Last year when I stayed on Domo CL I was talking to the owner Chris about walks locally and told him I was intending to walk up Cadair Berwyn. He immediately referred to the “Boggy Berwyn’s” and warned me this was an apt name for the mountains. Sadly my stay was cut short last year when Crosby became lame, so I did not get the chance to find out if Chris was correct.
When I was up at Rodney’s Pillar yesterday I could see the Berwyn’s in the distance and decided that today I would climb up to the ridge containing Cadair Berwyn and Cadair Bronwen. There are options of ways to reach the summit, I decide to start my walk at Llandrillo in the car park by the Llandrillo Bridge (Grid Reference SJ035371).
Before setting off I have a look at the 18thcentury Llandrillo Bridge which spans the Afon Ceidiog.
Leaving the car park I turn left and walk a short distance besides the B4401 turning right up a dead end tarmac lane just after the village War Memorial. The lane ends near a farm entrance, I ignore a footpath sign on the right and carry on along a stony track for about fifty yards to turn left through a wooden gate.
I continue on the track through the edge of woodland, steadily going uphill.
The track soon reaches pastureland, the route is easy to follow, I stay on the track and there are way-markers to assist me.
As the track continues to climb steadily I ford a couple of streams providing Crosby with welcome refreshment. I always carry water for him, but he much prefers to drink from a fresh water stream.
This ancient drove I am walking is the Nant Rhyd Wylim Pass also known as the Wayfarers Trail, it covers six miles from Llandrillo in the west to Pentre in the east.
Apparently the route is very popular with 4X4 off road drivers and other forms of motor transport. I drive a 4×4, but keep to the roads. I have experienced a few incidents when thoughtless drivers or trial bike riders have almost caused an accident through their lack of consideration. Unfortunately, this has tainted my view of people partaking in these pastimes. But today I do not encounter any motorised transport, or indeed any one else, as I walk along enjoying the tranquillity of this beautiful bit of countryside.
The route is known as the Wayfarers Trail because there is a memorial at the summit of the drove to Walter Macgregor Robinson, he was known as a pioneer of off road cycling and wrote under the pen name “Wayfarer”.
After passing a sheepfold I go through a gate to make the final ascent to the top of the pass, the view along the Berwyn ridge gives me a good idea of where I will soon be walking.
At the summit of the pass I stop to look at Walter Macgregor Robinson’s “Wayfarers” Memorial stone.
In front of the stone is a metal box with an assortment of items that others have left and a book to record your visit, so I make my entry before continuing on.
Now I have to cross a stile and follow the footpath along the ridge towards Cadair Bronwen. I quickly realise why Chris back at Domo CL referred to this ridge as the boggy Berwyn’s. Despite a prolonged hot spell there are still areas of the path that are a bit boggy, I can imagine what it would be like after a wet winter. The compensation is the stunning views.
The footpath across the access land is easy enough to follow and given the boggy conditions I wouldn’t want to venture too far away from a route taken by others.
Now it is time to tackle the steep ascent to the summit of Cadair Bronwen, the path closely follows the fence line.
Halfway up the ascent I stop to take in the view to the east.
It is a warm day and on reaching the cairn at the summit of Cadair Bronwen I stop for a breather.
I am now 2,569 feet up enjoying panoramic views; away in the distance I can see the mountains of Snowdonia.
Continuing on the route towards Cadair Berwyn the path descends to cross wooden boardwalks over very boggy land, without them I would not want to venture here.
Still keeping to the well defined path I make the ascent to Cadair Berwyn, this crosses the fence and runs closer to the edge of the ridge, my vertigo prevents me from getting too close to look at the views below. Fortunately I am able to follow a path a little way from the edge so I do not feel too uncomfortable, but I am still relieved to reach the trig point on Cadair Berwyn.
This is the 141sttrig pillar I have “bagged” and standing at 2,730 feet one of the highest. So as you would expect the views are extensive.
For many years it was thought this was the highest point on this ridge, however, in 1987 Bernard Wright a visiting walker noticed that a nearby peak appeared higher. At first the Ordnance Survey denied this, but after resurveying confirmed he was correct and Wright named the peak Craig Uchaf.
My route from the summit crosses the fence line and takes a clear path heading for Foel Fawr.
The route is easy enough to follow as I continue downhill and then follow a footpath sign that leads to the right to cross the Nant Cwm Tywyll.
After crossing into a field of pasture, the cattle high on the hill watch my progress but appear too disinterested in me to cause a nuisance, I follow the path to reach a fence line. I cross into another field of rough pasture it is very boggy and I have to pick my route with care to try and find some reasonably firm ground. Thankfully after a couple of hundred yards the path continues on drier ground passing a rocky outcrop which doubles as a look out post for sheep.
I proceed across the field heading down to cross the steep sided stream, Clochnant. The path sweeps to the left and soon joins a track, which I follow to reach a gateway on the edge of access land.
Through the gate I follow a stony track steadily downhill.
After emerging from woodland and joining a tarmac lane I soon pass a stable, the occupant watches my approach intently.
It is fifty years since I sat on a horse, and that was very briefly as I fell off when it started to move. I have never felt inclined to mount another steed, but do like to engage these fine animals in conversation. I call every horse I meet Albert, and have yet to be told it is not their name. I ask Albert about his cricketing days, but unlike Geoffrey Boycott he is reluctant to share his memories. (The story of Albert the cricket playing horse is one of my favourite jokes.)
I continue on this narrow country lane to reach Llandrillo close to the entrance to the car park.
My walk has covered just over eleven miles. I am pleased I have made it up on to the Berwyn ridge, but it is definitely not a place I will venture after a prolonged wet spell.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 255 – Llangollen & Berwyn
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)