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 Wales > Walks in Wales  >   A walk from Abergynolwyn in the Talyllyn Valley to Castell y Bere near Llanfihangel-y-Pennant in the Dysynni Valley, in West Wales

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the hairy legged hiker walking in WalesWhere is it? Between Abergynolwyn and Llanfihangel-y-Pennant in the beautiful Talyllyn and Dysynni Valleys in West Wales. Close to Tywyn, on the coast, and Dolgellau to the north.
How long will it take ? : The walk is a 5 ½ mile round trip so I would allow 3 hours when including the visits to Castell y Bere and the church of St Michael's at Llanfihangel-y-Pennant.
What's the attraction? : One of the most beautiful valleys in Wales, a mediaeval Castle and an ancient Church
Essentials : As I usually say..... take a picnic. OS map and compass.
Rating : Easy to moderate.
Car Parking : Parking is available on the street or Car Park in the centre of Abergynolwyn
Facilities : Refreshments and Toilets are available at the Railway Inn in Abergynolwyn. When we visited in 2007 the pub meals were excellent. There is also a very good cafe in the community centre in Abergynolwyn.


Directions :  [ Map of Abergynolwyn to Castell y Bere Walk location ]
From the A487 Machynlleth to Dolgellau road take the B4405 near Minffordd, signposted Tywyn. Travel down the Talyllyn valley past the beautiful Talyllyn Lake to the village of Abergynolwyn.
Alternative Route : From Tywyn take the A493 north to Fairbourne road. Take the B4405 to Abergynolwyn. Travel up the Talyllyn  valley to Abergynolwyn.
Map opens in a new window

View some of the highlights of the walk on the youtube video player. The pics were taken in sequence

Scroll down the page for further information and pictures of this walk. Please note I have no pictures available for the return journey of this walk.

Take the minor road on the right of the Railway Inn. Continue along the road and you will see typical single storey Castell y Bere and the view down the Dysynni Valley toward Craig yr Aderynex miners' houses on your left hand side. At the end of the road there is a bridge crossing the river with a lovely view up the Talyllyn Valley. Climb the steep hill as you leave the village, take the path leading off the road on the right signposted to Castell y Bere. Follow the trail and you will soon have beautiful views of the valley ahead. The hill Foel Cae'rberllan is on your right. Continue along the trail and it gets even better with the Dysynni Valley and Craig yr Aderyn (Bird Rock) coming into view.

Bear right at the first junction on the path and then bear left at the next fork. This takes you down to the minor road to Llanfihangel-y-Pennant. Turn right towards Castell y Bere. Continue past the rocky outcrop on which sits Castell y Bere until you come to a small parking area for castle visitors on your left. Follow the signs through the woodlands to the Castle. The castle is well worth a visit - the ruins are in a spectacular location, overshadowed by Cadair Idris. This is one of the few Welsh built castles. Llywelyn the Great started building in 1221 , when he regained control of Wales from his son. The castle was besieged, and fell to the English in 1283 during the campaign of King Edward 1 in his attempt to subdue the Welsh. It was recaptured by the Welsh 11 years later, and subsequently fell into ruin. Entry is free and it is well worth a visit if only for the fantastic views of the Dysynni Valley from the ancient ramparts.
St Michael's Church in Llanfihangel y PennantAfter exploring the ruins, follow the road to Llanfihangl-y-Pennant. I would recommend another stop here to visit St Michael's church. It is a lovely old church and has an important part to play in Welsh christian history, as it was from this village that the young girl Mary Jones walked bare foot to Bala , 26 miles away, to buy a copy of the Welsh Bible. The church has an exhibition explaining the life and times of Mary Jones.

Continuing the walk take the track opposite the church gate that runs alongside the stream with Foel Cae'rberllan again on your right. Further along the track you can see the ruins of Nant-yr-eira on your left. Eventually you will come to a wall directly ahead – bear to the right and climb over a ladder stile. Continue following the waymarks until you reach the road.
Turn right and walk along the minor road for about a mile until you see some clearly marked steps on the left. Else ignore the steps and continue along the road as shown on the map above until you reach the original road leading from the village.

Another option for this walk is to let the train take the strain and leave the car in Tywyn on the coast. The Talyllyn Railway, a narrow-gauge railway travels from Tywyn to Nant Gwernol and Abergynolwyn stations , either of which are good starting points for the walk.

 

Please -- click on the pictures -- for enlarged pictures of the walk from Abergynolwyn in the Tal-y-llyn Valley to Castell-y-Bere in Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, in the Dysynni Valley, west Wales.

Arriving at Abergynolwyn in the Talyllyn Valley Cottages in Abergynolwyn
Arriving at Abergynolwyn in the Talyllyn Valley
 
Cottages in Abergynolwyn
The crossroads and Car park in Abergynolwyn   Views toward the Dysynni Valley at the start of the walk to Castell y Bere
The crossroads and car park in Abergynolwyn
 
Views toward the Dysynni Valley at the start of the walk to Castell y Bere
The road drops downhill to Castell y Bere, but the path continues on the lower sloes of the hill on the right Pastoral scene in the Dysynni Valley
The road drops downhill to Castell y Bere, but the path continues on the lower slopes of the hill on the right
 
Pastoral scene in the Dysynni Valley
The location of Castle y Bere on a rocky outcrop rising from the floor of the Dysynni Valley   Pathway through the woods to Castell y Bere
The location of Castle y Bere on a rocky outcrop that rises from the floor of the Dysynni Valley
 
Pathway through the woods to Castell y Bere
The walls of Castell y Bere and the view down the Dysynni Valley toward Bird Rock (Craig yr Aderyn) St Michael's Church in Llanfihangel y Pennant
The walls of Castell y Bere and the view down the Dysynni Valley toward Bird Rock (Craig yr Aderyn)
 
St Michael's Church in Llanfihangel y Pennant
I can highly recommend the Railway Inn in Abergynolwyn for a meal or a pint   Another option is to reach Abergynolwyn via the Talyllyn Railway
I can highly recommend the Railway Inn in Abergynolwyn for a meal or a pint
 
An alternative to the car is to reach Abergynolwyn via the Talyllyn Railway

For more pictures of Castell y Bere please click here >

© All pictures copyright Bernard Wellings

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