About Hafod Estate | Hafod Uchtryd
Hafod's most celebrated owner, Thomas Johnes (1748-1816), built a new house in this remote location and laid out its grounds in a manner suited to displaying its natural beauties in sympathy with the 'Picturesque principles' fashionable at the time, with circuit walks allowing the visitor to enjoy a succession of views and experiences. Johnes also used the land for farming, forestry, and gardening, in each case trying out new ideas and experimental methods. Hafod became an essential destination for the early tourist in Wales.
Today the Hafod estate occupies some 200 hectares of the Ystwyth valley and surrounding hills. Natural Resources Wales, in partnership with the Hafod Trust, manage the estate to conserve and restore the historic landscape, protect its important habitats and provide access and enjoyment for walkers by recreating Johne's path network.
Bedford Monument Walk (1 mile, 1.6 kilometres) | Grade: Moderate
This walk makes a circuit of Cefn Creigiau ridge, and provides fine views over the estate and avoids descending to the valley floor. The walk leaves the car park by following an estate drive for a short distance, then branches left along a path on the edge of woodland, with views across pasture to Hawthorn Cottage and Pendre, site of Johnes' home farm.
A short climb brings you to a viewpoint and the obelisk, erected in 1805 to commemorate Francis, 5th Duke of Bedford, 'the most judicious and munificent promoter of the National Agriculture'. By a zig-zag descent you reach the return path, which follows an evenly graded route to the church.
Coed Hafod Walk (¾ mile, 1.2 kilometres one way) | Grade: Moderate
Its topography is relatively gentle, but the views from it to the distant river, the mansion field and pond, and to the distant hills are very fine and give a sense of discovering the landscape anew. It is not a circular route and walkers wishing to return to their starting place must decide on a route using other walks or estate drives.
Ystwyth Gorge Walk (1 mile, 1.6 kilometres or 2 miles, 3.2 kilometres total distance from car park and back via Lady’s Walk to starting point) | Grade: Moderate
This spectacular route takes the walker on a long, narrow loop up one side of the Ystwyth gorge and down the other. It connects with both the lady's and Gentleman's Walks and can be walked as an addition to either. Experience the dramatic River Ystwyth gorge from the Chain Bridge, especially after heavy rain.
Despite the dramatic scenery along the walk, the gradients are relatively gentle, but it is not a route suitable for those who dislike steep drops beside the path. The focal point of the Ystwyth Gorge walk is the Chain bridge and the nearby Gothic Arcade – a ruined stone arch that overlooks the bridge and a bend in the river with remarkable rock formations.
Lady's Walk (includes the Garden Walk) (2¼ miles, 3.6 kilometres) | Grade: Moderate
One of two classic circular routes created by Thomas Johnes in his first years at Hafod and described by many early visitors. It takes in scenery that varies widely in character, contrasting the relatively gentle landscape of open parkland with narrow wooded valleys and rushing streams.
Gentleman's Walk (3¾ miles, 6 kilometres or 5¾ miles, 9 kilometres total distance from car park and back via Lady’s Walk to starting point) | Grade: Strenuous
The Gentleman’s Walk, the second celebrated Picturesque circuit created by Johnes, passes through wilder scenery and steeper ground than the other walks at Hafod. The starting point for this walk is the Alpine Bridge, one mile from the car park.
OS Grid Reference: SN768737