The Bryngwyn Path from Tryfan Junction to Moel Tryfan and Waunfawr

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Unnamed Road, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL54 7PN, UK

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The Bryngwyn Path from Tryfan Junction to Moel Tryfan and Waunfawr

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While there seems to be an official path from Tryfan Junction up to Bryngwyn and beyond, only the section to Bryngwyn farm is signposted even though there seems to be much more shown on the notice boards and absolutely no information available online – until now.

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The Route

1 – The route starts in Tryfan Junction on the Welsh Highland Railway – which can be reached from Waunfawr via this route (in either direction). The path is opposite the halt, and is a slate track that’s easy to follow.

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2 – The track continues along the disused railway, climbing imperceptibly uphill, with views opening up on the right across to the Menai Straits and Ynys Mon. Within 1.5km, you reach Rhostryfan, along with its huge station sign, so it’s pretty obvious where you are.

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3 – Pass through a gate, one of very many on this section and continue through another one across the road. This takes you through the village of Rhostryfan, across the ‘main’ road and then continues behind some houses and you’re out in the country again.

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4 – You’ll only cross minor roads now, with another two to be crossed between Rhostryfan and Bryngwyn. There are loads of gates though, and running this section gives you plenty of opportunity for a breather. About half way to Bryngwyn, the slate path peters out and it becomes grassier, with the old railway ballast obvious under foot.

5 – 3.2km from your starting point, you’ll arrive with little fanfare at Bryngwyn. While the map on the signage shows a route all the way to the quarries, nothing is apparent from this point onwards! However, it’s easy enough to follow the quiet country lane uphill to your left, until it joins another minor road, where you turn left and past a converted chapel. You can see the remains of the railway in the tarmac a couple of 100m beyond the house, and a clear track to your right that’s the start of the incline.

6 – Follow the shallow incline, across access land, and it meets the main road at some steps. Climb these to reach the main road, and follow the main road right for a couple of 100m until you see a track and a footpath sign on your left.

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7 – Follow the track, and you’ll see the quarries ahead as well as some cottages on the hillside. There’s a track alongside the cottages, but you can follow a permissive path to avoid the cottages at present, which takes you through some fields and out by the next cottage on, where the gate is closed with about 20m worth of rope.

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8 – Through the gate, follow the track right and uphill, and after 200m or so, there’s a sharp turn right as a grassy track takes you towards the slate tips. You can follow this path, until the summit tor of Moel Tryfan becomes visible to your left (there’s a building nearby that you may also spot). You can also just set off beforehand as the going is pretty good.

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9 – The view from Moel Tryfan is impressive for the 427m of altitude it boasts. Not only that, but the summit has some easy scrambling as well (if you look for it) with a gully ascending the summit from the Western approach.

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10- Head off NE, along easy grassy slopes before crossing the track and then hopefully, finding the proper track in the heather across to Moel Smytho. This section can be tricky in the mist as there are so many possible routes, but try and spot some posts with red caps that look like giant matches, as they mark the route towards Waun, but are rather sparse. They also mark the way in the opposite direction, so ensure you head North!

11 – The track to Moel Smytho is heathery and can be wet, but not overly boggy. Moel Smytho is nothing more than a bump at the edge of the moor, but is a fairly worthwhile viewpoint. The path is very obvious down, and you need to be heading for the path across the wall at SH519 580 which descends clearly down through some fields, woodland and finally a minor road, which you take right to the station at Waunfawr.

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Alternatives
10b Head off Moel Tryfan to the NW, down a steep track and a quarry track to Rhosgadfan. Turn right along the main road, past some council houses, ignoring the junction up past the bus stop, but taking the next right hand junction which you can then follow to Waunfawr across the moors but ignoring further junctions and following the road as if you were driving. There are also signposts, and the road becomes a minor lane beyond the village.

11b follow the track from Moel Smytho to the minor road instead, following it downhill and taking a bridleway to your left and down hill. This brings you on a green track, which if you take left will bring you to Tryfan Junction in a couple of Kilometres. Just make sure you turn right at SH500 589, which can be easily missed for a farm track if you’re not careful. I you miss it, you’ll cross a bridge over the WHR just after, which is a good indication to turn around.

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4 Comments

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  1. Excellent and useful description of the Slate Trail leading from Tryfan Junction on the old Bryngwyn Branch track bed of the Welsh Highland Railway. The restored station building won the Volunteers Award in the National Railway Heritage Awards 2014.

    • Author
      Dave Roberts 3 years ago

      Thanks Nick. I couldn’t find much info online about it, so it had to be done! Congrats on the award – well deserved. Are they going to be using it as accommodation for the railway volunteers at some point?

      • Nick Booker 3 years ago

        Dave

        Thank you for the compliments. Unlikely to be used as accommodation – there are no plumbing services currently although that is being looked at. We are also aiming to tidy up the site and move and/or camouflage the container.

        Regards

        Nick

  2. Nick Booker 3 years ago

    As noted above the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group won the Volunteers’ Award in the 2014 National Railway Heritage Awards competition, for its extensive reconstruction of the 1877 Tryfan Junction Station building on the Welsh Highland Railway that is at one end of the Slate Trail/Bryngwyn Branch

    The unveiling of the blue commemorative plaque by representatives of the National Railway Heritage Awards competition is taking place on Saturday 2nd May at Tryfan Junction at 12.15 pm

    The Group would be delighted if those who are interested could be present. Immediately following the ceremony there will be the unveiling of plaque to the memory of the late John Keylock, a founder member of the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group and who was instrumental in ensuring that Tryfan Junction Station was rebuilt.

(c) Mud and Routes 2017

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