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Visiting Snowdonia

Cader Idris from Foel Caerynwch


Graigddu Circular

Graigddu Circular - 1 October 2017

Graigddu Circular
Simon Roberts

Grade: The short circular – Coed Graigddu – Leisure / The long circular – Bwlch Drws Ardudwy - Moderate

Distance: 3 miles (the short circular – Coed Graigddu) / 4 miles (the long circular – Bwlch Drws Ardudwy)

Time: 2 / 3 hours

Terrain: Woodland & nature paths

For October I have chosen two beautiful circular routes around the evergreen Graigddu woodland on the foot of the Rhinogydd – two routes that are far away from the sound of traffic and everyday hustle and bustle.

How to get there
Traveling south down the A470, take the next right, 1/2 mile (1 km) after the Bronaber turning.
Traveling north up the A470, take the next left, 2 mile (3 km) after the sign post on the right to the Coed y Brenin center.
Follow the narrow road for just over 2 miles (3.5km) through two gates and park your vehicle in the designated parking area (SH 684 302). Remember to keep the gates shut at all times.

The first circular route (leisure graded), the Graigddu Woods walk leads from the car park across the woodland’s tracks for around 2 miles towards a junction and the Bwlch Tyddiad path (Roman Steps) by the Llyn-Du stream.

After taking a minute or two to admire the scenery across the woods and the Crawcwellt moors (this terrain is a type of long rough grass which grow in bunches in the highlands) towards Arenig Fawr and the Rhobell, turn down to your right by the junction and follow the public footpath which in turn will take you past the remarkable Pistyll Gwyn waterfall and back towards the car park to finish your journey. This is a great opportunity to enjoy and appreciate nature of an evergreen woodland, such as the Eurasian sparrowhawk and Northern goshawk, wood ants and beautiful red (but poisonous!) mushrooms, ‘the sickener’ (Russula emetic) with only birdsong heard between the trees.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous it’s possible to extend to another circular route (a moderate graded walk) which will lead you towards Bwlch Drws Ardudwy, which is the gap between Rhinog Fawr and Rhinog Fach, to have a taste of quite a different landscape. This circular route is a little longer (around 4 miles) and it gives you the opportunity to experience the rugged Rhinogydd National Nature Reserve, before leading you back to the Graigddu woodland walk. Many say that the Rhinogydd is one of the last true wilderness in Wales, and once you’re there it’s easy to see why.

A word of warning - since this is a National Nature Reserve which is famous for its wildlife and wilderness, there are no markers on the path, and the path can get very wet. You will need to carry a map and wear strong, waterproof shoes if you’re going to follow this route. To ensure that you follow the correct route back from Bwlch Drws Ardudwy towards the Graigddu woodland, take a sharp right before reaching the top of the gap and the stone wall (as it shows in the photo).

For those of you who would like an even better experience of the Rhinogydd, it’s possible to walk a longer circular route by walking through the Bwlch Drws Ardudwy gap towards Cwm Nantcol before following the public footpaths towards the North on to the stunning landscape of Cwm Bychan. Before walking the Roman Steps back towards the Graigddu woods between the Bwlch Tyddiad gap.


Simon Roberts (Senior Warden (South))