Why I will never go to Betws-y-Coed again

Five years ago, while camping in North Wales, I visited the village of Betws-y-Coed, and even though it’s a very popular little place I wasn’t particularly impressed with it, and for more than one reason I decided not to bother going there again. However, last Easter I thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and make a return visit, but I was soon to regret that decision – and an incident which happened there only a couple of months ago has reinforced my original vow to never go there again.
So here they are – my own personal reasons for never going back to Betws-y-Coed –
1 – It’s not exactly the prettiest of villages. It’s full of nothing but drab dark grey stone buildings which make it look dreary and dismal. The nicest part of it is over the bridge at the far side of the river.
2 – Every other shop is an ‘outdoor’ shop selling nothing but cycling, walking and hiking gear and expensive outdoor clothing. When I wanted some spare guy lines for my tent not one single shop had any; in fact there were very few camping accessories to be had anywhere in spite of there being two camp sites in the village. It may be an okay place for those who like walking and hiking and need to buy the relevant gear but I really don’t understand why it’s such a big attraction for everyone else, as other than a handful of gift shops and cafes there’s not much else there.
3 – The pavements are far too narrow for the amount of people walking on them, meaning you very often have to step into the busy road to pass people coming the opposite way – not good if you have a couple of dogs in tow.
4 – Shops, cafes, restaurants, even the Londis and Spar mini markets – you name it, everywhere is overpriced.
5 – Parking is a nightmare when the place is busy and you can drive round and round for ages before finding a space. My attempts to find a parking space last year resulted in a two foot long dent in the bottom of the side door of the van – and a bill for £160 for a replacement door when I got home.
6 – The Royal Hotel. I’ve never been in there before but even if someone were to offer me a million pounds I wouldn’t go anywhere near the place. I’m very much an animal lover and I abhor cruelty of any kind, so an incident which happened there in December shocked, sickened and upset me very much. Following the incident the two staff members involved were sacked but I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks the manager should also have been sacked. I’m not going into details but the link to the story is here – be warned though that it’s not very nice to read. Following on from that there’s also an online petition here – if just one person reading this blog signs it with a comment I’ll be happy.
So there you have it – the reasons why I will never ever go to Betwys-y-Coed again. Bear in mind that this is my own personal experience and opinion of the place – there are many people who do like it, hence its popularity, but it’s not for me. I’ve been to much nicer towns and villages on my camping travels and those are the ones I will return to; North Wales is a lovely place with beautiful scenery but Betws-y-Coed? – never again!



14 thoughts on “Why I will never go to Betws-y-Coed again

  1. From where I live on the coast, it’s a nice, easy run to Betws-y-Coed and just under thirty miles. I have to say it is a favourite place of mine to visit, just occasionally but I much prefer the place when it is quiet. Parking can be a nightmare, plenty of it but as it’s such a popular place looking for that space can take an age. It’s a shame your van got damaged while you were there. I don’t disagree with all the points you make but I do think it’s quite a pretty place but more so once you’ve gone over the bridge. I like walking alongside the river and there is a nice big village green to sit for awhile. The pavements are narrow and you do have to step into the road to pass other walkers.

    I agree that most of the shops are outdoor clothing shops and well overpriced. I saw a gilet for sale, reduced in price to £129, who pays that for a gilet!! The majority of shops are dog-friendly which is good though.

    As for the Royal Oak Hotel, I have signed the petition but am not confident that the two staff, manager or hotel will be prosecuted. It was an absolute disgraceful act of animal cruelty. The hotel was always somewhere I used to enjoy to sit outside and have a meal but NEVER again. I agree with Jayne’s comments above, spread the word and hold this place accountable for their actions.


    1. £129 for a gilet??!! If that was the reduced price I hate to think what the original price was! The only thing I bought while I was there was a pre-owned Mrs Brown’s Boys dvd from a small shop near the station, that was cheap enough at only £3.99. I did think about having a meal in the railway carriage restaurant until I saw the prices on the menu 😦


  2. We went into the Alpine Coffee shop, dog friendly and reasonably priced. I know that wouldn’t tempt you back to Betws-y-Coed though 🙂


    1. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back there again Eileen, not even for coffee and cake at reasonable prices 🙂

      Strangely enough, back in 2009 a gentleman friend of mine – originally a pet sitting client – took me to Betws as part of a day out and we had a meal in the railway car. I quite liked the look of the place then but I didn’t get chance to look round properly so I think that was just a case of first impressions – I know differently now.


      1. COFFE & CAKE at a reasonable price? Well, I usually carry my own, but if you’re in the Gargrave area (NW of Skipton) on a Saturday, walk right past the commercial cafes so beloved of walkers and cyclists and visit the Community Cafe in the village hall. Fab, homemade, inexpensive and so welcoming of a solo stranger, I was quite bowled over.


        1. Thanks, I’ll remember that one. It’s several years since I went to Gargrave, but there’s a nice little camp site just south of Skipton (Cononley) which I’ve stayed at a few times so next time I go there I may just have a drive out to Gargrave.


  3. BETSY I would not like to live somewhere that fills up with visitors. The locals typically despise the visitors, coining names such as ‘lemmings’. Thanks for warning us about this one- definitely one to avoid except maybe on a weekday in bad weather.
    “pre-owned Mrs Brown’s Boys dvd” ha ha. I watched an episode recently, finding it laugh-out-loud funny, and next day one of the The Times columnists described folks who enjoy such TV offerings (and Mrs Brown specifically) as being frankly on a different planet to him. I also like Everyone Loves Raymond but have yet to meet a single soul who agrees with me.
    So, like BETSY, we all have differing tastes.


  4. If you don’t like places jam packed with visitors then Betws is best avoided at weekends and peak times. It’s like trying to cram a hundred people into a phone box, the place is far too small for the number of visitors it attracts.

    As for Mrs Brown’s Boys – for ages one of my friends kept telling me how good it was but I’d got the impression it was similar to Father Ted, which I didn’t like, so I kept saying I wasn’t interested, until one evening when I was round at hers and she insisted I watched it with her – and I found it so side-splittingly funny I was instantly hooked and I’ve now got all the dvds. If you’ve never seen the episode with the superglue you’re missing a real treat 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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