Abergynolwyn

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Last updated: 07 March 2011

This is page two of this walk, following on from where you passed Caerberllan farm house. After crossing the field you will arrive at Castell y Bere.

8. Castell y Bere

52.65887° N, -3.97578° W
This castle was begun by Llewelyn the Great in 1221 and was captured by Edward I and the English army in 1283.

This mountain fortress perched high on a rocky spur has commanding views over the valley below and typifies the style of castles built by the Welsh Princes at the time.

The gravel track up to the castle soon turns to tarmac and is fairly steep so take your time.

The path spirals up and around into the castle entrance which consists of some steep wooden steps. The castle has some impressive ruins so well worth a look and the views from the top are spectacular at sunset.

9. Mary Jones' Chapel (St Michael's Church)

52.66110° N, -3.96586° W
Walking back down from the castle, veer left along the road and down towards Ty'n y Ddol and St Michael's Church in the village of Llanfihangel-y-Pennant.

In 1800, a young girl by the name of Mary Jones walked 26 miles (barefoot) from the village, all the way to Bala to buy a copy of the bible in Welsh! This remarkable feat, led to the formation of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

After a quick tour and history lesson from our guide Lisa, we left via the stone arched entrance way and followed a marked walking track near the local post box (set into a wall).

On the right are well maintained public toilets with disabled access so this is a good spot to stop, if nature calls.

The tarmac road gives way to an overgrown grassy track which narrows as you wander down past an old stone cottage to your right.

10. Oak forests

At the end of the track is a stile, adjacent to an old derelict building with the river directly in front of you. Turn left and head towards a lovely oak tree, complete with yellow way markers.

Keeping the river on your right, head up a winding, grassy track underneath the oak trees; listening out for sounds of a nearby waterfall.

The track here is a little confusing to follow as it branches off in a couple of directions so just keep right and you should be fine.

Oak tree and trail

52.66088° N, -3.96076° W
After a couple of minutes, you'll come to a magnificent waterfall, opposite a rocky escarpment.

The path was a little wet underfoot here and there was plenty of slippery moss on the rocks too, so take care. Follow the track up into the field, over the stile on your right and follow a slight incline.

The route opens up in a flat track with bracken and woodland on your left and hills to your right. There's a walking route to the right here but we continued straight on.

The track turned muddy as we walked through low lying marshland so tread carefully, especially after heavy rain.

We eventually made it through the marshy area and into a field where there's a large old stone that has split in two.

11. Split rock

Split rock

52.66014° N, -3.95607° W
Take a look and see if you can spot the local farmers' graffiti on it where they've carved their names.

You'll now be entering an impressive valley that you will follow all the way down to Abergynolwyn, with Foel Caerberllan on your right and Mynydd Tyn-y-Fach to your left.

Nant-Yr-Eira is the small stream which runs the entire length of the valley basin.

12. Old stone boundary walls

52.65968° N, -3.94567° W
Wander down through luscious green fields and cross a small mountain stream. Just up around the corner you'll find an old derelict stone house.

Old stone boundary walls

All around you, you'll see beautifully crafted old stone walls which mark field boundaries right up and over the mountains. Cross over the wall and continue up into the heart of the valley.

Towards the top you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the nearby mountains - Mynydd Cedris and Mynydd Rhugog which stand guard over the River Dysynni and Tal-y-Llyn Lake below.

52.65737° N, -3.94140° W
As you reach the top of the valley, you'll encounter more lovely old stone walls and a working sheep pen here. Take a breather and look back down at the valley and the route you've just walked.

13. Views over the Bala fault line

Views over the Bala fault line

52.65576° N, -3.94098° W
In the corner of the main boundary wall to your right is a stile.

Climb over this and admire the views across the valley towards the Bala Fault Line and see if you can spot the waterfalls in the distance. From here, the track turns into a rough vehicle track and is downhill all the way.

52.65610° N, -3.93905° W
The track is well marked and you'll soon spot the yellow way marker guiding you to the right. Go slow through this section as you're walking on an angle and it's easy to trip up over the tussocks and tree roots.

14. Mountain oak woodlands

Track down through the oak forest

Follow a steep, narrow, winding track through a wonderful forest of mountain oak known as Coed Cedris, until you reach the field below.

Be a little bit cautious here, as there could be livestock in the field. There were a few young Welsh black cattle when we visited (that were completely harmless) but you might want to think carefully if you're out walking with a dog.

The official track veers off on a diagonal line through the field towards a stone boundary wall and gate at the bottom left hand side of the field.

52.655434° N, -3.934332° W
Climb over this and turn right, following a country lane and the River Dysynni, back towards the village.

15. The river path

The path along the river

52.647794° N, -3.956737° W
After approximately half a mile you'll notice a signpost near a house, steering you off the road, to the left.

52.646768° N, -3.957514° W
Follow a steep and narrow track down - taking in various steps and stiles as you go. The track gradually takes you down to the river and you'll come to a muddy track which levels out becoming marshy underfoot.

16. Pont y Cwrt

The stone bridge

52.646053° N, -3.95901° W
It's a short walk now along the river to a pretty stone bridge known as Pont y Cwrt.

Veer right and head up through the gate up onto the main road and turn left, walking back down the road you came - with the chapel and quarrymen's cottages on your right.

At the end of the road, cross over near the Railway Arms and head up the hill and through the woodlands back to Nant Gwernol train station; should you wish to complete it as a circular walk.

Written by Martin Aaron - Interactive Producer for Weatherman Walking, Series 4 in January 2011.

BBC Disclaimer: The Weatherman Walking maps and guides are intended as a guide to the TV programme only. Routes and conditions may have changed since the programme was made.

The BBC takes no responsibility for any accident or injury that may occur while following the route. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear and check weather conditions before heading out.


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