Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail
Route Summary: Explore Mid Wales’s natural beauty and discover it’s history along a National Trail named after Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr
Explore Mid Wales’s natural beauty and discover it’s history along a National Trail named after Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr
Where does the Glyndwr Way Start and Finish:Knighton to Welshpool
Glyndwr Way Weather Forecast:
Where is the Glyndwr Way ?
Powys, Mid Wales
How long will it take to walk the Glyndwr Way ?
It should take a reasonably fit walker around 9 to 10 days to complete
How Long is the Glyndwr Way ?
How hard is it to complete the Glyndwr Way ?
Reasonable fitness required, as each day may have the equivalent ascent of a day in the mountains. Navigation skills are needed as you cross some remote and rougher ground, and way-markers should not be the only thing you rely on.
What’s Public Transport Like on the Glyndwr Way ?
It’s not practical to use public transport between the sections of the trail. There are railway stations at the start and end of the trail, as well as at Machynlleth which makes walking the route in two sections possible. However, the start and end points are on two different lines and requires a circuitous journey via Shrewsbury if you need to return to the start.
Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail Route Map and GPX DownloadDownload file for GPS
Glyndwr Way Highlights:
The Glyndwr’s Way takes you through the quiet and unspoilt land of mid Wales, with features such as the Clywedog Reservoir Pumlumon and the Radnorshire hills to enjoy. On clear days views of Lake Efyrnwy, the Cambrian Mountains and Cader Idris are all on display.
Glyndwr Way Guidebooks:
Hills and Places on Glyndwr Way :
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Interesting Stuff Nearby:
Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail Details
Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail is located in Mid Wales and takes you between the towns of Knighton on the English border, Machynlleth and Welshpool as well as numerous smaller towns and villages in between. including Llanbadarn Fynydd, Llanidloes, Llangadfan, and Dylife. The path was granted National Trail status in 2002 to both commemorate the millennium as well as 600 years since Glyndŵr’s ill-fated rebellion.
Owain Glyndŵr was a welsh nobleman, descended from the princes of Powys on his father’s side and those of Deheubarth on his mother’s, who started the Welsh Revolt against Henry IV of England in 1400. This lasted until 1415, during which time Glyndŵr established a parliament in Machynlleth the site of which you can see on the trail. While he captured a number of English castles, including Harlech, he lacked the resources of the English and lost his final stronghold in 1409. Owain was last seen in 1412, and was reported to have died in 1415, but it’s a testament to the loyalty he commanded that he was never betrayed to the English despite the generous rewards they offered.
The Glyndŵr’s Way takes you through rolling farmland and the Cambrian Mountains, with the highest point being Foel Fadian (510m) on the flanks of Pumlumon which offers spectacular views towards Snowdonia and Cader Idris. Llyn Clywedog and Efyrynwy are a particular highlight, despite being artificial bodies of water. It’s well way-marked for the entire distance with a red dragon as well as the National Trail acorn symbol.
Where the Glyndwr’s Way passes it’s highest point of 510 meters at Foel Fadian, this is also as close as the route gets to the site of the Battle of Mynydd Hyddgen and he approximate location of one of Owain Glyndŵr’s most significant military victories. The battle in the summer of 1401 was between a force of 1,500 settlers and Flemish mercenaries from Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion and, according to the Annals of Owan Glyndŵr, Glyndŵr’s much smaller force of “six score wicked men and thieves”. It is thought that the Welsh were forced up into the mountains, where the rough and boggy terrain was more suitable for their mountain ponies than the English’s heavy cavalry. Owain’s victory changed Glyndŵr’s status from a local rebel to a national leader on the way to being crowned Prince of Wales in 1404. For those who want to visit one of the most significant locations related to Owain Glyndŵr, it’s located a good 15km round trip from the trail.
Glyndwr’s Way Distance Chart
Glyndŵr’s Way Route Summary
Glyndŵr’s Way is split below into 9 reasonable sections which means that you can look to complete the 217km in 9 or 10 days, but clearly you can divide many of the longer days into two if you wanted a less strenuous itinerary. The timings below do not account for breaks or sightseeing, so ensure you take those into account. Note that the route offers very few opportunities for wild camping, and owing to the remote nature of some end points, you’ll need to plan your accommodation and possible transport options carefully. As previously mentioned, you can walk the route as a circuit by using Offa’s Dyke National Trail to return back from Welshpool to Knighton by following these sections from near Welshpool – Brompton Crossroads and onward to Knighton.
Note that there’s ample climbing involved on the trail. While it only reaches a maximum height of 510 metres, it gets close to this a number of times and each of the days’ climbing is comparable to a mountain walk.
1 Glyndŵr’s Way from Knighton to Felindre
Distance – 25 km, Height Gained – 800 metres, Time – 8 hourss
While the trail sets off from Knighton, it’s worth setting some time aside to explore this fascinating border town. While it is now in Wales, it lies to the east of Offa’s Dyke and would have lain in Mercia when it was constructed. The welsh name, Tre’r Clawdd, unsurprisingly translates as the town on the dyke. Once on the trail proper, it sets off as it means to go on, undulating, over heath and moor towards the village of Llangunllo where with any luck you’ll find the Greyhound Inn open for refreshments.
2 Glyndŵr’s Way from Felindre to Abbeycwmhir
Distance – 25 km, Height Gained – 760 metres, Time – 8 hours
Continuing much in the same vein as the first day, the trail climbs again to moorland and follows an old drove road over the moors. Of particular interest is the hill fort of Castell-y-blaidd – the Wolf’s Castle, which according to Coflein dates from the iron age, but is reputed to be an unfinished Norman earthwork. There’s a convenient stop at Llanbadarn Fynydd before continuing over the hills of Moel Dod, Yr Allt and Ysgwd-ffordd to finish the day at Abbeycwmhir.
3 Glyndŵr’s Way from Abbeycwmhir to Llanidloes
Distance – 25 km, Height Gained – 860 metres, Time – 8 hours
If you didn’t get the opportunity yesterday, then it’s worth exploring the ruins of Cwmhir Abbey. Here you’ll find the grave of Gruffudd Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, or Llywelyn the Last, who was the final sovereign prince and king of wales before his death in 1282 and Edward I’s subsequent conquest of Wales. Cwmhir Abbey was built in 1143 and while it was never completed, was the largest in Wales and was burned down by Owain Glyndŵr’s forces in 1401. It continued to be used until it was finally slighted during the civil war. The trail continues over rolling hills towards Bwlch-y-sarnau and on into Llanidloes.
4 Glyndŵr’s Way from Llanidloes to Dylife
Distance – 21 km, Height Gained – 900 metres, Time – 6 hours
Section four starts from the town of Llanidloes, which is the first town to be found on the Afon Hafren / River Severn which has its source on the nearby mountains of Pumlumon. Llanidloes once prospered on a cottage industry of weaving, but found that lead mining was much more profitable in the mid 18th Century. During their heyday the lead mine at nearby Van was one of the most productive in the world.
From Llanidloes, the trail initially follows the route of the 40km Sarn Sabrina Walk which while it can be walked at any time, forms an annual challenge event every May. This travels to the source of the Severn and back to Llanidloes, and the detour would add a good 3 hours to the day. Llyn Clywedog is soon reached, where the dam was built in 1967 to regulate the flow of the River Severn and is the highest concrete dam in the UK. The route continues onward via Staylittle to finish just above the former mining settlement of Dylife at the Roman fortlet of Penycrocbren, where you’ll find the welcome sight of the Star Inn.
5 Glyndŵr’s Way from Dylife to Machynlleth
Distance – 25 km, Height Gained – 750 metres, Time – 7 hours
The hamlet of Dylife was once a thriving mining settlement, with lead mining being recorded here from Roman times. You’d be hard pressed to imagine that in the 18th century this used to be home to over 1000 people with a school, three or four inns, chapels and a church; as all that remains is the pub, a smattering of houses and two chapels converted into homes. The remains of the lead mining are however still quite obvious, and you can imagine that the settlement would have been affected by lead poisoning.
From Dylife, you’ll need to re-ascend to Penycrocben and continue on what was a Roman Road towards the Clywedog Gorge, before arriving at Glaslyn. This is a nature reserve run by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, and despite being around 500m up is easily accessible from the minor road nearby. You’ll be treated to expansive views towards Cader Idris and South Snowdonia, and while the route skirts Foel Fadian we recommend taking the short detour to the summit. The route descends steeply to the head of the Dulas Valley before continuing on a typically undulating route to finish the section at Machynlleth.
6 Glyndŵr’s Way from Machynlleth to Llanbrynmair
Distance – 29 km, Height Gained – 940 metres, Time – 8 hours
The market town of Machynlleth marks the lowest point on the path, barely above sea level. In 1404 it was the seat of Glyndŵr’s parliament, and while you can visit it’s location, the current building is probably more recent. Because of this, Machynlleth often lays claim to being the ancient capital of Wales, but never officially held the title.
From Machynlleth the trail continues on to Abercegir and Penegoes before skirting high above the Dyfi Valley with fine views towards Snowdonia, before descending to Cemmaes Road and on to Llanbrynmair. Both of these villages are on the infamous A470, a road that anyone who’s had to travel from north to south Wales will be all to familiar with.
7 Glyndŵr’s Way from Llanbrynmair to Llanwddyn
Distance – 29 km, Height Gained – 950 metres, Time – 8 hours
From Llanbrynmair, the trail starts climbing once more as you make your way over the hill of Cerrig y Tân and then forestry tracks to the remote valley of Nant yr Eira. A climb over the hill of Pencoed brings you down into the village of Llangadfan, an ideal spot to rest in the cafe or the Cann Office Hotel. It’s then a bit more forestry walking as the trail takes you deep through the Dyfnant Forest, but this section is keeping the best until last as you finally get a view over the spectacular Llyn Efyrnwy. There are a few cafes in the village, as well as the luxury Llyn Vyrynwy Hotel within walking distance.
8 Glyndŵr’s Way from Llanwddyn to Meifod
Distance – 24 km, Height Gained – 750 metres, Time – 7 hours
Efryrnwy Dam was built in the 1880s to flood the village of Llanwddyn and provide Liverpool with water. While the villagers were not consisted on the move, they were moved to the new village of Llanwddyn you see today, so that’s ok then. The dam itself is an impressive construction, with as much emphasis on form as function. Llyn Efryrnwy is around 7.5km in length and other than the dam, you’d be hard pressed to tell that it was man-made. The trail continues onward via Abertridwr, the northernmost point on the route, Pont Llogel and Dolanog, roughly following the Afon Efyrnwy and sections of the Ann Griffiths Walk in places. The river is followed more closely on the way to Pontrobert before the final stretch to Meifod.
9 Glyndŵr’s Way from Meifod to Welshpool
Distance – 18 km, Height Gained – 600 metres, Time – 6 hours
Meifod is a small village and marks the start of the final leg of the route. It was an early christian centre and had links to the kings of Powys who had their seat a few kilometres away at Mathrafal, of which only earthworks remain today. The final section becomes more pastoral, the land here more fertile than those of the hills to the west, and finishes with a flourish on the minor summit of Y Golfa with excellent views and an hour’s walk into Y Trallwng / Welshpool to finish the trail