Walk up Yr Eifl, Mynydd Gwaith and Tre’r Ceiri from Llithfaen
Route Summary: A short route that covers a lot of ground over these spectacular coastal hills.
A short route that covers a lot of ground over these spectacular coastal hills.
|8.62 km||485 m||3 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Llithfaen
Walk up Yr Eifl, Mynydd Gwaith and Tre’r Ceiri from Llithfaen Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
- Yr Eifl (560.7 metres)
- Mynydd Gwaith (Yr Eifl North Top or Pen Bwlch yr Eifl) (444 metres)
- Tre’r Ceiri (485.3 metres)
Walk up Yr Eifl, Mynydd Gwaith and Tre’r Ceiri from Llithfaen Details
The mini range of Yr Eifl are the Llyn Peninsula’s own little hills. Even if they don’t quite reach the magical 600 metre contour, but with their proximity to the sea they still feel lofty enough. Yr Eifl* is the highest point at 564m, but arguably it is the lower Tre Ceiri hill fort that is the highlight of the walk and Mynydd y Gwaith the more spectacular viewpoint. You’ll just have to walk them yourself to decide.
1 Start from the Car park at SH353 440 between Llithfaen and Nant Gwrtheyrn (Ganolfan Iaith Gymraeg) and take the blatantly obvious track opposite that’s marked as Wales Coastal Path. If you’ve parked further up the car park, you can cut across like we did. You can also easily complete the walk starting from Llithfaen which has a limited bus service.
2 Follow this track all the way to bwlch, a distance of about 1.5km, with an impressive drop into Nant Gwrtheyrn and extensive views across Caernarfon Bay and numerous quarrying remains on the hillside that have been long recovered by nature. The tiny summit of Mynydd y Gwaith (or Garn Fôr) can be seen off to the left and will be the first target of the day.
3 At Bwlch yr Eifl you’ll spot the ugly Telecoms building just under the summit. You need to follow the concrete steps up to this, along the front and up a stone staircase that come as an utter surprise, to the summit. Views from here are among the best in the area, and you’re looking 444m directly down into the sea, even though it feels much higher. Looking down at Trefor far below makes your head spin, while at the same time you think you could throw a line into the sea and begin fishing. It’s just unfortunate that this most magical of summits has been stripped and quarried almost to the summit itself.
4 It’s now back to the bwlch, and the path up Yr Eifl is clear. It sets off over heathery moorland, before climbing more steeply towards the end along a good path that’s easy to follow.
5 The Summit of Yr Eifl is another magnificent viewpoint. You can see the peninsula laid beneath you like a map, and facing the hills of Eryri in the other, every part their equal.
6 You’ll now need to descend from Yr Eifl, and at first there’s an obvious path leading roughly west from the summit, avoid the first junction to the left (we followed it for a few metres before turning back) and continue downhill. It soon forks off, with one path heading right and the one we took heading left. It takes a less direct and rather leisurely route into the rather damp bwlch below.
7 The final summit, Tre’r Ceiri, is directly ahead – across a boggy col that may need care in the wet to cross. The path was obvious today, but you would need some nav skills in the mist to find your way across.
8 The path climbs steadily into the hill fort of Tre’r Ceiri, narrowing as you near the ramparts into an easily defensible passage. This would have been formidable for any attackers.
9 The summit is a plateau dominated by the great boundary wall, and numerous hut circles. These are not obvious due to the heather, but can be seen clearly as you walk left from the entrance and along the wall to the summit from which you’ll be treated to some excellent views once again.
10 – Follow the wall to the left, along an easy path, and to the SW exit of the hillfort where an initially rocky path descends to a good path. Follow this across the moor, towards the wall and taking care not to turn left and taking the path to Llanaelhaearn by mistake.
11 Once through the gate in the wall, ominously with a bull warning (even though it’s a right of way – presumably this is with his cows), the path descends steadily down to the car park. We took the optional dog leg out to Caergribin, an interesting outcrop.
12 You can take a direct route, as we did, by contouring across the high ground to your right, which joins the main Eifl path to descend to the start. An easier route would be to descend to the farmhouse at SH359 436 and follow the boundary wall to the start.
*A note on summit Names
There are a couple of sources that name the peaks – Garn For, Garn Ganol and Tre’r Ceiri, including Wikipedia, though no sources are cited and I cannot find any maps that note these names. I’ll be going with Yr Eifl for the main summit, Mynydd Gwaith for the seaward summit (unnamed on the OS maps) and it seems we’re all agreed on Tre’r Ceiri. Eric Jones , Geograph and a local source gave it the moniker Mynydd Gwaith, so for now I’ll go with their authority (especially good old Eric Jones). Though one uses Garn For, while another the less imaginative Eifl North Top and even Pen Bwlch yr Eifl. I suspect that this may be a local variation, perhaps one’s a Llithfaen and the other a Trefor variant? The Pen Bwlch yr Eifl sound like a bagger’s name for a nameless peak – as they often get named after the nearest feature – Bwlch yr Eifl in this case. I’ll also go with Yr Eifl as the name for the middle summit as that’s what it’s called locally, rather than Garn Ganol.
Either way, we’re not saying one’s wrong over the other – just clarifying. What does need noting is that the only proper and correct name for the range is “Yr Eifl”. If you want to hear a Welshman’s teeth grind, then feel free to call them The Rivals (Grind, Grind). Just be aware that each time you do so, a kitten dies. Your choice.