We got this route from walkhighland which till now I thought it was only for Scotland, but you can also find some details (no as many as for Scottish hills) about walking routes in England and Wales.
The route begins and ends in a small and hidden car park at the end of road. The car park has a portable toilet and it is free of charge although there is a box for donations dedicated to the Welsh air ambulance.
From the car park we started the route going in clockwise direction, heading North along the road you came from, soon you will see the sign of Llwybr Crib yr ARAN path ridge. Continue on this road for around 400m then turn left along the fence on a very hidden path due to very tall bracken.
The path later turns North West towards the valley that you can see ahead. This first ascent is around 2km through the valley where you will have to cross streams a couple of times till you get to the top. On this section we had to put the dog on the lead a few times as sheep were (grassing) in the area.
Although the ascent continues all the way to the summit, after this first section there is a big almost flat section where walking would be easy if it wasn’t for the very boggy terrain where in sections it becomes very hard to avoid getting wet feet. Planks of wood have been put down in the worst areas to make the path easier, but in some cases these have sunk down below the water and mud!
Navigation is easy after the first section as the only thing you have to do is to follow the fence pretty much all the way to the top. Along the way you have to go over a couple of transversal fences, but don’t worry there are stiles. At around 4km the ascent changes and gets steeper again. It continues for a further 1.5km up to the highest point of the walk at the peak of Aran Fawddwy.
Fences don’t reach the summit, but once they stop, the peak is visible, short and easy to access. In case of bad weather and poor visibility, a compass will be needed, but navigation should be straight forward. If for any reason you can’t navigate to the summit, at the point where the fence finishes is the beginning of the return path.
Magnificent views from the top can be seen, over Creiglyn Dyfi and the ridge you will be walking on shortly. Everything is so green wherever you look and although the landscape isn’t formed of high mountains, it has long valleys and green dune like hills that amazed us.
Retracing our steps to the last fence crossing, you head South East aiming to reach the ridge we were looking at from the summit. We decided to make the navigation simple again and forced ourselves to find the fence leading downhill that you follow till you get to a cairn built in the 1960’s in memory of a military man who died getting hit by lightning near that spot while on military exercise. The ridge isn’t a scary one, it is very wide, and you wouldn’t know it was a ridge if you hadn’t seen it from the summit.
From the cairn, the path starts to slightly move away from the fence and at no point do you have to go up hill again, so keep your eyes open for the Y-junction and take the track that goes round the small slope and not over it. From here you can see the big valley to the right where you will be descending soon, you can even appreciate the footpath. Although the track isn’t very clear here it is very obvious the direction you have to walk to, just bear in mind that you need to cross one more fence and walk parallel to the next one till you reach the valley.
Here there were many sheep grazing and we had to put the dog on the lead again. The descent is just over 3km to the car park. All the way down the terrain is very slippery and the views of the green hills you are surrounded by are spectacular (if the sun is out!) At some point near the bottom you cross another fence into farm land, remember keep your dog on the lead, as livestock is around as are the local farmers. Just before getting to the car park and saying goodbye to this easy but no less beautiful walk, a bridge takes you across the river with a gate that isn’t attached to anything- be careful!
It was a total of 12km that we did in just over 6h, with an altitude gained of just 873m. It is an easy walk with easy navigation and gorgeous views of the typical green mountains in wales.