Celebrating 20 years of epic walking in 2022, Glyndŵr's Way forms a satisfying circuit with the Offa’s Dyke Path and jigsaws between the popular landscapes of southern Eryri (Snowdonia) and the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons). Despite this, most walkers haven’t caught on to this 135-mile tour through Mid Wales. That’s one good reason to sample a section.
Get off the beaten track
The Glyndŵr's Way National Trail is all about getting off the beaten track. Its nine-day route visits many of the sites connected with Wales' historic past. The trail is anchored by the trail heads of Welshpool, Knighton and Machynlleth, then midway it loops largely through rural Mid Wales.
On the complete route, you’ll walk through rolling farmland, open moor and heather-clad hills, and discover exhilarating views of Cader Idris and Plynlimon mountains. There are overnight stops in small towns such as Llanidloes, but you can travel for miles and only see the occasional farmer. What you will see, however, are red kites, peregrine falcons, buzzards and even an osprey if you are lucky.
To halve the length of a week's walking, start or finish at Machynlleth. Welshpool and Knighton are on major rail lines, while other sections of the trail are accessible by bus. Here are three walking routes to get you started.
Machynlleth to Llanbrynmair, 18.2 miles
It'll take a long day, but this route is an introduction that ticks all boxes. The highlights include views across the Dyfi Valley to Cader Idris’ brooding hulk, and the Berwyn Mountains that lift out of farmland ahead. The Dovey Valley Hotel (about halfway along at Cemmaes Road) offers pub meals, but please check opening times before you set off.
There's a great selection of circular walks around Knighton, giving you a taste of the empty trails and sweeping views of Glyndŵr's Way on a choice of day-long hikes over farmland and moor from Knighton. We say 'empty trails', but this area is managed by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, so expect all manner of flitting furry company en route.
Glyndŵr destroyed the 12th century Cistercian abbey after he found its monks supporting the English, and its ruins add to the romance of the scenery around this village. Discover the granite tombstone of the last native Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, then pick up the Glyndŵr's Way again for an easy stroll beneath oak forests on rocky outcrops and red kites.
Llanidloes to Machynlleth, 27 miles
Here's a superb wild weekend for hikers. From Llanidloes, it’s a spectacular descent to Llyn Clywedog reservoir pooled behind Britain’s tallest concrete dam. Then, head into the hills, up the soft green sloped, back into the moors of the Cambrian Mountains and skirting around Glaslyn lake to reach the trail highpoint Foel Fadian for an unforgettable view down the Dulas Valley. Fortunately, it’s all downhill from here.
You can also create your own itinerary for day walks in the area if you fancy exploring further, such as a 9.5 mile walk from Aberhosan to Machynlleth.
- Before you head out, please read our safety advice for exploring Wales' National Parks and safety tips for staying safe on the Welsh coast
- Adventure Smart Wales has plenty of advice on how to ‘make a good day better’, and we recommend you read it before planning your days out.
- Traveline Cymru is a useful public transport journey planner.
- There are a number of apps and online maps, including the Transport for Wales website where you can to find the location of electric vehicle charging points across Wales. Several National Trust properties across Wales have EV charging points.
- Help Wales become the first Refill Nation by using nearby Refill Points to fill up your water bottle before you head off. Find out more, including how to download the free Refill app to find your nearest Refill Point on the Refill Wales website.