A relatively easy 3 mile walk beginning from St Gwrthwl's Church in Llanwrthwl (Grid ref: SN 970 638), mostly along tarmac lanes, crossing the River Elan where it meets the River Wye, and finishing at St Bride's Church at Cwmdeuddwr, just south west of Rhayader.
Walking & Cycling
Llanwrthwl to Cwmdeuddwr Walk
St Gwrthwl’s Church, Llanwrthwl
A late Victorian building on a 4,000 year old site with large sacrificial stone. The font is 13th century, possibly from Abbey Cwmhir. The valley leads up to the original abandoned village. The area abounds in bronze age cairns, standing stones and circles. Legends surround Carn Gafallt, named for King Arthur’s hound, Saith Maen, seven maidens turned to stone by St Gwrthwl for dancing on Sunday and Drygarn Fawr and Gamriw with their massive cairns. Little is known of St Gwrthwl, “The Confessor” who could have founded his church in the 5th or 6th Centuries with connections with Vortigern or St David and St Afan. His saint’s day is the 2nd March. Of note is Penuel URC Chapel to the South dating from 1832
Eglwys Sant Gwrthwl, Llanwrthwl
Adeilad o’r cyfnod Fictoraidd diweddar ar safle 4,000 mlwydd oed gyda charreg aberthol fawr. Mae’r bedyddfaen yn perthyn i’r drydedd ganrif ar ddeg, o bosibl o Abaty Cwmhir. Mae’r dyffryn yn arwain i fyny at y pentref gwreiddiol sydd bellach yn anghyfannedd. Mae llu o garneddau, meini hirion a chylchoedd o’r oes efydd yn yr ardal. Mae chwedlau yma sy’n gysylltiedig â Charn Gafallt, a enwyd ar ôl ci’r Brenin Arthur; Saith Maen, saith o forynion a gafodd eu troi’n garreg gan Sant Gwrthwl am ddawnsio ar Ddydd Sul a Drygarn Fawr a Gamriw gyda’u carneddau enfawr. Ychydig sy’n wybyddus am Sant Gwrthwl, ‘Y Cyffeswr’ a allai fod wedi sylfaenu ei eglwys yn y 5ed neu’r 6ed ganrif ac a oedd â chysylltiadau gyda Gwrtheyrn neu Ddewi Sant a Sant Afan. Dydd y nawddsant hwn yw 2 Mawrth. Mae Eglwys Ddiwygiedig Unedig Penuel a leolir i’r De ac sy’n dyddio o 1832 yn werth ei nodi.
St Brides Church, Cwmdeuddwr
Dedicated to St Bride which reflects the presence of a sacred well just outside the churchyard, which is a prehistoric circular site . It was here that Lord Rhys, the Welsh prince called together a gathering in the 13th century to present the vast area of the Elynedd to the monks of Strata Florida. The common of Cwmdauddwr Grange provided food for Rayader Castle. These ancient areas still exist in designated commons and sheepwalks. The present Church is Victorian but has some interesting plaques from Nantgwillt Church which was submerged when the Elan Valley dams were built in the late 19th Century. One of these commemorates the fact that Emmeline Lewis-Lloyd, who was a pioneering Alpininist, was the 8th woman to climb Mont Blanc. The Church has a very fine ironwork rood screen.
Eglwys Santes Bride, Cwmdeuddwr
Mae’r eglwys hon, a gyflwynwyd i’r Santes Bride, yn nodi presenoldeb ffynnon gysegredig yn union y tu allan i’r fynwent, lle sy’n safle cylchol cyn-hanesyddol. Yma y galwodd yr Arglwydd Rhys, y tywysog Cymreig, gasgliad o bobl ynghyd yn y drydedd ganrif ar ddeg i gyflwyno ardal enfawr Elynedd i fynachod Ystrad Fflur. Roedd tir comin Plasty Cwmdeuddwr yn darparu bwyd ar gyfer Castell Rhaeadr. Mae’r ardaloedd hynafol hyn yn dal i fodoli o fewn tiroedd comin a ffriddoedd dynodedig. Mae’r Eglwys bresennol yn perthyn i oes Fictoria ond y mae yma blaciau diddorol o Eglwys Nantgwyllt a gafodd ei boddi pan adeiladwyd cronfeydd dŵr Cwm Elan yn niwedd y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg. Mae un o’r rhain yn coffau’r ffaith mai Emmeline Lewis-Lloyd, a oedd yn un o’r gwragedd cyntaf i ymddiddori yn yr Alpau, oedd yr wythfed ddynes i ddringo Mont Blanc. Mae gan yr Eglwys groglen wych iawn o waith haearn.
Lon Las Cymru National Cycle Route 8
Lon Las Cymru National Cycle Route 8
The 240 mile jewel in Wales’s cycle-touring crown, weaving a scenic route from Anglesey (in North Wales) to the Bristol Channel, passing through some magnificent Mid Wales landscapes along the way. Known as the Lon Las Cymru fully open and signed between Cardiff and Holyhead (Anglesey) via Brecon, Builth Wells, Machynlleth, Porthmadog and Bangor.
The route is described here from Cardiff to Holyhead but is signed in both directions. Opened in 1995, the route runs down the whole length of Wales and is one of the toughest of all the long distance routes on the National Cycle Network, tougher even than the famous Sea to Sea (C2C). As such it represents an excellent challenge for anyone looking for a spectacular 5-7 day ride.
The route is currently 257 miles long.
1. Cardiff to Llanidloes
The Lôn Las Cymru (South) cycle route starts or finishes in either Cardiff Bay (National Route 8) or Chepstow (National Route 42 - this option joins National Route 8 at Glasbury). Route 8 follows the mainly traffic-free Taff Trail (pdf) between Cardiff and Brecon and then rolling country lanes through Mid Wales, following the approximate course of the River Wye north from Glasbury. Glasbury to Holyhead also forms part of EuroVelo 2.
2. Llanidloes to Holyhead
The Lôn Las Cymru (North) climbs steadly out of Llanidloes following the upper valley of the River Severn to the highest point on National Route 8 at 510m before dropping down to Machynlleth. There are two route options between Machynlleth and Porthmadog. A more coastal route includes the Mawddach Trail between Dolgellau and Barmouth and takes in Harlech, whilst the inland route passes through Dolgellau, Coed-y-Brenin Forest and Trawsfynydd. The routes rejoin at Penrhydeudraeth and continue to Caernarfon on the Lôn Eifion trail and then to Bangor on the Lôn Las Menai. After crossing the Menai Strait via the Menai Suspension Bridge onto Anglesey the route follows quiet roads across the island to Holyhead.
Cwmdeuddwr Wildlife Walk
A circular walk from the old station yard car park to the Groe Park and back via St. Brides Church. A distance of 1 mile / 1.5 kilometres that takes about an hour to enjoy. Parts of the walk suitable for wheelchairs and push chairs are marked on the downloadable map. The more you stop, look and listen the more you will see!
Rhayader has a wonderful variety of wild plants and animals living among its building, parks and gardens. The fast flowing, boulder strewn river Wye passes right through the town forming a very important natural corridor along which wildlife travels, enriching the town for the enjoyment of everyone. This walk is part of a series of three walks to help you explore the variety and beauty of the wildlife on our doorstep.
Ysfa to Llanwrthwl Walk
This 3 mile walk beginning from St Mark's Church (Grid Ref: SN 991 644), follows forest and farm tracks and crosses the River Wye to reach Llanwrthwl.
St Mark’s Church, Ysfa
A Victorian Church built of stone with brick interior between 1870 and 1871. Its main claim to fame is that the first stone was laid by Revd Kilvert, the diarist, in 1871 and his diaries describe the opening which was somewhat lively due to children playing in the lime and the wind blowing it on to the gathering, smarting their eyes. There was also something of a commotion in the tent resulting in it being torn. There is a beautiful Victorian model of the Church inside. The church is said to have been built by the local gentry for worship by their servants.
Eglwys Sant Mark, Ysfa
Eglwys Fictoraidd a adeiladwyd rhwng 1870 a 1871. Mae’r eglwys wedi’i hadeiladu o gerrig gyda briciau ar y tu mewn. Mae’r eglwys yn enwog oherwydd gosodwyd y garreg gyntaf gan y Parch Kilvert, y dyddiadurwr, ym 1871. Mae ei ddyddiaduron yn disgrifio’r agoriad a oedd braidd yn fywiog oherwydd i’r plant chwarae yn y calch a chwythodd y gwynt y calch ar y dyrfa gan losgi eu llygaid. Cafwyd hefyd rhywfaint o gynnwrf yn y babell a chafwyd ei rhwygo yn ystod y digwyddiad. Mae model Fictoraidd hardd o’r Eglwys y tu mewn. Dywedir bod yr eglwys wedi cael ei hadeiladu gan y bonedd lleol fel lle addoli ar gyfer eu gweision a’u morwynion.
Gilfach Nature Reserve
Visitor centre – phone for opening times and event details: watch for butterflies, otters and leaping salmon, explore habitats rich in rare and fascinating wildlife, guided wildlife walks and talks.
See more here.
Gilfach is a traditional Radnorshire hill farm that has remained unimproved since the 1960's. Radnorshire Wildlife Trust purchased the farm back in 1988 and with fantastic support from volunteers, spent the next few years renovating the longhouse and barn; restoring the ancient field boundaries and developing a management plan that puts wildlife at its heart.
The farm is registered as an organic holding and is entered in the Tir Gofal agri-environment scheme and the Better Woodlands for Wales scheme. A local farmer works in partnership with us to manage the land for conservation, grazing it using traditional breeds like Welsh black cows and local Welsh mountain-cross sheep. Currently there are some black, horned sheep that look more like goats! These are a black Welsh Mountain/Hebridean cross.
The freehold of this 410 acre (166 ha) reserve was purchased in 1988 with very generous donations from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Countryside Commission, World Wide Fund for Nature, Oakdale Trust, W.A. Cadbury Charitable Trust and many other charitable trusts and individuals.