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Snowdon, Y Garn & Pen yr Ole Wen from Carnedd Dafydd - Cambrian Way
Photo: Snowdon, Y Garn & Pen yr Ole Wen from Carnedd Dafydd      

A Tough High Level Coast to Coast Walk through Wildest Wales

Wales' most scenically beautiful and challenging long distance trail Coast to Coast - Cardiff to Conwy.

This is a New Version of the website (08/01/2020) - Please which explains the changes and feedback any problems or suggestions to:

Visit Us
  • Full colour Cicerone Guidebook with O.S. 1:50,000 mapping now available.
  • A high level walk traversing the highest and wildest parts of Wales.
  • On public rights of way or where there is a right of access.
  • Distance 298 miles (479km) - Cicerone Guide main route.
  • Ascent approximately 74,000 feet (22,500 metres) - Cicerone Guide main route.
  • Unwaymarked over mountains - Navigation skills essential.
  • B&Bs, hostels, bunkhouses, hotels, camp sites - website updates.
  • Full of useful and interesting information - history, geology, culture etc.

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The Cambrian Way has existed for over 50 years, being first envisaged in 1968. In 1984 the first guidebook was produced by the late Tony Drake and updated guides have been published ever since with the website being launched in 2006.
Please do not confuse this walking route with the A470 road route that was named the Cambrian Way by Visit Wales in 2017.

This website is now run by the Cambrian Way Trust, a charitable trust. Any donations large or small to help with running costs would be greatly appreciated.
Note: All transactions go through the Secure PayPal website and no sensitive information is held by the Trust.

Cambrian Way Home Page - Latest News

Latest News on the Cambrian Way - new developments, problems, corrections

Please Note: The Cambrian Way News has been restarted with items relating to the Cicerone guide and any associated route changes. Earlier news items can be seen on the Guide page under AJ Drake News.

The Forum for Current Route Problems or Useful Hints and Tips

If you have come across any problems or obstructions or anything else that you think may be of value or interest to other walkers, or if you have an update to any item already posted, please e-mail with details so that it can be posted here. Your name can be added if you wish, or you can remain anonymous with just your initials and town or country displayed. We are also keen to hear of any B&Bs, hostels, bunkhouses, camp sites etc that are not already in the guidebook, especially in remote areas where accommodation may be scarce.

43. Stage 1 - Radyr to Whitchurch (Cardiff) - Route Diversion due to Flood Damage (Oliver Wicks) - Now resolved 22/02/2020
Due to flood damage to the footpath by the railway bridge in February 2020, a diversion is in place starting at Rhadyr ST 1404 7952 /// equal.spots.define, rejoining the route in Whitchurch ST 1423 7996 /// rooms.jungle.stored after crossing Hailey Park. This takes an earlier crossing of the River Taff over a footbridge and through the park. This only affects those following the Cicerone guide route, as the A.J. Drake route follows the other side of the river along the Taff Trail. Those not wishing to visit Llandraff Cathedral may also choose to follow the old route instead. The two routes rejoin at the end of the diversion. It is not known yet for how long this diversion will be in place. See map below.

Update 28/07/2020: This problem is now resolved - no diversion required.
42. Addition of Road Access Points to website & Help Page (George Tod) 16/01/2020

Rather than walking the whole of the Cambrian Way in one go, many walkers choose to do so in smaller sections and not necessarily in the defined stages laid out in the guide. Others have friends or relatives who transport them to and from convenient places along the route based on their personal walking abilities whilst others may need lifts or taxis to and from accommodation. In all of these cases it is useful to know where the route is on or near a road and whether there is car parking nearby.

A list of Road Access Points for each Stage has been added to the 'Route Page' under Planning a Walk. This gives locations in three formats: O.S. 8 digit Grid References, Latitude and Longitude for Satnav and what3names for mobile phones thus catering for all types of user. From studying maps, car parks and possible roadside parking is indicated and this information can be improved with feedback from walkers.

The 'Help' page accessed by the ? at the top of each page now contains a list of contents of the whole website with links to every topic for ease of navigation.

41. Correction to GPX file and Map file for Stage 13 and Powys Trail Marking (Oliver Wicks) 16/01/2020

A minor error has been spotted in the GPX file and O.S. Map file for Stage 13 just after the start of the stage in Dylife. The text of the Cicerone guide is correct about taking a sharp left turn from the road just past the Star Inn. However, the GPX file showed taking a footpath just before the Star Inn. This makes very little difference as it leads to the same place after only 50 metres, but to avoid the any confusion a new GPX file: CWStage13GPSRevC2.gpx and Map file CWStage13MapRevC2.doc have been made available for download from the website. For anyone who has already downloaded them, it may not be worth downloading the new ones so long as this has been noted.

A Cambrian Way Trail Marker has now been placed at the correct turning from the road thanks to Oliver Wicks and helpers from Ramblers Cymru who have now completed the Trail Marking in Powys.

See Photo

40. Addition of what3words to locations on the website (George Tod) 26/12/2019

what3words is simply a human friendly coordinate system. It is a layer that sits on top of latitude and longitude and allows everyone, everywhere, across all platforms, analogue and digital, to easily communicate their precise location. Instead of long sets of latitude and longitude numbers or Ordnance Survey grid references it gives every 3m square in the world a three word address. These appear to be random but by looking them up via a link to their website it will show the exact location on a choice of zoomable maps or satellite imagery. An app is available for free download and this can be used to guide you to the location by GPS using suitable software on your phone or to generate three words for your current location so that you can pass it on to others. It is now being used by a number of organisations including the emergency services, as it is easier to communicate three words than a string of numbers.

We are starting to use this on the website for such things as the location of accommodation and will gradually extend this to any other things that currently use grid references though the grid references will still be retained for use with O.S, maps. A start has been made on entries for Youth Hostels as the YHA website now shows them.

This is an example for Cardiff Central Youth Hostel.   /// sober.staple.await   Click the button to be taken to the exact 3m square on a map (zoom out to se the surrounding area).

39. Stage 14 Route near Cribin Fawr Clarification (George Tod) 27/10/2019

A walker has reported difficulty finding the correct route near Cribin Fawr between Craig Portas and Waun-oer. Although the description in the Cicerone guide is correct, if you are walking without 1:25,000 or GPS it may not be clear about where the fence is crossed and which way to go having crossed it, as boundary fences are not shown on the 1:50,000 maps in the guide. His problem was that he didn't swing round to the left before meeting the fence and was confused when the fence was a different one from the one he had been following earlier. He then turned back and attempted to go via the forest but had to go further down the hillside to get around the trees and then reached dangerously steep slopes in places making it very difficult. The map below illustrates this more clearly.

The Cambrian Way route takes the path that is close to the steep edge as it gives better views over the valley below but then requires the fence to be crossed to avoid the path blocked by overgrown trees. If preferred, the alternative route shown on the map can be taken by not crossing the fence near Craig Portas and following the broad ridge towards Cribin Fawr. This leads to stiles at the junction of fences where the northern side can be reached for the descent westwards towards Waun-oer.

Show Map

38. O.S. 1:25,000 maps of the route available for download (George Tod) 15/07/2019

To mark the launch of the new Cicerone guidebook, a set of maps has been made available for free download. Ramblers have kindly agreed to cover the cost of the O.S. licence for these for the present time. They cover the 22 stages shown in the new guidebook plus the major alternative routes and consist of an MS Word document file (.doc) for each of the stages with a set of A4 map sections that can be printed.

Go to Free Download on Guidebook page

37. New Cicerone Guidebook Available from 15/07/2019 (George Tod) 15/06/2019
The new Cambrian Way guidebook published by Cicerone will be avaiable from 15/07/2019 with a cover price of 14.95. Prior to that, copies can be pre-ordered from their website at a discounted price including free UK delivery. After 15/07/2019 the A.J. Drake guidebook will no longer be available to order.

Visit Cicerone website

36. Cambrian Way Trail Marking gets started in Torfaen (Oliver Wicks) 22/06/2018
Upd. 06/10/2019
Ramblers Walking Spaces Officer (Wales) Oliver Wicks went out with one of the Torfaen Council Rangers to put up trail markers from Pontypool to Blaenavon, starting off the process of Trail Marking the whole route. Until now, the only markers have been a few that Tony Drake erected himself: one near Commins Coch (now disappeared) and a few others on the way to Strata Florida. The new circular markers have the Welsh Hat Logo with 'Taith Cambria' and 'Cambrian Way' surrounding it and they are usually being placed alongside existing waymarks. In keeping with other mountain trails, they will not be used over the mountains themselves but in the lower lying areas between. There will be some changes from the route shown in Edition 7 of the A.J. Drake guidebook where a number of suggested improvements have been incorporated in preparation for a new guidebook to be published by Cicerone in July 2019. GPX files of these will be made available on the website when they are finalised.

Update: Trail Marking is now well under way in many areas (20/01/2019)

Update: Trail Marking is now almost completed in the Brecon Beacons National Park area (10/07/2019).

Update: Please note that the level of waymarking is not as comprehensive as that on a National Trail with markers only at key points. It was initially intended that the Welsh Hat Logo on markers would point in the direction of the route but instead they have been placed vertically and rely on nearby footpath waymarks to show the route direction where possible. Despite theses limitations, however, they do give reassurance to walkers that they are on the correct route. Unfortunately the route is not currently shown on O.S. maps as this requires all local authorities on the entire route to guarantee to support the maintenance and waymarking of the route and this has not currently been achieved, though it is possible that it may be achieved in the future (06/10/2019).

See Photo

Cambrian Way Home Page - Useful Links

Links to - Organisations offering Advice, Accommodation, Activities etc.
Useful Cambrian Way Links - Accommodation Providers
Useful Cambrian Way Links - Walking Organisations
Useful Cambrian Way Links - Walking Holidays
Useful Cambrian Way Links - Other Walks near Cambrian Way
Useful Cambrian Way Links - National Parks - Activites and Amenities
Useful Cambrian Way Links - Other Environmental and Conservation Organisations
Useful Cambrian Way Links - Ordnance Survey Maps

Cambrian Way Home Page - Personal Accounts

Personal Accounts - of Walking the Cambrian Way
Diaries of a Long Distance Walker
Four diaries of the walk by George Tod
Cultured Kiwi Guide to Snowdonia
Includes Video of Snowdon Ascent
Pete Lockey's Trip Reports
Walking the Cambrian Way 2008
Stephen Poulton's 1971 walk

Cambrian Way - An 11 Day Schedule
Stephen Poulton's 2011 walk

Cambrian Way Revisited - An 18 Day Schedule
Matthew Hand's Walk

Cambrian Way from 2013 to 2015
Llanelli Ramblers' walk from 2012 to 2015
Cambrian Way - A 32 Day Schedule
Matthew King's Walk
Cambrian Way 2013 & 2014, Backpacking

Cambrian Way Home Page - Walk Completions

Cambrian Way Completions - They Made it to Conwy!

Extracts from postcards of Conwy Castle which Tony Drake received and more recent comments sent by Email.
Please now send comments by e-mail to

'What a fantastic walk on the Cambrian Way - thanks.' - Nigel Phillips

'A wet but enjoyable walk. Thanks for the fantastic route, truly a mountain connoisseur's dream come true, especially practising navigation in mist on virtually half the mountain ranges, unfortunately. Definitely one to recommend.' - Jackie the goat

'I finished it. It was really good fun. Rhinogau were tough.' - Janet Street Porter

'A wonderful way to see Wales.' - Anne Alderson

'Until now managed to find the right track. Only just now missed top of Conwy Mt. Thanks for the practical guide.' - Anne-Marie, Belgium

'Truly splendid route - thank you very much - excellent wild camping plus campsites YH, & B&B. It is certainly a tough route if cloud is down and it's wet, windy and cold.

'Thanks for devising the route. It has give us many hours of pleasure (not to mention the pain) !' - Bronwen, Noel and Rod Williams

'Congratulations to you for devising such an interesting and challenging walk through parts of Wales which were certainly new to us, and will visit again. Fortunately we were blessed with excellent weather, which made the walk possible. Our major problem was of course the Rhinogau which were somewhat excessive.' - Michael Ewelt

'Excellent walk, done in adverse weather for much of the way: nevertheless we visited every checkpoint and kept to schedule.' - F. Tennent

'It has taken us + 2 children 4 summer holidays to complete. Thank you for devising such a varied and scenic route.' - Jill and Mike Adams

'A fantastic trip in all weathers - thanks.' - Robbie Brookes (Glos.)

'Holland certainly is flatter." - B. & F. van Mock

'Have just completed Cambrian Way in 20 days. Congratulations on putting together such a magnificent route taking in some of the finest mountain scenery in Wales, although it has been hard going in places it has been worth the effort.' - George Tod (see website account of doing the walk four times.

'We made it ! Congratulations on a wonderful route. Hope to do it all in one next time.' - J & S. Dodwell, Cheltenham

'Completed Cambrian Way today. What a challenge ! Letter to follow.' - Jos (62) & Jenny (61)

'Cambrian Way Completed, 10/08/2014 in just over three separate one week stages. An amazing adventure over wonderful mountain scenery. Many thanks to those involved in the original development of the walk and to George Tod for continuing to oversee the official website. Fantastic!' - Malcolm Griffiths(63), Macclesfield

'Brilliant experience all round, wonderful route and a proper challenge, only sad that more people don't take it on.' - Matthew Hand, Rhandirmwyn (read account of walk)

'Finished the Cambrian Way in July, doing five days from middle of the Rhinogau and staying at Youth Hostels. What a wonderful experience which has stretched over two years. One of the best walks I have done over the last 50 years. It is a tough one needing a lot of stamina and good route finding skills. Not for the faint hearted. A real Challenge. Great Website too! - Richard Tyler, Cambrian Way Trust

'Finished the Northern Section of the Cambrian Way on Saturday 9th June. Completed the Southern and Central Section in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Great Challenging walk and we really enjoyed it although my right big toe nail is about to come off due to repeated stubbing in the Rhinogau!' - Steve Swann & Dave Morrison (Macclesfield)

'With some trepidation I set off to complete the way in one trip, intending to camp as I went and completing in one go. In the end it took four trips and 18 days to complete. I left the tent at home for the last 2 days due to the risk of heat stroke. The work of knowledgeable people, lovingly plotted, faint at times, it shows the best of Wales' uplands!' - Neale Bland

'Following in our fathers footsteps we discovered the beauty of Wales by walking the Cambrian Way in three annual visits, with the great help of George Tod's extremely useful website. A wonderful and sometimes painful adventure and quite a challenge since we had no prior experience at all.' - Maarten van Buuren & Thomas van Buuren, The Netherlands

Cambrian Way Home Page - Contacting Cambrian Way Trust

Contacting Us - The Cambrian Way Trust and Webmaster

Please Note: Tony Drake passed away aged 89 on 7th March 2012 -   View his Obituary.

At last, four years after Tony Drake's death, the Cambrian Way Trust was formed to manage publication and updates to the Cambrian Way Guidebook and Website as bequested in Tony Drake's will. The Trustees are:

  • Richard Tyler (Chairman)
  • Jess Tyler (Secretary)
  • Geoffrey Williams (Treasurer)
  • George Tod (Website and Guidebook)
  • Will Renwick (Social Media)

Reports from readers who walk the Cambrian Way as to where they have stayed or camped and any difficulties encountered would still be greatly appreciated, as it is not possible to spend as much time as Tony did on checking out sections of the route.

Any correspondence to the e-mail address below will be forwarded automatically to the Trustees. Whoever is best able to address your feedback or query will respond as soon as possible.

Feedback on Website

For any problems encountered with the website or any other comments regarding its construction, please contact the webmaster George Tod at: