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7  miles / 10km – 3hrs.

A long but moderate walk, largely on quiet country lanes along the floor of the beautiful Cywarch valley. It can be muddy in several places and the final section alongside the River Dyfi includes a ford that can be ankle deep after rain.

The path can also be followed using this Ordnance Survey Map.

The route is described in a clockwise direction but the path is also signed in the opposite direction.

Parking and Start

Park in Dinas Mawddwy car park, opposite the Llew Coch (Red Lion) Inn. There are public toilets at the entrance to the car park.

Walk back out of the car park and, at the toilets, turn left down the hill.

Dinas to Maes Bendinas junction

Follow the road for 300m, passing the common on your right, and then crossing over a bridge. Immediately after the bridge is the entrance to Ty’n y Pwll caravan park. Turn into the drive for a few metres and then take the signed footpath on the right.

Follow the footpath diagonally uphill for 400m to a T-junction with a broad track. Turn right through a gate and follow the track for ~1km until it joins a metalled lane and road at a junction. Turn left onto the lane (road signs for no through road and ‘2 Tons’) .


1. The track above the caravan park is called Wtra Ty’n y Foel (Ootra Teen uh voil), The track (wtra) of the smallholding (Tyddyn, shortened to Ty’n) of the bald mountain (y Foel).


Maes Bendinas junction to Pont Lydan

Follow the metalled lane as it takes you into Cwm Cywarch. After nearly 2km, at Nant yr Henfaes, the tarmac ends at a gate. Continue onwards through the gate and follow the track through several more gates to another metalled lane at the bridge of Pont Lydan.

Points of interest:

2. The bridge at the end of this section is called Pont Lydan (pronounced ‘Luddan’) – it means ‘Wide Bridge’, presumably in contrast to even narrower bridges elsewhere! The cliff face in front of you at the head of the valley is Craig Cywarch and further up the valley is an old lead mine.

Pont Lydan to Abercywarch

Turn left and follow this lane. After 1km you will reach a signed turning on the right, at a footbridge and ford. Cross the stream and follow the broad track uphill for 200m, then turn right onto a level footpath that takes you back down the Cywarch valley.

Follow the path, past a ruin, for 500m to Ty’n y Twll – a modern barn conversion and a farmhouse beyond. Take the signed route behind the converted barn and then bear left, through a gate, to walk behind the main farmhouse. Once past the farmhouse bear right again to rejoin the track.

Points of interest:

3. Llwybr Hengwm – Hengwm path.

As you cross the footbridge Hengwm is the valley ahead of you, although you will be turning right, back down the Cywarch valley.  The path to the hills above Hengwm was built to transport peat which was used for heating and cooking.


Follow this track for 300m  to the ruins of Llawr Cywarch and through a pedestrian gate. From here, navigation can briefly be a little tricky as new path has been made. You are aiming for the abandoned house of Ty’n y Maes (see picture) 200m away.

Go through a wide farm gate covered in footpath signs and bear diagonally rightwards for 100m, to a new pedestrian gate. Once through the gate turn left and walk to and past the front of Ty’n y Maes (which is in an unstable state and shouldn’t be entered),  joining the farm track at Ceunant Farm just ahead.

Walk a few hundred metres down the track to join the lane at the bottom of the valley.

Turn left and follow this lane for 2.5km back to the road at Abercywarch.

Points of interest:

4. Ceunant (Caynant – meaning gorge or ravine).

The last farmhouse before you rejoin the lane at the floor of Cwm Cywarch is Ceunant. Legend has it that people tried to build a church here, but dragons would  fight beneath it and demolish the walls every time they were built.

Around here small fields show the result of betting on races that were held on the common, y Fawnog, below. People would bet land instead of money. Y Fawnog (uh vow-nog) means peat bog, but the peat was soon used and it had to be collected from above Hengwm.

5. Darren Fawr a Chwarel Nod Glas

1.5 km along the lane from Ceunant, on your left, is the mountain of Darren Fawr (vow-r – the ‘big escarpment’) and Chwarel Nod Glas (literally, the ‘quarry for blue markings’) where blue ochre was quarried. It was used to make a marking paste to identify sheep from different farms. Each farm would have a unique letter or two, e.g. H for Hughes.

Abercywarch to Dinas Mawddwy

At the road junction at Abercywarch, turn left for 30m, and then cross over the road to join a footpath that immediately crosses a footbridge.

Once over the River Dyfi, turn right alongside the riverbank and follow the riverbank. After 500m you will climb gently into a field. As the village of Dinas Mawddwy becomes visible keep to the right fenceline to follow a permissive path marked with roundels. The path descends some wooden steps to a ford – up to ankle deep after rain. Cross the ford and proceed a few hundred metres to a  footbridge onto Dinas Mawddwy common, close to where you started.

If the ford is impassable it is possible to re-ascend the wooden steps and walk 100m up the field to join the right of way that passes behind Tanybwlch farmhouse. Then turn right to the footbridge.

Once over the footbridge, either rejoin the road and walk up the hill to the car park, or bear left on the footpath alongside the river which takes you to the High Street opposite the Hen Siop Cafe.

Points of interest:

6. Aber Cywarch – Melin wlan

Here at Aber Cywarch (abber cowark) footbridge the cutting to carry water to the woollen mill (melin wlan) is still visible.

7. Afon Dyfi by Tanybwlch Farm

There is an long tradition of salmon poaching here and an unlikely local legend tells of a tunnel to the top of Foel Benddin from the river!

Historical place-names in Cwm Cywarch

Here is part of Rhys Gwynn’s work in collecting names in the area as a warden for the National Park. The majority was had from Beti Plas y Bont Cywarch.

  1. Bwlch Gesail
  2. Hafan y Griafolen
  3. Llain y Llwdwn Llwyd
  4. Moelfryn
  5. Pant Corsiog
  6. Llain Pen Isaf (Penisel)
  7. Pant Lygog
  8. Gloddfa
  9. Tap yr Agen
  10. Tapiau’r Geifr
  11. Tap Mawr Pant Cae
  12. Bwlch Maen Hir
  13. Craig Maen Hir
  14. Nant Cwm yr Ychen
  15. Cwm yr Ychen
  16. Tap y Mochyn
  17. Mur y Nant
  18. Ro Fawr
  19. Tap Rhygen Ddu


  1. Daear Fach
  2. Lloc Llwynog
  3. Tapiau Gwlybion
  4. Tap y Gigfran
  5. Efail Bydyre
  6. Cwm Bydyre
  7. Bwlch Carreg y Ro
  8. Tap Morus Moelgoch
  9. Nant Sebon (?Selon)
  10. Neidiad y Llwynog
  11. Ro Wen
  12. Llain Coed
  13. Stabal Fach
  14. Stabal Fawr
  15. Ceunant Dwyran (Dwyren)
  16. Nant Dwyran (Diwern)
  17. Tap Mawr
  18. Tap Mawr Pella
  19. Nyrs Plas y Bont
  20. Tap Dwyran
  21. Tap y Graig
  22. Llwybr Cam
  23. Gwely Prys Melyn
  24. Nyrs Blaencywarch
  25. Tŵr John Bach – (John Roberts, Cae’r Gof, Foel)
  26. Nant Sych
  27. Ceunant Brwnt
  28. Top y Graig
  29. Esgair Felen
  30. Esgair Felen Isaf
  31. Y Grisiau
  32. Yr Hafn Fawr
  33. Tap Ucha Hafn Fawr
  34. Tap Isa Hafn Fawr
  35. Sawdl y Graig
  36. Ro Ddu
  37. Llwybr Llywelyn
  38. Craig Llywelyn
  39. Ffenest y Graig
  40. Dinas Llywelyn
  41. Creigiau Sawdl Efa
  42. Bwlch Cosyn
  43. Pant y Foty
  44. Lleoliad twll Sawdl Efa (a small hole in the earth where Beti, Plas y Bont would clean occasionally)
  1. Twll Llestri Priddion
  2. Cut Dafydd Wmffra
  3. Pant Isa
  4. Cwm y Graig
  5. Nant Camddwr
  6. Creigiau Camddwr
  7. Tapiau’r Eglwys

Thanks to Rhys Gwynn for his work 

The above list of names shows the richness of the Welsh language which describes the features on the rock of Craig Cywarch – rock, streams, passes, encampment, hollow, hole, hut, glacial feature, references to folk tales, crows, foxes, pigs, goats – all on one mountain face.