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Five Bridges Walk – Hafod Estate

Fancy going on a bridge hunt? Then this is the wander for you! Hafod Estate has a number of excellent way-marked routes suitable for everyone, we decided on a combination of these to fit in as many bridges as possible. Whilst the paths are clear, they are sometimes steep and narrow with drops into gorges so be aware. There is a good carpark and maps for £2 but no other facilities on site.

Five Bridges Walk – Hafod Estate

Distance: almost 3.5 miles

Time: just over 2 hours – with snack stops

Guide

Whilst there is a map of Hafod Estate available we have decided not to provide a photo as money is raised through the sales. You can purchase on site or here “A Guide to the Walks.”

Start your wander from the carpark, clearly signposted from the road. Here you will find detailed guides to the area and paper maps for sale. Follow the signs for the Ystwyth Gorge Walk – the green arrows.

These take you down a stoney track and into the forestry. Other colour routes cross this trail so stick to following the green way markers.

Bridge one takes you high over the Peiran Falls…

… and into more tall forestry with a wide stoney track.

Bridge two is Chain Bridge which is not for the faint hearted (me!) It does shake, it shakes more with dogs… but the view into the Ystwyth Gorge is amazing.

The path gets really narrow for a while after Chain Bridge, there is a steep drop, hang on to those small people and dogs.

Bridge three is Dologau Bridge – much sturdier than the last! There are some lovely arched bridges here too.

Here we picked up the red “Gentleman’s Walk” route which pretty much goes straight on – look out for a stile and don’t cross over the “big” bridge to your right.

Follow the trail through a grassy field and onto a wide track – we did come across some forestry vehicles here so be vigilant.

Keep any eye out for the red way markers as the trail drops off the track to the right – follow the narrow path to…

Bridge four, Rustic Bridge. This is a full fairy tale bridge.

Staying on the red trail go back onto a wide forestry path towards….

Bridge five. Alpine Bridge takes you back over the Ystwyth and through a field.

We now joined the blue “Lady’s Walk” route turning right at the stone track and up to a view point.

You now need to look out on your left for a track with a yellow “Bedford Monument Walk” way marker. If you are looking at the Hafod routes map you will see a small white track that joins the blue and the yellow routes – take that.

Now you are on the yellow trail follow it through the woods until you reach a tarmac track and, eventually, the car park.

There are obviously lots of different ways to walk around Hafod, we definitely recommend buying a map. Have fun exploring!

You can find out more information about the walks available at the Hafod Estate website and Natural Resources Wales.

Click on the map to view on ViewRanger

Directions taken from NRW: take the B4574 from Devils Bridge to Cymystwyth. After 2½ miles turn right at a triangular junction. Follow this road, bearing right for another mile. The car park is on the left, just after the church.

Happy wandering.

The Beckingham family

Cefnllys Castle

Cefnllys Castle is a breathtakingly beautiful historic wander that, like all good castles, has wonderful 360° views. Whilst it is now only earthworks the site stretches over the top of the hill for some distance, watch out for sudden drops. The access to this site is steep and the littlest of legs will likely need a helping hand; it is not suitable for wheels. Parking is at a council maintained picnic spot, other facilities 2 miles away in Llandrindod.  

Cefnllys Castle

Distance: 1.7 miles  – to the top and a wander round

Time: 1 ½ hours at a slow pace without any substantial stops

Guide

Park at the Cefnllys Picnic Area (Shaky Bridge). This is a lovely spot to stop and play at any time with a river to paddle in and shady woods to build dens. There is also a woodland walk around Bailey Einon nature reserve.

This site also features in the Penybont, Landegley & Cefnllys Heritage Story Walks. The aerial photo shows the boundaries of the common land and some well worn paths to Cefnllys Castle – we followed the least steep route!

From the carpark follow the road left and at the corner turn right and go through the big metal gate.

Go over the not-so-shaky bridge and follow the worn path across the field towards the trees. There are some lovely beachy areas along the river for little legs to paddle when the river is low and slow.

The path continues through the trees and out the other side.

Follow the track across the field, towards the upper boundary fence and big metal gate. You can see the castle earthworks peeping over the top of the hill.

Through the gate is a QR code that links to the Heritage Story Walks.

There is a worn path just here that goes directly up the hill to the castle at the top. It is very steep! We have climbed this before but wouldn’t necessarily recommend for little legs, or even bigger ones… it also gets very overgrown with bracken at certain times of year. But if you’re after a challenge then head on up.

When you reach this wall follow it up to a grassy another grassy track at the top.
…where the hill opens up for full exploring. As this is open access common land you are free to wander around the top of the hill and explore the castle earthworks as you wish. We did a big circle around the top.
The views are just stunning.
To complete our circle we walked back along the least windy side of the hill with great river views.
There are some tracks in the ground that help navigate the steeper sides.

When you see this farm in the distance it’s time to start heading down and following the track towards the trees.

Follow the stoney track back down the hill, through the gate, across the field, through the trees and towards the bridge. There are lots of blackberries to snack on at the right time of year.

Click on the map to view on ViewRanger

Directions: In Llandrindod Wells at the mini-roundabout on the A483, take the exit signposted for Welsh Assembly Government. Continue straight ahead for 1 mile. At the end of the urban area, bear right at the sharp bend heading uphill. Continue for approx 1½miles and you will see a Powys County Council sign by the Shaky Bridge picnic area. Park here.

Happy wandering.

The Beckingham family

Abergwesyn Common

Abergwesyn Common is wild, rugged and remote with rocks, waterfalls and deep pools along the River Irfon. For the more adventurous the Cambrian Mountains tower over you and offer unlimited walking opportunities; for those with smaller legs the valley is perfect for exploring. This exposed area is best visited in clear weather and is likely to be boggy after rainfall – the smallest of legs might need a helping hand over some of the terrain.

Abergwesyn Common

Distance: as near or far as your legs will take you

Time: take all the time in the world

Guide

There are not any specific parking places along the road however there are passing places. We picked a large passing place and made sure that we left enough room for other vehicles to still be able to use it if needed.

We found a comfortable spot for a lunch with a view.

Please be aware there are some impressively steep drops into gullies – keep children and dogs close while you check

After ditching our bags back in the van we explore further into the valley finding rocks to climb on…

…and beachy areas to paddle in.

The grown-ups got brave and took a dip in this amazing pool – a bit chilly in April but we’ll definitely be heading back in warmer weather!

This valley was all-round beautiful and we were left with so much left to explore another time; we didn’t even touch upon the ancient historical sites or venture up any hills.

Click here for more information about Abergwesyn Common from the National Trust.

Directions: From Llanwrtyd Wells or Beulah take the road signposted to Abergwesyn. Once there take the narrow road signposted for Tregaron. Follow this road until you see a National Trust sign for Abergwesyn Common.

Happy wandering.

The Beckingham family

Carreg Cennen

Carreg Cennen is a beautiful CADW* site with stunning views, great ruins and a gentle uphill stroll. The track up to the castle is suitable for sturdy pushchairs, and perhaps off road wheelchairs, however there are a number of shallow steps to enter the castle itself. On site there are toilets, a cafe and a shop (and even a wedding venue!). 

*there is a charge to enter the castle grounds unless you have CADW membership

Carreg Cennen

Distance: half a mile in total, not including exploring the castle itself

Time: depends how big your picnic is…

Guide

From the carpark follow the well trodden path towards the castle.

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Stop off at the ticket booth (free with CADW membership)

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The track gets a little rougher towards the top…

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… and there are some steps into the castle.

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Explore!

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Click the map to view on ViewRanger

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Directions: follow signs from the A483 Llandeilo.

Happy wandering,

The Beckingham family

Pen Dinas, Tanybwlch

Pen Dinas is an imposing Iron Age hill fort overlooking Tanybwlch and further on, Aberystwyth. This short but steep climb that is well worth it for the staggering 360 degree views and knowing you can dip your toes in the sea afterwards (if you’re feeling brave!). This route isn’t suitable for wheels and the smallest of legs might need a carry up the steepest parts but will have no trouble running all the way down.

Pen Dinas

Distance: just over 2 miles up and down

Time: I won’t lie, I forgot to time it… but the ascent will probably be slow, leave time for snacks at the summit

Guide

From the Tanybwlch carpark walk back across the bridge and follow the footpath signs on your right.

Continue along the footpath, turning right when you reach tarmac road, along a national cycle route.

The entrance to the Pen Dinas Nature Reserve is on your left just after the bungalows.

Follow the path as it contours around the hill and then upwards towards the summit.

Enjoy the views across Cardigan Bay and beyond.

Pen Dinas is a local nature reserve – click here for a detailed leaflet from Ceredigion County Council.

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Click on the map to view in ViewRanger

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Directions: from the A487 follow signs for Beach Parking

Happy wandering,

The Beckingham family

River Edw, nr Aberedw

This secluded picnic spot on the River Edw is quiet, peaceful and perfect for a paddle or even a swim. The river has slow and gentle sections for paddling, faster sections for older children and waist deep (on an adult) pools. There are lots of options for walking nearby such as Aberedw Castle and Llewelyn’s Cave. 

N.B. always take care near rivers and don’t go close after heavy rain or if they are in flood. 

River Edw, nr Aberedw

 

Distance: the picnic spot is right next to the road

Time: take a picnic and spend a few hours

Guide

Getting to this beautiful spot is super easy – parking is in a layby or on the verge and the River Edw is right there!

Keep an eye on younger children as not all of this stretch is shallow and suitable.

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Directions: from the B4567 turn in to Aberedw, continue through the village and onwards for just under 2 miles. The picnic spot is next to the road. Parking in a layby or on the side of the road.

Happy splashing,

The Beckingham family

River Irfon, Builth Wells

The River Irfon in Builth Wells has a wide pebble beach and is shallow enough for little legs to paddle; perfect for picnics. It is accessed by scrambling down a bank after walking through the Groe and down a wide tarmac path adjacent to the River Wye. It is difficult to take wheels down the bank to the river although, you could lock up bikes and buggies on the bank above. Also nearby are toilets, cafes, shops, a park and a playing field.

N.B. always take care near rivers and don’t go close after heavy rain or if they are in flood. 

River Irfon, Builth Wells

Distance: just over half a mile

Time: however long you want to splash for!

Guide

Park at the Groe and wander down the tarmac path next to the River Wye. Keep a look out for herons, ducks and jumping fish.

After half a mile you will see where the River Irfon joins the Wye – don’t swim here, it is dangerous as there are underwater currents.

Follow the path around to the left and you will see a footbridge across the Irfon. Just before and after the bridge there are a number of worn paths to scramble down the bank.

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Click on the map below to view it on ViewRanger.

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Directions:

Happy splashing,

The Beckingham family

 

Viewpoint, Mynydd Epynt

The viewpoint on Mynydd Epynt, near Llangammarch, is high on a hilltop with staggering views down the valley below. Definitely best visited on a clear day to make the most of the elevated position, probably best avoided in windy, rainy weather. The Epynt Way passes the viewpoint and makes for a great linear walk, perfect for little legs and off-road pushchairs, with the option of a longer walk (take a map)! Free parking, picnic benches and views, views, views. 

Viewpoint, Mynydd Epynt

Distance: as far as you like.. we wandered around a mile

Time: as long as you have!

Guide

We began with a picnic at the viewpoint. There are benches set away from the road and the epic view down the valley deserves some time.

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We did a bit of exploring in-front of the viewpoint…

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… and had a play on the huge rocks.

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The Epynt Way, a 50 mile circular trail, is just across the road from the viewpoint car park. We crossed over the road and turned right, taking the track that runs next to the tarmac military road.

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Then we just followed the track and enjoyed the views, turning around once we started heading downhill. You could easily go much further (although probably not with a pushchair).

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Click on the map below to view it on ViewRanger.

The OS grid reference is: SN 964 467

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You can find out more about the Epynt Way here.

Directions: Take the A483 to Garth and take the B4519 signposted to Upper Chapel. This road takes you up onto the hill, over a cattle grid. The viewpoint car park is on the right.

Happy wandering,

The Beckingham family

Day Twenty Eight #30dayswild

Another hot day, but a busy one! Lots of helping in the community garden and all whilst wearing flowers in her hair. Sadly mummy forgot take her camera out, we’ve got a hair shot with a well deserved chippy tea…

And some after shots of the work done!

Our adventurer was “helping” our lovely neighbour who kindly answers all of the three year old questions (Why are you old??) and takes time to carefully share her knowledge.

Together they put up a bird box..

… filled up the bird bath..

.. and had a look at the trees and bushes made accessible by Daddy’s strimming.

A lovely afternoon in the shade!

Day Twenty Seven #30dayswild

With all this hot weather we’ve been busy doing… not much really. Making sure we’re looking after our plants is taking up quite a bit of time!

Everything is needing lots of water and we’re enjoying seeing our tomatoes bloom.

Nasturtiums.

Not forgetting the hanging basket.

The yard is looking nice and green.