
Post code for St Mary’s Church is LL24 0AA, though you can’t miss it on the main road (A5) through Betws y Coed.