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Cambrian Way North Guided Trail

Cambrian Way North - Trail - IMG_0343.JPG
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Trails
Walking Grade: 6

A guided trail on the Cambrian Way is a great way to explore some of Wales’ highest, wildest and most beautiful parts. Our week-long section follows the long-distance route between Barmouth and Rowen, from the Rhinogs to the Carneddau and crossing some of the Snowdonia National Park’s most famous peaks, including Snowdon, with incredible and rewarding views. We will do the Northern Section from Barmouth to Rowen. It lies within the Snowdonia National Park and covers a number of mountain ranges. The first two days belong to the Rhinogs which start with open grassy slopes, but we soon reach the wilder country of “Rhinog Grits”, where few other walkers are likely to be seen.

Holiday Highlights

  • Complete the Northern Section from Barmouth to Rowen.
  • Cover a number of ranges within the Snowdonia National Park
  • Walk the wilder country of “Rhinog Grits”, where few other walkers are likely to be seen.

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • The services of an HF Holidays' walks leader
  • All transport on walking days

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

69 miles with 7-14 miles and up to 4,200 feet of ascent in a day.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

We start from the seaside resort of Barmouth. As we climb up to reach the ridge of the Rhinogs we can look back across the Mawddach Estuary to the Cader Idris range of mountains. At about 1,500 feet we gain a lovely grassy ridge which leads us to Diffwys (2,460ft) with some pleasant ups and downs. Here the going gets rougher, and spectacular cliffs drop to the east of our path which leads on to Y Llethr, the high point of the day at 2,475 feet. Care is needed on the descent to the beautiful Llyn Hywel. From here, we go over Rhinog Fach then drop down to Bwlch Drws Ardudwy, ending with a forest walk.

12½ miles (20km) with 3,900 feet (1,180m) of ascent.

We set off through forestry to ascend 1,700 feet to the summit of Rhinog Fawr. We descend by the attractive Llyn Du and the famous Roman Steps to Cwm Bychan, or we can stay along the top by Llyn Pryfed to reach Bwlch Gwylim, and continue over Moel Ysgyfarnogod. Descending to the north east we pass over Diffwys down to Moelfryn on the southern shore of Llyn Transfynydd. 11 miles (17.5km) with 3,550 feet (1,080m) of ascent.

Omitting the section which passes the Power Station at Trawsfynydd, we rejoin the Cambrian Way to the north of Trawsfynydd in the Vale of Ffestiniog and walk through woodland to follow the Ffestiniog Railway on its way to the reservoir of Tanygrisiau. More demanding walking takes us up past the Stwlan dam and the pumped reservoir to the summit of Moelwyn Mawr (2,527 feet). Our path then goes northwards past deserted quarries and on to Llyn yr Adar, where we turn south west along the superb ridge over Cnicht, turning right at the end to follow an attractive route to Craflwyn Hall.

14 miles (22.5km) with 4,100 feet (1,250m) of ascent.

From Craflwyn Hall, we take the National Trust marked path to meet the Watkin Path, which leads us up past delightful waterfalls and interesting remains of old mining operations. We use one of these manmade inclines to branch up to Bwlch Cwm Llan (the pass of Cwm Llan), and from here we follow the south ridge to the top of Snowdon, 3,560 feet. It is then downhill all the way along the railway track for half a mile, and then follows the popular Pyg track to the coach at Pen-y-Pass.

10½ miles (17km) with 4,200 feet (1,280m) of ascent.

From the youth hostel at Pen-y-Pass we climb up over meadows that formed part of the farm described in the book “I Bought a Mountain”, and this leads us up on faint paths to the rocky summit of Glyder Fawr, 3,279 feet. We follow the rough path to its twin, Glyder Fach, which is 17 feet lower, and look at the curious cantilever stone. We drop down to meet the track used by the miners going home to Bethesda from Snowdon, and this takes us over Bwlch Tryfan and down to Ogwen Cottage. We then continue to the east end of Llyn Ogwen.

7 miles (11.5km) with 2,700 feet (820m) of ascent.

Starting opposite Tryfan, we follow the Afon Lloer and on up a rocky path to Pen yr Ole Wen, 3,211 feet. We now have a glorious stretch of about 6 miles along the top of the Carneddau, nearly all of it over 3,000 feet. We take in the peaks of Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn (at 3,490 it is only 70 feet lower than Snowdon), Foel Grach, Garnedd Uchaf and Foel Fras. We see the famous Black Ladder crags on our left and the going is a mixture of good paths and rough sections over loose rock. Good visibility is a bonus here. The ridge then drops down over Drum as we approach the north coast, and at Bwlch y Ddeufaen we pick up an old Roman road to the Inn at Rowen.

14 miles (22km) with 3,650 feet (1,110m) of ascent.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 

Craflwyn Hall

In the heart of Snowdonia, Craflwyn Hall at the foot of Mount Snowdon, close to the picturesque village of Beddgelert, is a glorious story of recovery; once a substantial 19th century house in the heart of the Nan Gwynant Valley, the property was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair before being acquired by the National Trust and painstakingly restored. Now a walkers’ mountain retreat in a picture-perfect spot, it’s the ideal base for exploring northern Snowdonia. As well as places to stay in the main house, the stable block has been imaginatively converted into bedrooms too. Comfy lounges and a snug bar provide other creature comforts. The countryside on the doorstep provides the ultimate attraction though. Wake up early and enjoy the views if the cloud is up, then grab your walking boots and head out on to one of the trails up Snowdon. Or you could go further afield to the Glydrs, Moel Siabod, Cricht and Moel Hebog, as well as the pretty town of Betws Y Coed.

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.


Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house or in one of the handful of bedrooms in the converted stables behind the house. With 22 rooms, Craflwyn Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Ask for Room 1, a large corner space with great green views, or Room 8, for its giant square picture window.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.


Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day rambling over the slopes of Snowdon or summiting a cracking peak, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Sit out in the grounds with a coffee or great local Welsh ale or take a chance to relax in the small conservatory. If the weather’s not so favourable retire to the lounge and sink into one of the squashy leather sofas in front of the fireplace. The snug bar provides a great space to swap stories of mountain days too.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Craflwyn Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Kick off your day with a ‘Miner’s Breakfast’. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. Look out for highlights including Glamorgan sausages, braised salt marsh lamb shoulder shepherd’s pie and a Welsh version of Eve’s pudding.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10690_0036 - Craflwyn Hall - Exterior

Getting to Craflwyn Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.


  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.


  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

7 nights
Guided Trails
Walking Grade:

7 nights from 0pp

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