This is a short walk in the Snowodnia National Park, easily manageable in about a couple of hours making it suitable for families, for an evening excursion or for the remains of a day curtailed by bad weather. It is rewarding and enjoyable, in a land of Arthurian legend, providing varying interest and ever changing panoramas from coastal to more distant mountains.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) The walk starts from a car park at Grid Ref SH 640 986. Coming from the Towyn direction it is easy to spot the National Park sign on the right hand side of the lane. From the Machynlleth direction it is about 1km after a burnt-out farm house on the left concealed behind a hedge also on the left at the end of a stretch of narrow lane with high hedges.
Leave the car park and turn left down the lane going down Happy Valley. Turn left at the first opportunity past a cedar wood bungalow and on past stone farm buildings. Cross a stile and over a field and bridge over the Afon Dyffryn-gwyn.
(1) Turn right up the track and follow it through and along the edge of woods and over open down land to a track junction. From here to the right are views over Cardigan Bay to the Llyn Peninsula and down the western end of Happy Valley.
(2) And as you turn left to follow the track rising gently over the downs there opens up a succession of views looking east up Happy Valley. There is one gate to go through before the track reaches a lane - very quiet since it serves one solitary house. Turn left along the lane.
(3) The views of the Happy Valley continue on the left and, as one approaches the house, views across the Dyfi estuary start to appear on the right. Somewhat before the house the tarmac finishes and the route continues, ignoring footpaths left and right, on past the house and now definitely an ancient trackway. From here one can see right across the estuary to the sand dunes of the Ynyslas Nature Reserve and the marshes providing a wild life sanctuary behind Borth.
(4) Further along there are views right up the valley of the Dyfi to the mountains of its source. Look out for the stone marking Carn March Arthur on the left of the track. Here you can see the indentation made by the hoof of King Arthur's horse when it made a legendary leap across the estuary. A little further on a sign on a gate post indicates that the right of way bears right. However, follow the alternative track which swings left. Ignore a track going right and, after a short rise, descend to Llyn Barfog (The Bearded Lake) to which more Arthurian legends attach. Before descending to the lake turn left, aiming for a gate. From here follow the track down to the farm with views once more down Happy Valley. Follow the track through the farm buildings, bearing right to reach the start car park.
D : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Car park
1 : mi 0.17 - alt. mi 0.17 - Turn right
2 : mi 0.82 - alt. mi 0.82 - Follow the track on the left
3 : mi 1.23 - alt. mi 1.23 - Turn left
4 : mi 2.8 - alt. mi 2.8 - Views right up the valley of the Dyfi
A : mi 3.9 - alt. mi 3.9
Happy Valley (the Victorian name for Cwm Maethlon) runs east - west behind Aberdovey (which the Victorians developed as a seaside resort) and provides a picturesque route between Machynlleth and Towyn.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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