An easy, level walk which visits St Cadfan's church before making a bee-line for the Afon Dysynni.After a walk beside the river, you turn inland, passing a fine dovecot and what remains of Ynysymaengwyn, once a stately home. A short walk along the road brings you to the ancient Croes-faen, where you turn left to either return to the start along quiet lanes or make a short diversion to Hen-dy Station and a ride back in the train.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Leave Pendre Station and turn left. At the crossroads, turn right along Brook Street. When you reach the main road turn left, passing the Corbett Arms Hotel and the Cinema on your right. Turn right along Gwalia Road, after visiting the church of St Cadfan. Follow the road, which bends to the right, becomes a single track
and continues across flat reclaimed land. Continue ahead when the tarmac ends and the view along the valley begins to open. Go through a gate and continue ahead. Gradually the prominent dark outcrop of Birds' Rock comes into view on your right. You reach a footbridge on your left and a gate ahead.
(1) Go through kissing-gate ahead, and the next two gates. Now do not turn sharp right, but follow the signed route half-right towards a gateway. You reach the gateway and stile (broken). Go through and veer right towards the next gateway and (broken) stile. Go through and climb the bank. Turn right to walk with the water to your left. This is a popular area for local anglers. You reach a stile by a gate.
(2) Cross this stile and turn right over a footbridge. Go through a metal gate and follow the track, initially beside woods, and later beside a wall. You pass a handsome dovecot, one of the few remaining intact buildings of Ynysymaengwyn. Follow the track through ruined farm buildings. Go through a gate and follow the lane ahead, beside a caravan park. Go through gates and finally through metal gates to reach the road (elephant motif on gate-posts – badge of Corbett family).
(3) Turn right, cross the road and walk along the verge, taking great care on this main road. Continue along the road until you reach a left turn. Follow this, stopping to look at Croes-faen, the Dragon Stone, just over the hedge. This was once a marker on an ancient Pilgrim's Way: in legend, it was placed here to protect the town from a ferocious dragon!
(4) Turn left at the next junction and continue. (If you wish, you can turn left to reach Hendy Station, for a train ride back.) Cross the Talyllyn Railway and continue. When you reach the entrance to Ty-Mawr, turn right beside a handsome, but now redundant, step-stile, and walk along the track. Continue to return to Pendre Station.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 14m - Pendre Station
1 : km 1.68 - alt. 2m - Kissing-gate
2 : km 3.01 - alt. 7m - Stile
3 : km 3.67 - alt. 10m - A493
4 : km 4.38 - alt. 7m - Croes-faen
D/A : km 5.56 - alt. 14m - Pendre Station
Remember this is sheep country : if you must take your dog, always keep it on a lead.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
St Cadfan's Church :
A couple of hundred yards north-west of the present St Cadfan's Church, under the floor of a garage, there is an ancient well. It was close to this, in the 6thC, that Cadfan arrived from Llanilltyd Fawr to found a school, and follow a simple life of study, hospitality and prayer. This was part of the general growth of the Celtic church during the latter part of the Roman occupation of Britain, and the years which followed.
At that time Cadfan's church was built of wood and was easily destroyed during Viking raids. Becoming part of the Augustinian order, it was decided to construct a more substantial building during the mid-12thC. Around this building a town slowly grew, and a shipping trade built up.
In the 16thC, during the reformation, a vicar from St Cadfan's went to London to campaign against changes being introduced from Europe (this has a contemporary ring to it!) and was, for his trouble, hung, drawn and quartered. A time of hardship followed the Civil War, and a general lack of cash for maintenance led to the collapse,
in 1692, of the church tower. This buried both the altar and a 13thC Sanctus Bell, which was not recovered until 1881. A new tower was constructed in 1736, but it was taken down around 1880 when the vicar, the Rev. Titus Lewis, had a vision to rebuild the church as it once was. With financial assistance from some rich local families, including the Corbetts, he realised his dream, rebuilding the tower in its original central position.
It is worth going inside to see the Cadfan Stone: on its four faces are inscriptions in what is considered to be some of the oldest written Welsh, proving that the leading families of the time used their native language and not Latin. There are also fine medieval stone carvings: one, known as the Crying Knight, 'weeps' during wet weather.
From Rhydyronen Station, there is a splendid walk up the steep-sided valley of Nant Braich-y-rhiw where, after crossing the stream, you turn sharp left to return to the station to start the second part of this route. If you have the stamina and help with transport, you could continue in a south-easterly direction to cross into Happy Valley. However, to continue this walk you then accompany the railway for an easy walk back to Pendre, passing an area of Open Access Land (Tir Cymen) at Hendy.
Starting from Rhydyronen, you are soon presented with a stunning vista of the sea and the valley as you climb gently up the lower slopes of the south-western extremities of the Tarrens. A steep descent brings you back to the railway at Brynglas Station, an alternative starting point. You then pass a fine converted mill and the handsome house of Dolaugwyn before making your way through woods and beside Nant Rhydyronen back to the start.
Following quiet lanes and pretty riverside paths down to the Afon Dysynni, this is an easy walk which offers expansive views towards the sea in the west, and the mountains to the east. Your return route passes Ynysymaengwyn on its way back to the station.
This is a short walk in the Snowodnia National Park, easily manageable in about a couple of hours making it suitable for families, for an evening excursion or for the remains of a day curtailed by bad weather. It is rewarding and enjoyable, in a land of Arthurian legend, providing varying interest and ever changing panoramas from coastal to more distant mountains.
Leave Abergynolwyn Station and, after a short stretch of road, you are soon walking along a steep gorge defined by the Afon Dysynni, which squeezes through this narrow gap before reaching Dyffryn Dysynni, where it turns south-west and heads for the sea. A very quiet lane is then joined at Pont Ystumanner and this is followed for a short way to Llan llwyda, with the craggy hulk of Bird Rock directly ahead.
This Gwynedd walk is full of interest with a section across the hills, an historic chapel and a ruined castle. The final section is through a gorge. This is a surprisingly beautiful part of Snowdonia.
A fascinating route which circumnavigates Foel Cae’rberllan and passes through the village of Abergynolwyn. You then walk along a valley with the Afon Dysynni hemmed in at its base before veering off above Coed Cae’r-berllan and approaching Castell y Bere, prominent on a rocky outcrop to your left. After visiting castles, you then make your return along the cwm of Nant-yr-eira, initially through woods and then along an open trackway.
This Gwynedd walk is full of variety. The route includes a crossing of the Barmouth Bridge, a section of woodland with many waterfalls, two beautifully located lakes and some mountain vistas.
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