Walks on Glyndŵr's Way
Glyndŵr's Way was launched in 2002. It jigsaws between the holiday playgrounds of south Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons and forms a satisfying circuit with the Offa’s Dyke Path. And still most walkers haven’t caught on to this 135-mile tour through Mid Wales – and that’s just one reason to sample a section.
Get off the beaten track
Walkers atop Plynlimon Fawr, Cambrian Mountains, Mid Wales
This National Trail is all about getting off the beaten track. Its nine-day route visits many of the sites connected with Wales' historic past. Anchored by trail heads Welshpool, Knighton, and Machynlleth. At midway the trail loops largely through quiet Mid Wales.
You’ll walk through rolling farmland, open moor and heather-clad hills, and discover exhilarating views to Cadair Idris and Plynlimon mountains. There are overnight stops in small towns like Llanidloes or lovely villages like Llanbadarn Fynydd, but you can travel for miles and only see the occasional farmer. What you will see are red kites, peregrine falcons and buzzards. Possibly a red squirrel.
To halve the length of a weeks walking start or finish at Machynlleth. The trail anchors, Welshpool and Knighton, are on major rail lines. Otherwise sections of the trail are accessible by bus. Here are three walking routes to get you started.
Machynlleth to Llanbrynmair, 18.2 miles
Dyfi Valley, Mid Wales
A long day but an introduction that ticks all boxes. The highlight might be the view across the Dyfi Valley to Cadair Idris’s brooding hulk, or the Berwyn Mountains that lift out of farmland ahead. It could be that this walk is fairly flat and has a pub midway in Cemmaes Road. Or even that regular buses allow an easy return from Llabrynmair.
This route gives you a taste of the empty trails and sweeping views of Glyndŵr's Way on a days hike over farmland and moor from Knighton. Well, usually empty trails – this area is managed by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, so expect all manner of flitting furry company en route.
Abbey Cwmhir ruins, Mid Wales
Glyndŵr razed 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 for an easy stroll beneath oak forests on rocky outcrops and red kites.
Llanidloes to Machynlleth, 27 miles
Llyn Clywedog reservoir near Llanidloes, Mid Wales
A superb wild weekend for hikers. From Llanidloes it’s a spectacular descent to Llyn Clywedog reservoir pooled behind Britain’s tallest concrete dam. Now head into the hills: up from soft green, back into the moors of the Cambrian Mountains, skirting around Glaslyn lake to reach the trail highpoint Foel Fadian for an unforgettable view down the Dulas Valley. Good news: it’s all downhill from here. You can also embark on a day walk in the area.