Cambrian Way North Guided Trail

Cambrian Way North - Trail - IMG_0343.JPG
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Trails
Walking Grade: 6
from £945pp £905pp

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
  • 5 days guided walking
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Your leader will give an introductory talk about the holiday

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.

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.


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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – 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

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
12 Jun - 19 Jun 2019 Itinerary £945 £905 Save £40 Per Person Book Now
11 Sep - 18 Sep 2019 Itinerary £945 £905 Save £40 Per Person Book Now
7 nights
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £945pp £905pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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