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The Cambrian Way

Classic Wales mountain trek - south to north from Cardiff to Conwy

Guidebook to the Cambrian Way, a challenging three-week mountain trek through Wales from Cardiff to Conwy. The 470km route is presented from south to north. Often sticking to long, beautiful ridgelines, it crosses wild and rugged terrain and visits many of Wales's highest mountains, including Snowdon.


The southern and middle sections should be possible in all seasons but the Rhinog mountains and Snowdonia are best tackled between spring and autumn.


Cardiff, Pontypool, Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Llandovery, Strata Florida, Devil's Bridge, Ponterwyd, Dinas Mawddwy, Barmouth, Beddgelert, Pen-y-Pass, Ogwen, Conwy


Suitable for those with experience of long-distance walking (either with or without camping equipment), the route demands a good level of fitness and navigational competence.

Must See

Cardiff, capital of Wales, and its castle; the Black Mountains; the Brecon Beacons; the Carmarthen Vans; the Elenydd wilderness; Devil's Bridge and Rheidol Falls; Pumlumon; Cadair Idris; Barmouth; Rhinog Fawr and Rhinog Fach; Beddgelert; Snowdon; the Glyders; Ogwen Valley; Tryfan; the Carneddau; Conwy and its castle
11 Jul 2019
2 Nov 2021
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.50cm

Dubbed 'the mountain connoisseurs' walk', the Cambrian Way stretches 479km between the mighty castles of Cardiff in the south and Conwy on the north coast. Traversing the heartland of Wales, the challenging route crosses the Brecon Beacons, the Cambrian Mountains and Snowdonia, passing through two national parks and visiting many of the country's iconic summits, including Pen y Fan, Pumlumon, Cadair Idris and Snowdon itself. It can be walked in three weeks (or in shorter sections) and is suitable for experienced hillwalkers with sound navigational skills.

The guide presents the route in 21 stages, offering comprehensive route description illustrated with OS 1:50,000 mapping and elevation profiles. Details of accommodation and facilities are provided, along with a helpful trek planner showing their distribution along the route: although the trail passes through remote areas, it is possible to stay under a roof every night - though camping is also a possibility, should you prefer. There are background notes on Wales's history and geology and local points of interest, and a glossary of Welsh place-names, useful contacts and accommodation listings can be found in the appendices.

From the Black Mountains to the Rhinogau, Glyderau and Carneddau, the route takes in lofty ridges, striking peaks and picturesque lakes. There are also fascinating glimpses into the country's ancient and more recent past: Iron Age hillforts, Norman castles, a Cistercian abbey, the Chartist Cave and relics from the mining industry. Offering superlative scenery, the Cambrian Way is a celebration of some of the best mountain walking Wales has to offer and promises a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in these celebrated landscapes.

Table of Contents

By The Trustees of the Cambrian Way Trust

The Cambrian Way Trust is responsible for publishing the guide to the Cambrian Way and maintaining the website (, as well as overseeing the condition and maintenance of the route and publicising it. The Trust is funded from the major legacy left by Tony Drake, who originally conceived the route, to the Ramblers, and its work is carried out with the assistance of Ramblers groups and members and Cambrian Way officers.

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By George Tod

George Tod is a semi-retired IT support engineer and has long held a passion for long-distance mountain walking, starting with the Pennine Way in 1991. He has completed the Cambrian Way four times, the first in 2000. In 2005, at the request of Tony Drake who brought the Cambrian Way to fruition, he set up the Cambrian Way website and has continually updated and revised both this and Tony Drake's original guidebook.

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By Richard Tyler

Richard Tyler is a retired solicitor who has enjoyed a lifetime of walking in the Welsh mountains. He has considerable experience of long-distance hill and mountain walking in the UK, Alps and Himalaya. Richard carried out a full walk and survey of the Cambrian Way, finishing in 2016. He is chair of the Cambrian Way Trust, footpath secretary for Ramblers Powys Area and, at the time of publication, chair of Powys Local Access Forum.

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