A gentle walk, though under a bit of pressure of time, from Ty-Nant at the base of Cadair Idris to bustling Barmouth

Date walked: 21st August 2019

Distance: about 7  miles

Maps used:  OL 23 – Cadair Idris and Llyn Tegid

Guide used: Cambrian Way by A.J.Drake (7th edition, 2016) , though a new guide has recently been published which is much better: Walking the Cambrian Way by George Todd and Richard Tyler (Cicerone Press)

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So here we are, the Intrepid Three, back on the Way just 6 weeks after a moderately traumatic crossing of Cadair Idris.  Stoic eh?

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

I’m there, obvs, as I am taking the pic.

The guides to the route are fairly relaxed about how you make your way between the designated Check Points (as long as its on foot). Our decision last trip to take the Pony Path off the hill and to stop at the car park at Ty Nant was an “official” alternative  (and a little bit easier) route to Barmouth. 

The logistics were straightforward, with Neil and Paul meeting me where we were staying the night at the Min-Y-Mor hotel in Barmouth and then driving  to Ty Nant, in Neils car and walking back, with Neil and Paul then making the return journey for the parked up car. Its just that it was after 3pm by the time we started and it all got a bit tight on time as far as getting a meal in Barmouth was concerned. But I am getting ahead of myself. I’m also feeling a bit pressured for time so this is going to be a “quickie”.

I had opted to be Routemaster for this section; a potentially perverse decision given that the section after Barmouth over the Rhinog hills is described as the most demanding of the whole Way and requires “good navigational skills”. Teh Heh. Perhaps Neil and Paul didn’t read that bit. However, I had dutifully downloaded each days walk onto my phone and had several battery packs to keep the phone charged so was confident (ish) that it would be “easy peasy”  (a phase that was thrown back at me on several occasions in the next three days. )

As we set off towards the Kings Youth Hostel, behind us the summit of Cadair Idris was still stubbornly shrouded in clouds.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Nicely equipped tee-pee having a wood burning stove inside!

It was undemanding walking across sheep-grazed pasture….

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

…with evidence of several long-abandoned cottages built from massive blocks of local stone.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

As we headed for a way-mark post at the bottom of a field Neil volunteered that he thought that we were, in fact, already going the wrong way.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

He was right, of course thereby replacing forthwith me as Navigator-In-Chief, and guided us to the bank of the Gwynant river  that runs by the Youth Hostel.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

We climbed through a little wood from here, Neil now firmly in front.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

And pointing, as is his wont

At the top of the hill was the abandoned Methodist chapel of Rehoboth.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

It must had been a tiny or foot-sore congregation

After a short amble on a quiet lane we left the road to climb gently towards  an isolated dwelling named on our map as Ty’n Llidiart.  Cadair Idris was still hiding in the clouds.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Obviously once a modest farm, we speculated that it is now a holiday let.

We were more or less following the contours now as we headed west towards the lake of Llynnau Gregennen, enjoying the bright flowers of the heather.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

This was easy walking but it was lovely countryside, surrounded by hills that we had either climbed or were about to.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Though actually these hills we not on our agenda

Llynnau Cregennen was a nice spot, with an island and a boat house.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Paul had been here before.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

We paused for a break and to take in the tranquil view

Just above the lake our path joined a little road where I led us down the hill in the wrong direction. I think on this occasion I corrected myself without us having expended too much energy.

Back on track, we crossed a couple of stone stiles ….

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes… to reach a stone bridge over the little river of Afon Arthog where a man sat in obvious meditation pose whilst his companion had a doze. We passed by without offering a greeting.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

From the bridge we turned right and followed the course of the river for the next mile or so.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

This was a lovely section, the soundscape provided by a series of small waterfalls which rushed down the steep-sided valley.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Boulders and tree-trunks were clothed in moss and the shaded valley sides had colonies of ferns.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

This was a valley that kept on giving as far as waterfalls were concerned.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

At the bottom of the falls our path crossed overt the A493 by a chapel…

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

… the river now contained in a bund as it headed for the Barmouth estuary.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Our path joined the Mawddach Trail

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes….., following an old railway line track alongside the estuary.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Paul had been here before, too, subjecting his young family to a tortuously long trek in the heat of a summer.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Paul has a tendency to shoot off towards the end of a walk.

This mile long section brought us to Grade II listed Barmouth Bridge – at 764 yards long, reportedly it is the longest timber viaduct in Wales.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

I had been here before. Very recently, in fact as my train had passed over the bridge. But also on 2nd April 2014 as I was on my 870 mile walk along the Wales Coast Path. 

The view into the estuary from the bridge is always impressive, though the light was a bit dull for our crossing.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

Of course, you don’t see much of the bridge when you are on it, so here’s a little glimpse back.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

And that’s it for the day. From the bridge was a half mile through what was a bustling Barmouth.  And it really had a jolly feel to it, in stark contrast to my experience when I was there 5 years earlier. Tomorrow we were due to tackle the first of three days crossing the Rhinogs. And the forecast was not good.

Walking the Cambrian Way between Ty Nant and Barmouth;image by Charles Hawes

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Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)