Photo: Rhinog Fach and Rhinog Fawr from Y Llethr    

Cambrian Way Guidebook

The Cambrian Way - published by Cicerone - now available

Cicerone Guide

The guide is now available through bookshops and online retailers with a cover price of £14.95. Orders can now be placed on the Cicerone website at a discounted price with free UK delivery (£2 delivery to Europe, £3 Worldwide) at:

This guide is a complete rewrite of the original guide and is published by Cicerone who are renowned for their guide books of walks, paticularly mountain walks, throughout the world. The guide is written as a step by step description of the route stages and alternatives and is illustrated with sections of 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey maps in full colour, as well as photographs and a great deal of practical information and historical facts about Wales, its language, culture and geology.

Before producing this guide, volunteer groups from Ramblers Cymru surveyed all of the route and, in the process of doing so, made a number of changes. These include avoiding some sections of road walking or taking more scenic or interesting paths in places. At the same time some of the optional routes for accommodation have been modified to reflect the current availability of facilities.

What will happen to the Current Guidebook?

Our agreement with Cicerone does not allow continued publication of the current A.J. Drake guide so, as the already depleted stocks run out, no more will be printed, though there may still be some available through book sellers who have remaining stock.

Although the information on this website will be aimed to complement the new guidebook, it is our intention to continue to give support to those with copies of the A.J Drake guide. Hence the News Items and Downloads will still be available in addition to those that will become available for the Cicerone guide.

Updates to the Cicerone Guide and GPX files

Any updates to the new guide will be posted under the main Cambrian Way News on the Home page. Updates relating to the A.J. Drake guide are listed under A.J. Drake Updates below. This also includes all the News items from the old website, many of which list amendments and corrections to the earlier guides.

GPX files are listed on the Maps page under GPX Files (New Route) and GPX Files (Old Route)



Cambrian Way - the Mountain Connoisseur's Walk
7th Edition by A.J. Drake, £7.50, ISBN 978 1 5262 0046 4

Please note: Now that the new Cicerone guidebook has been launched, we are no longer permitted to sell the A.J. Drake guide due to our agreement with Cicerone.

There may, however, still be some copies of the A.J. Drake guide available through other outlets that have remaining stock.

We will still continue to provide support here for previous guidebooks.

Cambrian Way Guide Book 7th Edition by A.J. Drake. The guidebook (100 pages) is available through bookshops with a cover price of £7.50.

The guide is designed to be a compact, easy to carry, handbook full of practical information for planning and undertaking the walk. It contains a set of sketch maps of the route, including optional variants for access to accommodation, together with a general description of the route. A table of distances and ascents gives valuable help when planning each stage of the walk, as does the extensive list of accommodation addresses either on or close to the route, many of which are in remote areas and not widely advertised in other places.

In total, there are 106 sketch map sections, 85 B&B addresses, 11 Youth Hostels, 10 Bunkhouses and 25 camp sites in the guide. The book is 8" X 5" in size (the same width as folded OS maps). The maps and route description are on the middle pages, thus facilitating removal if desired.



Guidebook Updates for the A.J. Drake Guide

Amendments to the 6th Edition of the A.J. Drake guidebook are available to download below. Later amendments were mainly issued as News items that are listed in the AJ Drake News below. The Cambrian Way News on the Home page has been started afresh and is intended for items relating to the Cicerone guide and route, but will contain items of a general nature as well.

Amendment Sheets (Guidebook 6th Edition)

The latest amendment sheet with or without the missing map can be obtained from the .pdf files below, which open in a new window. The map is intended to become page 97 of the guidebook. To print it at the correct size, ensure that Page Scaling: is set to None in the print dialogue box. The sheet can then be trimmed to 8" X 4.5" to affix into the back of the guidebook. More recent individual amendmants can be seen on the AJ Drake News below.

1st Nov 2013 (.pdf files) - P97 Map and Amendments (78 kb)    Amendments Only (37 kb)

Stage Planner Update (Guidebook 6th Edition)

Following a recent exercise of plotting the route using the Ordnance Survey's Getamap Service, some discrepancies have been found in figures shown in the Stage Planning section of the guidebook, as well as figures quoted in other places throughout the book. A further update has been carried out using 'OS Maps' online mapping using the route as defined in the 7th Edition of the guidebook. The ascent figures in this include undulations betweem plotted points and are considerably greater though likely to be more accurate. Please note that the walk has not got any harder, it is just that the measurements are more accurate! This should be kept in mind when comparing it with other walks that may not have been calculated in the same way. Amended Stage Planners can be obtained from the .pdf files below.

Stage Planner Update 3rd Feb 2012 (76 kb)       Stage Planner Update 28th Jan 2016 (59 kb)



Earlier News on the Cambrian Way relating to the A.J. Drake Guide

Please Note: The Cambrian Way News has been restarted with items relating to the Cicerone guide and any associated route changes on the Home page under 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.

35. Mountain Air Inn and Lamb Inn both now closed (Guidebook Map 3) (Tom Fisher) 24/06/2018
Tom reports that both the Mountain Air Inn and the Lamb Inn on the way to Pontypool are now closed. Previous editions of the guidebook have mentioned one or other being open or closed at various times but both are unlikely to re-open.
34. Wild Camping on the Cambrian Way (Mike Greenleaf) 12/06/2018
Mike completed a walk of the Cambrian Way at the beginning of June 2018 in the amazing time of 10.5 days, though he does say that the weather made the walking very hard in some places and a schedule of 12.5 days would have been easier. He was wild camping all the way, so could be flexible in between resupply points without needing to add extra distance to reach accommodation. He has provided a list of the wild camping places where he stayed as well as the resupply points he used. He did the walk in 2011 with his three children aged 15, 12 and 11 in 2011 in 20 days, also wild camping, and he has provided his schedule for that as well. These may be useful for anyone planning something similar.

Please note: Strictly speaking wild camping is only permitted with the landowner's permission and is generally not permitted on National Trust land. Local authorities also often have bylaws prohibiting it in many public areas. In practice, however, it is often unofficially accepted in remote places provided you are respectful of where you camp and leave no trace of having been there. This is an assessment of the general situation and is not to be taken to imply approval by The Cambrian Way Trust. George Tod

See Full Details

33. Guidebook Amendment Sheets no longer issued (George Tod) 04/04/2018
With the wider use of the Internet, the printable amendment sheets to the 6th Edition of the guidebook are no longer being produced, though the one from 2013 which includes the missing map is still available. Amendments to the accommodation section of this website are updated whenever known and most accommodation providers have their own websites which can be checked for up-to-date details. Minor route changes, either corrections or improvements are incorporated into the downloadable GPX files from time to time and more significant changes are flagged on this CW News page.
32. Ty'n-y-cornel and Dolgoch Independent Hostels (Guidebook 7th Edition p87 & p93, 6th Edition p84 & p90) (Bill Hine) 04/04/2018
Please Note that Ty'n-y-cornel and Dolgoch Hostels, which are both owned by the Elenydd Wilderness Trust, no longer have any connection with the YHA and can no longer be booked via their website. Both are actually one star hostels (though the YHA only classedified them as bunkhouses) and can be booked either via the newly improved website at or at the numbers given in the Accommodation Section.

News: Ty'n Cornel Hostel (SN751534) and Dolgoch Hostel (SN806561) until 23rd March 2019: If you arrive to stay at either hostel on foot or by bike the warden will offer you a free 'Green Voucher' which entitles you to a return visit to either hostel at half price.
31. Feedback from walks June 2016 and July 2017, GPX file updates etc. (George Tod) 13/08/2017
In June 2016 I walked from Cardiff to Barmouth and in July 2017 from Barmouth to Conwy, making a number of notes about various problems I encountered and also a few observations about minor diversions that may make the walk more interesting without adding to the distance. Part of the exercise was to put the GPX files from the website to the test by following them on the ground for the first time, with a view to improving their accuracy. I was hoping to have track logs of the complete walk, but found out that my GPS could only hold about five days worth of walks before filling its memory, even with the logging set to the minimum level. This meant that first nine days of logs of the first walk and the first two days of the second walk were lost, so I was only able to make adjustments to the GPX files for those based on notes and recollections and the accuracy may have suffered as a result, though they have been improved somewhat. However, working parties of Welsh Ramblers are surveying the route in more detail and feedback from this will be used to make further improvements.

See Full Details

30. Problems finding Route round Gwernpwll on way to Rhandirmwyn (Guidebook Maps 21 & 21A) (George Tod) 10/07/2016
There have been a few reports recently regarding the route around the buildings at Gwernpwll (SN782486) on the route towards the riverside path into Rhandirmwyn. Some walkers have been sent in the wrong direction, or have taken the wrong route by mistake, whilst one walker encountered a man who was gesticulating and speaking in a foreign language trying to get him to turn back to take the road route.

This matter has been raised with Carmarthenshire County Council, as there seems to be a lot of cofusion as to the status of this track. The Ordnance Survey show it as a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT), which was its original status, but following severe erosion where it leaves the road at SN781421, it was closed to all but walkers and horse riders, and there is a notice to this effect. What appears to have happened is that Carmarthenshire County Council considered it to be closed completely on their maps and do not show it as a right of way, whereas the Ordnance Survey still show it as a BOAT. The result of this is that it has had no waymarking and, presumably the owners of the farm, which someone says now belongs to the local college, have taken this to mean the track is private.

What adds to the confusion is that the actual track past the farm is obscured by trees until you get quite close, so it is easy to miss. I walked the route recently and found my way, mainly because I have walked the route before and know what to look for, though it still took me a while to be certain. At the far end of the second building, which is the long, narrow one on the left (furthest north), there is a lane going fairly steeply downhill amongst trees, so it appears that it might be private, but is actually the route in question. At the bottom of the hill is a farm gate on the left with no waymarking, but looking across the field a stile can be seen which leads to the riverside path followed by the Cambrian Way.

Whilst on the subject of the this BOAT, it is worth mentioning that there is also some confusion where it descends from the road at the start. After the badly eroded section, it turns to the left as shown on maps, but towards the bottom of the slope it zigzags back again to the right and it is not obvious exactly where it goes. There is a footpath waymarked to the left but the BOAT goes through an unmarked, tied up gate with no waymarking, and just a sign saying 'Keep to the Edge of the Field'. However, although this is the official route, it is also the boggiest part of the field, so it is best to skirt around the bogs. Hopefully Carmarthenshire County Council will eventually resolve this issue and mark the route with appropriate signs, also informing the residents of Gwernpwll that this is a public right of way so they do not try to turn walkers away, but it may take some time for this to happen.

Update 16/08/2017 - It has been reported by the local authority that the route has been waymarked and the college has been informed not to impede walkers using this route. August 2018 - We have had confirmation that the route through the buildings is clearly waymarked. However, the path to the river through the field at the bottom of the hill beyond the buildings is easy to miss.
29. Snowdonia Slate Trail Project - Crosses Cambrian Way in two places (Aled Owen) 07/07/2016
This project, which has just succeeded in receiving funding, creates an 85 mile trail from Porth Penrhyn to Bethesda, through the Snowdonia slate villages. It crosses the Cambrian Way in two places, in Beddgelert and by Llyn Ogwen, so may be of interest to walkers who have spare time to explore extra parts of the slate mining heritage.

Snowdonia Slate Trail

28. Feedback from Warren Jones on his recent walk from Llandovery to Barmouth (Warren Jones) 25/05/2016
This is a summary of useful comments from Warren's Email about the route and accommodation:
  • Llandovery: Penygawse Guest House/Café has been up for sale and Warren was told they have now found a buyer.
  • Llandovery-Rhandirmwyn: Guidebook Map 21A - After heavy overnight rain, the track at SN783413 was completely flooded with no means of getting around, so there was nothing to do except wade through and get very wet feet.
  • Ty'n-y-cornel: (Update 2018) In the period from November to March visitors will need to book in advance and obtain the door code, as the hostel will normally be unmanned. See News Item 20 for more details,
  • Ty'n-y-cornell-Pontrhydfendigaid: Guidebook Map 23 - This section is often boggy but, where the track ends beyond the hostel, Warren followed a track made by quad bikes over the ridge of Esgair Wynt to SN747558. He stepped over a low fence and followed a narrow but relatively dry path to next lot of higher ground where path disappears. Here he contoured higher up keeping the forest in sight to crossthe 2nd fence and aimed for Nant y Ffrwd and the road. He reached Garn Gron without problems but found a very boggy flat area just south of Bryngwyn Bach. Otherwise there were no problems.
  • Cwmystwyth-Ponterwyd: Guidebook Map 29 - After following the route to Checkpoint 18, Warren followed the Borth to Devil's Bridge to Pontrhydfendigaid Trail. This has the advantage of giving more open views to the east the more direct route to Ystumtuen. Before reaching Ystumtuen, he crossed over to a very minor tarmac road using a foot-bridge at SN738783 and then north to re-join guidebook route. The route round Bryn Bras, though waymarked, is quite faint.
  • Ponterwyd-Dylife: Guidebook Map 31 - The footbridge marked on the Guidebook map has the wrong Grid Reference it should say SN8175 9139. This is not so much a bridge as a concrete slab with the sound of running water beneath. However, it serves its purpose in making the crossing easy.
  • Cemmaes-Dinas Mawddwy: Guidebook Map 33 - Climbing up to Cemmaes Common at Tynwtra, the route has now changed to the right-hand side of the buildings. The OS map shows that a bridleway goes up the hillside at SH862058. However, it was not easy to get from the NE side of wood to the steep track climbing onto the Common.
  • New Hostel Barmouth: A new Independent Hostel has opened on the hillside above Barmouth, very close to the Cambrian Way Route at SH622165. See their website at They also have a small Camping area.
27. Blog of Walk by Malcolm Herbert (his website is no longer accessible) 25/05/2016
Malcolm Herbert completed his walk on 20th May 2016 and wrote a detailed blog, but his is no longer avaiable online.

George Tod

26. Blog by Charles on his Walk of the Cambrian Way in Stages (Charles Hawes) 11/05/2016
Charles Hawes is in the process of walking the Cambrian Way in short stages and is writing a blog of his experiences as he progresses. This is illustrated by some excellent photographs.      

George Tod

View Charles's Blog

25. Footbridge Closure at SH860149 near Dinas Mawddwy due to Storm Damage (Guidebook Map 34A) Now open again (Jacky Cross) 03/04/2016
The footbridge at SH860149 was badly damaged by recent flooding and has been closed. Its re-instatement will be costly but the last I heard a considerable amount of the funding had already been secured and Gwynedd RoW team were hoping to be able to go ahead with the repairs. I don't know what the timescale is likely to be but in the meantime I think one would have to follow the roads to get into Dinas Mawddwy and not divert through the caravan park at all.

Update - Gwynedd Council have now replaced the bridge (April 2017) and the route has been reopened.

24. Guidebook 6th & 7th Editions Snowdonia Area Amendments (Peter Rutherford) 23/02/2016
The following points have been noted by Peter Rutherford (Access Officer - Snowdonia National Park Authority) in the 7th Edition Guidebook and they also apply to the 6th Edition.
  • Page 95 (7th Edition), Page 91 (6th Edition) - The Tourist Information Centre in Dolgellau is now closed for good (unfortunately).
  • Page 96 (7th Edition), Page 92 (6th Edition) - The Bodlyn café in Trawsfynydd is now closed but there is an alternative at Trawsfynydd lakeside café at SH698383 with showers, toilets and café. There is no camping as yet but they are working on it and there is a direct link to the Trawsfynydd Circular cycle/walking route.
  • Page 96 (7th Edition), Page 92 (6th Edition) - In Beddgelert there is additional accommodation at Craflwyn Hall, a National Trust Property which is now run by HF Holidays. See website for details
  • Pages 86 - 88 (7th Edition), Pages 83 - 85 (6th Edition) - It is noted that Youth Hostels all have their own individual e-mail addresses which have not been included in the guidebooks. These are listed on the YHA website for each hostel, but are shown below for convenience:
Cardiff Central
Llangattock Mountain Bunkhouse
Brecon Beacons (Llwyn-y-celyn)
Please Note Tyncornel and Dolgoch no longer have any connection with the YHA and are run as independent hostels by the Elenydd Wilderness Trust. They are both one star hostels and not bunkhouses.
Tyncornel Hostel
Dolgoch Hostel
Snowdon Bryn Gwynant
Snowdon Pen-y-Pass
Snowdon Llanberis
Snowdon Idwal (Cottage)
23. Tafern y Garreg Inn now reopened (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 18A) (Alan Richards) 16/10/2015
Previous update sheets indicated that Tafarn y Garreg Public House was closed but it reopened in July 2015 (Guidebook 6th Edition P39 Map 18A)
22. New Edition of Cambrian Way Guidebook to be published (7th Edition) (Updated 07/02/2016) (George Tod) 04/10/2015
Stock of the 6th Edition of the Cambrian Way guidebook is running very low at the moment, though there may still be some available from some bookshops. The newly formed Cambrian Way Trust is in the process of updating the guidebook to produce the 7th Edition. Most of the updating has already been completed, and it is envisaged that this will be published later this year, although it is not possible to give a definite date at the moment. Details will be put here on the website as soon as stocks of the new edition are available.

Update: We have news that the 7th Edition Guidebook has now been printed and should soon be on the way to the distributors. They take about one week to circulate it, so it should be available through normal suppliers by about the middle of February. If there are any problems in obtaining copies, please e-mail the Cambrian Way Trust at:
21. Additional B&B at Brynawel, Rhandirmwyn (Jane Hand) 23/09/2015
Jane Hand runs a B&B which is not listed in Edition 6 of the guidebook. The details are as follows:
Address: Brynawel, Rhandirmwyn. SA20 0NS
Grid Ref: SN 782 437
Tel: 01550 760122
Details: Single room with double bed, shower room and fridge, microwave etc.
Cost: (at current rate) is £70 double or £40 single

Cambrian Way walkers catered for - drying clothes and all emergencies! Could manage food supplies in advance or probably evening meal if we know in advance for very late/tired walkers.

Note that the village tea rooms and shop closed last year, but the Royal Oak pub (only 200yds away) has a small village shop inside that stocks some basics. The shop is open during pub opening hours 12 to 2pm and 6pm to pub closing...aproximately.

20. Ty'n-y-cornel Hostel Welcomes Walkers (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 22) (Bill Hine) 19/09/2015
Ty'n Cornel has suffered from having its best walking and cycling routes officially 'closed' for 16 months with a marked turn down in overnight stays. The track has now been repaired and the gate is now unlocked. Please support us by visiting Tony Drake's memorial seat in his favourite valley and by staying at the hostel if you can. There is a small camping area where you can stay for £8 or a comfortable bed for £12. We are a charitable trust staffed and run entirely by volunteers so all the money goes back into the hostels. There is an emergency food cupboard so you won't go hungry.. You can book in advance with Richard and Janet on 01980 629259 all year round or take a chance and just turn up March to November when there are volunteer wardens. We are rarely full and we won't turn you away anyway. Call in and have a cup of tea or coffee anyway if you are passing. We are always looking for new volunteer wardens!
     Bill Hine, Trustee, Elenydd Wilderness Hostels, Hosteli Unigeddau'r Elenydd
19. Corrections to Route Down from Cadair Idris (Guidebook 6th Edition Maps 37 & 38A) (Richard Tyler) 29/05/2015
Tony's statement on p.61 that the path crosses the Pony Path is incorrect as the Pony Path goes to the top of Cader Idris. It would be more accurate to state that one descends from Pen Cader down the Pony Path until the Pony Path turns right, at Ladder Style SH691135. The Cambrian Way Main Route goes straight on following the fence. There are further Ladder stiles at SH677135 and SH671130.

Where the path turns right, the Grid Reference given on map 38A is wrong even after applying the previous correction from the correction sheet. A sign on the new Stile which has replaced the Ladder Stile states a grid reference of SH669127 which accorded with our own map reading.
18. Obstructed Footpath Mynydd Ceiswyn (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 35) (Richard Tyler) 29/05/2015
For long sections on Map 35 Tony Drake's suggestions for which side of the fence to walk vary from what is on the ground, particularly when going up Mynydd Ceiswen where trees have made the route virtually impassable. In all cases it does not really matter as there are always clear paths on one side of the fences or the other and it is all open access land.
17. Star Inn in Dylife has reopened with new owners (Richard Tyler) 15/05/2015
Since the first news item below, the Star Inn has had another change of ownership. It has now reverted back to a local pub with rooms.

The Star Inn, Dylife is a Star! Recently totally refurbished it provides a wonderful welcome and great beer and food with a splendid breakfast to send the walker off in the morning bearing packed lunches.

Star Inn Website

16. Accommodation Problems in Abergavenny in September (Warren Jones) 24/02/2015
The Abergavenny Food Festival in September attracts a huge number of visitors, which can make finding accommodation anywhere around the area very difficult. The 2015 festival is on 19th and 20th September.
15. Footpath Diversion round Nantymaen Farm (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 24 & 24A) (George Tod) 24/02/2015
For some time now there has been a legal footpath diversion in place around Nantymaen Farm and this is shown as the right of way on the latest O.S. maps.

Show Map

14. Route Change at Start of Watkin Path to Snowdon (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 44 & 45) (George Tod) 04/12/2014
It has been pointed out that the route at the start of the Watkin Path from Bethesda towards Snowdon has for some years taken a well signposted route through the trees from SH627505 rather than the right of way shown on even the most recent O.S. maps, which show it initially following the lane towards Hafod-y-llan. There is insufficient detail on the maps in the guidebook to notice this, but it is likely to be assumed that the right of way shown on the O.S. maps would be the route to take. The new path runs to the west of this, higher up the hillside through the trees and rejoins the original path at SH626512.

Show Map

13. Track Erosion near Ty'n-y-cornel Hostel (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 22) (Bill Hine) 17/11/2014
Bill Hine of Elenydd Wilderness Hostels has reported problems of erosion on the route and a gate closure near Ty'n-y-cornel Hostel<

Update 19/09/2015 - The track has now been repaired and the gate re-opened.

Ty'n Cornel has suffered from having its best walking and cycling routes officially 'closed' for 16 months with a marked turn down in overnight stays. Please support us by visiting Tony Drake's memorial seat in his favourite valley and by staying at the hostel if you can. There is a small camping area where you can stay for £8 or a comfortable bed for £12. We are a charitable trust staffed and run entirely by volunteers so all the money goes back into the hostels. There is an emergency food cupboard so you won't go hungry.. You can book in advance with Richard and Janet on 01980 629259 all year round or take a chance and just turn up March to November when there are volunteer wardens. We are rarely full and we won't turn you away anyway. Call in and have a cup of tea or coffee anyway if you are passing. We are always looking for new volunteer wardens!
     Bill Hine, Trustee, Elenydd Wilderness Hostels, Hosteli Unigeddau'r Elenydd

From Bill Hine

Half a mile east of Ty'n Cornel hostel, Ceredigion County Council has locked the gate to the ford and footbridge over the Doethie Fach. In December 2013 heavy rain washed out channels created by the 4x4s for about half a mile up the hill towards Soar y Mynydd chapel. Some of the damaged sections of the old road are over 2 metres deep and a metre wide and the sides are gradually collapsing.

The Cambrian Way uses the road for about 250 metres from the bridle gate at SN757534 where the bridleway up the Doethie crosses the U1516 to the ford. The Council's sign says "Closed to all users" but the legal notice of 7th May 2014 prohibits "any vehicle from proceeding along the length of the road known as the U1516 between Ty'n-y-cornel and Soar y Mynydd..." so take care on that short section especially after dark. You will need to climb the gate.

I am talking to the Ceredigion Rights of Way officer to see if we can have a style or diversion. I may come back to ask for your support on this. It seems unlikely that they will be able to afford to repair the track completely.

Cambrian Way walkers always very welcome at Ty'n Cornel. Book with Richard on 01980 629259

Show Map

12. Offer of Free Accommodation for Pathwork Volunteers (Alison Williamson) 09/11/2014
Alison, one of a group of volunteer Rights of Way workers called Pathminders, based in Llanbrynmair (near Machynlleth), has made the following offer. If anyone wishes further information, please contact Alison at

From Alison Williamson

Due to the generosity of one of our members we have the offer of the use, for RoW volunteer workers, of a holiday let in the quiet season.

11. Overgrown Footpath near Commins Coch (Guidebook 6th Edition Map32B) - (Now Cleared) (Dave Hall) 10/10/2013
This problem has kindly been reported by Dave Hall and has been reported by him to the Rights of Way Officer for Powys. This path used to run down the hillside through forestry and was one of the few places to have a waymark post erected by Tony Drake, as the path was easy to miss. However, in 2005 a large section of the forestry was clear felled of trees and has not since been replanted. This had the advantage of opening up wonderful views and also making the path plainly visible. Tony's original waymarker was lost in the felling operations but was later replaced by an official waymarking post. Since then the hillside has been left to go wild and the footpath has been neglected. An alternative route is shown on the map for use until this path is cleared.

Update: This section of path has now been cleared by a group of Llanbrynmair Volunteers. Not only have they cleared it but they have erected signs at each end as well as at a junction in the middle. Many thanks.       George Tod

From Dave Hall

My party walking the Cambrian Way on 10th October this year found this path almost completely overgrown, mainly brambles, which might have put off less determined walkers. The path position is approx 1/2 kilometre South East of Commin Coch. OS Explorer Map 215 1/25,000 Grid ref: OS SH 849025 South end of path. North end is GR.849026. We hope it can be cleared so others can enjoy the lovely Welsh countryside and not be put off walking in Wales.

Show Map

10. Obstruced Footpath near Dinas Mawddwy (Guidebook 6th Edition Map34 & 34A) (Dave Hall) 11/10/2013
This problem has kindly been reported by Dave Hall. I also had problems here in 2010. A line of tightly packed conifers had been planted between the steeply sloping garden and the path. The path itself was obstructed by the lower branches of these plus brambles and other undergrowth. I managed to get through by walking on the garden side of the conifers and then reached the style by forcing my way with difficulty through the trees. The situation has, presumably deteriorated as the trees must have increased in size.

By the tone of the response from Gwynedd Council, it may be some while, if ever, before anything is done about this, so the only suggested option is to continue along the minor road until it meets the A470 main road. Double back along the main road for about 200 yards and resume the Cambrian Way along the access road/track to the left alongside the river. However, because of the diversion, this pleasant riverside route becomes about half a mile longer than the direct route along the A470 and minor road through the village, so a decision has to be taken as to whether it is worth the detour.

Update 09/11/2014: Information from Pathminders suggests that Gwynedd County Council are taking a more active interest in this problem.      George Tod

Update 27/04/2015: I have taken another look at this and found that some pruning work has been done to improve the situation, though it is still a little awkward. Keep to the garden side of the trees at the bottom of the bank as it curves round to the left until reaching a wire fence. Turn right through a narrow gap in the trees where you will find the stile leading through to Meirion Mill.      George Tod

From Dave Hall

Just South of Dinas Mawddwy near Meirion Mill path was blocked by building materials from the nearby house "Delfryn" and as for as I could see by brambles so we kept to the road. Path from OS GR SH 858138 to 859139. I have reported to the Ramblers and The County Council.

Reply from Gwynedd Council Rights of Way Team Leader

Public Rights of Way in Gwynedd are Categorised according to their use and importance to the local community, with Category 1 paths being the most important and Category 4/5 being the least important. The particular path here is a Category 5 path, no doubt due to the fact that it terminates at the back of the former station platform, with no link through to any other highway or public right of way. Attempts to link it with the road network at Pont Minllyn in particular, have failed in the past.

Currently this Unit only has sufficient resources to inspect and maintain the path network comprising Category 1 & 2 paths. Therefore I cannot guarantee that this path will be inspected in the near future, or that any great resource will be spent on the path. However, we are anxious that no new obstructions should become established. We will therefore endeavour to follow up your report in due course, and appropriate action taken as necessary. The landowner here is aware of the existence of the path, and he may merely require reminding of its presence to produce a satisfactory outcome.

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9. New Guidebook 6th Edition Updates Available for Downloading (Nov 2013) (George Tod) 11/10/2013
The latest set of Amendments to Edition 6 of the Cambrian Way Guidebook are available on the Guidebook page of the website under A.J. Drake Updates - (No longer applicable to newer guides).
8. Temporary Footpath Closure near Arthog (Guidebook 6th Edition Map38) (JW-Bristol) 27/06/2013
This is no longer applicable as the work has finished. This official closure is detailed on the Snowdonia National Park Website and is scheduled to last for approximately 6 months from March 2013. These are JW's comments about the closure:      George Tod

We found a potentially dangerous problem earlier on where the local authority has blocked a path quite unnecessarily in my groups view. This is on the approach to Barmouth. The said authority appears to have taken leave of its senses! The problem occurs at the foot of the path by Arthog waterfalls. Maps 38 & 38b opposite page 63 have the details. The route does a dog leg left /right past a small church. The kissing gate is currently zip tied shut with a sign saying the path is closed (no duration is given) while flood defence work is completed on the estuary. The sign is hard to read as it a long "reach" beyond the locked gate. It actually admits there is "no suitable alternative" available. Since retracing ones steps is hardly an option the only thing to do is walk down the busy A493 for approx 1km before a bridleway is reached on your right which takes you to the estuary bank. There are a few issues here.

  1. The road is busy and drivers are not expecting walking parties at this point. We had a few cars braking hard and changing their line. Sooner or later there will be accident along this stretch is the path remains closed.
  2. Presumably the authorities do not suggest this route in view of the attendant responsibility to make it reasonably safe.
  3. The first irony is that we discovered from a local we met on the riverbank that yes work is in progress, but that passage is perfectly possible through it and always has been!
  4. Secondly, why is the path blocked here? It would be perfectly possible to allow passage to the cycle track - which runs between the A493 and the embankment - and direct walkers along this instead.
7. Clarification of Route up Rhinog Fawr (Guidebook 6th Edition p63) (JW-Bristol) 27/06/2013
John has provided this description of the rather elusive route indicated by the Guidebook 6th Edition. I have, by looking at aerial photographs, attempted to show this on the map alongside the alternative route that I have used and included in the Section 14 GPX File provided for downloading.

Update:- Please note that the GPX file for Section 14 has now been amended to follow the original route specified in the guidebook.      

George Tod

I believe I can help with the route up Rhinog Fawr from Bwlch Drws Ardudwy. The 6th edition on page 65 first para attempts to describe the route and I found it somewhat misleading. This may be due to passage of time as new paths appear on the ground. The guide says the path is just beyond the wall (east side) at the pass at SH664282. Assuming you have just come from Rhinog Fach things are now rather easier than suggested. In what was poor visibility I found a near perfect route as follows:-

  1. Cross the Ladder Stile as shown in the guide.
  2. Approx 30 metres before the wall at the top of the bwlch (so on the west side) there is a narrow path which curves slightly left towards the mountain.
  3. After a minute or two a wall appears in front of you. Do not cross this. On your left the path heads into the rocks and relatively clear & easy scramble begins.
  4. Shortly afterwards a small cairn is passed and you can follow the obvious line which brings you out onto a broad rock terrace - presumably the one described in the guide. This has a line of sizeable cairns to follow - bearing right (not left as the guide suggests).
  5. You will then find paths rising in an anticlockwise direction towards the summit area. The last such (narrow) path heading NE has a low crest where there is a left turn sharply uphill (cairned) up to the broad path leading westwards to the summit.

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6. New Guidebook 6th Edition Updates Available for Downloading (Mar 2013) (George Tod) 27/03/2013
The latest set of Amendments to Edition 6 of the Cambrian Way Guidebook 6th Edition are available on the Maps page of the website under A.J. Drake Updates. There is also an updated Stage Planner (Pages 78 and 79 of Guidebook 6th Edition), which gives more accurate and consistent distances calculated from routes plotted using online mapping. GPX Files of the plotted routes are available via a link on the Maps page under GPX File (Old Route).
5. Llanelli Ramblers tackle the spectacular Cambrian Way in celebration of Tony Drake MBE (Updated 20/10/2015) (Llanelli Ramblers) 27/09/2012
The Llanelli Ramblers are celebrating the dramatic coast to coast walk that makes up the Cambrian Way, devised by walker, mountaineer and writer Tony Drake MBE, who sadly passed away earlier this year. To honour Tony's impressive contribution to the outdoor movement - which included over 60 years as a volunteer with the Ramblers to protect and enhance footpaths and trails - the Lanelli Group of Ramblers Cymru will be taking on the challenging 270 mile route in stages as part of their walks programme over the next year (2013).

The walk was finally completed on Sunday 28th June 2015. Read the Report by John Maudsley (Walk Programme Secretary).

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4. Correction - New Footbridge 400m North at Blaen-nedd-isaf (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 17B) (George Tod) 2010
Correction to earlier GPX file - A new footbridge has been built at SN911148, where the Beacons Way crosses the River Nedd Fechan, (still marked in 2015 on O.S. maps as a ford). The footbridge at Blaen-nedd-isaf SN911144 still remains for those using the Ystadfellte alternative, but the new bridge can be used by those taking the Sarn Helen Alternative by joining the Beacons Way at SN913150. The main route is not affected.

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3. Route Diversion round Cefn yr Allt Uchaf Farm (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 20B) (George Tod) 2010
The Guidebook 6th Edition shows the route going through the farmyard of Cefn-yr-allt-uchaf Farm at SN769331 on the way to Llandovery. The farm is now unoccupied, with gates barring the entrance, but the diverted route is shown correctly on the latest OS maps, going to the west of the farm buildings.

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2. Route Diversion round Tyncwm Farm (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 26) (George Tod) 2010
There is a legal diversion in place which bypasses Tyncwm Farm on the route from Strata Florida Abbey to Teifi Pools. Unfortunately, the right of way shown on OS maps (2013) does not show the correct position of the path, which is clearly signposted from SN769656 with a new footbridge at SN772658. It rejoins the route at SN773658.

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1. Route Correction near Cefn Rhuddan Farm (Guidebook 6th Edition Map 20B) (George Tod) 2010
A legal diversion was put in place prior to Edition 6 of the guidebook because of a disputed right-of-way along the lane following the bottom of the valley. However, the route shown in the Guidebook 6th Edition goes up the farm track, close to Cefn Rhuddan Farm before joining the high lane going north, whereas the correct waymarked route is as shown on latest OS maps. This runs along the bottom of the field for about 100m before turning westwards up the hillside at SN763321 to join the high lane just north of the farm at SN762321.

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