Long Distance Footpaths in Snowdonia / Eryri.
Note that this page is now rather dated and while I’ve edited some of the links, it will soon be replaced by a series of articles on Mud and Routes in an LDP special in the spring!
Review of Websites.
This page is admittedly merely a collection of links to Long Distance Footpaths in Eryri / Snowdonia and North and Mid Wales. Paths are included if a sufficient distance of the route crosses the area. Some shorter trails are included too. I review the sites on the merits of presentation, images, ease of use but mainly on the quality of the route description. The point of a website like this for me is that you are able to read it and then follow the route on a map (and obviously therefore on the ground). Real detailed instructions would be a bonus, but not expected (only one site below manages this) as one would buy a guide if you wanted this information.
Cambrian Way, Wales’s answer to the Pennine Way, without the crowds. Starts in Cardiff and ends in Conwy. This site is for the Cambrian Way Walkers’ Association, and the only ‘official’ site I can find, probably as it is not technically an official national trail. However, this site is under construction and to be honest, not worth visiting but perhaps to keep an eye out for when they do actually finish it. The Ramblers have a brief description of the route, with a list of guide books here. In the meantime, there are two accounts of the Cambrian Way to keep you going. The first is by a guy called George Tod and describes the offical route of the Cambrian Way. The second is Across the Dragon’s Back by Ann Bowker, a route covering all the 610m summits in Wales. The route is also fully online on Mud and Routes at this link.
Offa’s Dyke. Crosses the welsh border area from Prestatyn to Chepstow. This site has the information needed to plan accommodation along the route, and a distance calculator for each of the sections, but no information at all about the route. Guide books are, however, on sale. For a description of the route there are two accounts I have found. Again, George Todd provides an account and somebody called Prof. Walter W. Trimble provides another , well written account; “A walk through History”. This isn’t surprising as the guy is a professor of Journalism and Communication.
Glyndw’rs Way. Mid wales trail to commemorate the wesh hero. Nicely presented site, but unfortunately all the jucy bits you’re after are free leaflets available free from tourist information (dead link). If the leaflets are half as good as the examples for the Anglesey Coastal Path, and put on the site as Acrobat files, then this would be an excellent site. Unfortunately, they haven’t seized the opportunity – yet – and information, other than a factfile and a good overview map, is thin on the ground.
North Wales Path – link dead. The only official site I can find for this route. This isn’t surprising, as the only section of this route that appeals is the section from Bangor to Colwyn Bay, and even that I think misses out on the best route. The site gives a brief overview of the route, and mentions some leaflets available from tourist information – at a cost. If anyone who is involved in the NWP reads this, visit the Anglesey Coastal Path to see how it’s done. I’d imagine the problem with this path is that it crosses many different authorities, and i can imagine they couldn’t agree as to who was to pay for the scheme. The route map is on this link.
Anglesey Coastal Path – I hold this site up as an example of what a Long Distance Footpath website should be like. It is definately the best of the bunch by a long shot. You want a general overview of the site, you got it. You want detailed maps and instructions, you got it. There are downloadable Acrobat PDF files describing each section of the route, plus colour maps in PDF format. You’ll still need the Explorer maps mind, but you wont need a guidebook. Oh, and while it will probably mean little to most reading this, the site is in Welsh too, which gives it extra brownie points. The only reason this site is monoglot is time and resources. Anyone wanna volunteer to translate? (Croeso i chi gynnig eich amser i mi, a roi gysylltiad am ddim i’ch safle neu beth bynnag). This site is also well presented and professionally made, ample use being made of photos of the area.
Clwydian Way – Semi official site, by the Ramblers. You get a rough idea of the route from this site, but they are stingy on the detail as they have a guide for sale for the route. The site is simple, but has an annoying banner at the top for Wannado. However, it does give enough information for the adventurous to allow you to plan your own route, and an accommodation list.
Edge of Wales Walk. – Walk from Clynnog Fawr to Aberdaron, and even Ynys Enlli (Bardlsey). Well, you obviously don’t walk to the latter, but this route includes a bimble round the island if the ferry’s running. Some nice pics, but the site is let down with its route description. Understandably, as these guys are trying to establish a business to porter your bags about, so you can understand they only give this information to customers. So the website falls down on this point for me as I am reviewing the sites on the merits listed above.
Lleyn Coastal Path. The area’s newst waymarked trail, and Gwynedd Council have provided a highly informative website on the path. You can download .pdf files with OS maps of the route, allowing you to easily plan your route.
The only other route left is the Dyfi Valley Way. But as I cannot find any information other than this on the Ramblers site again, no comment. It’s another buy a book job i’m afraid. V-G Walks have an account of the walk, including pics, maps and directions. It’s a reasonable guide to the trail, with some sections of text added for interest, but I haven’t the knowledge of the specific area to comment on the accuracy of the route description.
There’s also t the Meirionethshire Coastal Path. I’ll update as soon as i’ve found some information on this.
While searching for an icon for the Cambrian Way, I found this site for another walk, The St Davids Walk, from St David’s to Bangor. Makes me even more determined to devise my own route that starts or finishes in Caernarfon!
Two more additions. The Monks Trod is a short trail in Mid Wales. Though there is no official website, the article gives some information about it (LINK DEAD! Gutted when people update their sites and don’t think about the resources lost). It is an ancient track, under threat from petrolheads. It starts at Ystrad Fflyr and finishes at Abbey Cwm Hir.
The Four Valleys Way is a local footpath devised by Gwynedd County Council and is a low route that starts in Bethesda and crossed from one valley to the next, until we reach Penygroes. The original link is now dead..
And of course, there’s my own suggestion of an Eryri Way that forms a circular LDP along with the Llyn Coastal Path. It is of the same technical difficulty as the LlCP, so it tends to avoid the high summits but giving excellent views of them along the way.