The Cambrian Way is a remarkable and spectacular coast-to-coast walk which starts in Cardiff, and traverses all the mountain areas of Wales, ending up on the north coast at Conwy. The route is neither official, nor a waymarked long distance footpath, and full advantage has been taken of this to explore the richness of the Welsh countryside. It is favoured by the Ramblers' Association as worthy of official recreational trail status as a fine three week walk through scenically superb and largely unfrequented mountain country.
Although mainly visiting the wilder, upland areas, including the dramatic scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, the wild moorland of central Wales and the softer pastoral land of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the route also crosses the finest of Welsh valleys, the rivers Dyfi and Mawddach and the limestone 'waterfall country' of the Hepste and Mellte valleys of southern Wales. It also seeks out places that bring to life the history of Wales; the legends of Arthur and the Mabinoggion, the harshness of the Norman marcher lords, the warrior princes, Llywelyn and Owain Glyndwr, in their stronghold of Gwynedd, the coal mines and the slate quarries.
Though much of the route is high-level and, consequently, can be weather swept, it is largely accessible to careful walkers who have some hill experience. However, this is really a walk for the mountain connoisseur and requires navigational skills and much stamina to complete its full 275 miles and 60,500 feet of ascent. Taking on an expedition of this magnitude requires careful planning, but to suitably fit and properly equipped walkers it will be a thrilling and rewarding experience.
The definitive route has to be that described by Tony Drake, the pioneer of the Cambrian Way, although he is not averse to minor deviation in the spirit of individuality. His route links together the following towns and villages, starting from Cardiff. Tongwynlais; Machen; Risca; Pontypool; Abergavenny; Capel-y-ffin; Crickhowell; Storey Arms; Bwlch Bryn-rhudd; Llanddeusant; Myddfa; Llandovery; Rhandirmwyn; Ty'n-y-Cornel; Garn Gron; Strata Florida; Cwmystwyth; Devil's Bridge; Dyffryn Castell; Dylife; Commins Coch; Dinas Mawddwy; Bwlch Llyn Bach; Barmouth; Bwlch Drws Ardudwy; Cwm Bychan; Maentwrog; Beddgelert; Pen-y-Pass; Ogwen; Conwy.
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