logo Walking Britain

Cambrian Mountains Walk
Plynlimon from Esteddfa Gurig

Region - Cambrian Mountains

County/Area - Ceredigion

Author - Peter Lane

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km    Ascent - 1100 feet / 333 metres

Time - 3 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SN799841
Lat 52.441629 // Long -3.768327
Postcode SY23 3LE (approx. location only)
what3words start belonging.apes.positive

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 213Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 213Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 135Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 135Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Plynlimon from Esteddfa Gurig

Plynlimon is the highest point in mid-Wales and also the high plateau watershed from which two major rivers: the Severn and the Wye derive their source. A wild and barren place, its desolation belies its relative accessibility. This spectacular walk across barren wilderness affords panoramic views that more than rival Snowdonia, with the added bonus that practically nobody will be there to spoil your enjoyment of it. This walk is a serious undertaking suitable only for experienced hill walkers comfortable with finding routes across trackless wilderness. This route should not be attempted in poor visibility due to a lack of defined paths and landmarks on the high plateau. It is also recommended that the 1:25,000 Explorer map be used. The ground in this area can be boggy and treacherous, so poles are recommended for testing the ground ahead.

The start point for this walk is in the hamlet of Esteddfa Gurig at grid reference SN796840. The nearest roadside parking is up the A44 at SN799841. Although this requires a 300 metre walk to the start point, this is the most accessible parking. Enter the farmyard at the fingerpost and pass by a cage most likely filled with barking dogs. All the dogs were caged or tethered when I passed by, but be prepared just in case with a stick or pole. A metal gate marked "All Walks" at the time of writing ahead takes you to the side of a stream. Follow this along a well defined path initially going West and then turning North after a short while all the way up to some derelict mine workings.

Just before reaching the mine workings, the path turns off left (watch out for the waymark). The path deteriorates into little more than a sheep track in a very short space of time. Once you get close to the summit, the path becomes more distinct and cairns guide you to the summit of Pumlumon Fawr. A ladder stile crosses the fence and a dry stone walled refuge and trig point populate the summit. The views are truly magnificent and extend 360 degrees. It is worth exploring a little trying to find other viewpoints before returning by the same route to the start.



Other walks nearby

Walk 1102 Plynlimon and Nant-y-Moch Reservoir - hard - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 2048 Craig-y-Pistyll, Cambrian Mountains - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 3086 Pen y Garn from The Arch near Devil's Bridge - easy/mod - 6.8 miles/11.1 km

Walk 1705 Circular from Bont-goch (near Aberystwyth) - easy/mod - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 2736 Teifi Pools from near Strata Florida - easy/mod - 6.2 miles/10.1 km

Walk 1365 Strata Florida to Tregaron - moderate - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 1420 Coast from Borth to Aberystwyth - easy/mod - 6.5 miles/10.6 km

Walk 3297 Crugyn Ci, Esgair Perfedd & Penygarreg - Elan Valley - moderate - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 1363 The Elephant Walk from Tregaron - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3317 A short walk from Happy Valley - easy - 4.2 miles/6.8 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Ceredigion and Snowdonia Coast Paths

The Ceredigion and Snowdonia Coast PathsA walking guidebook to the Cleveland Way and Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trails, plus the Tabular Hills Walk. Crossing the North York Moors National Park, coastal scenery and quiet countryside, the three routes can be joined to create an easy circular route of over 250 miles (400km). Includes a 1:25,000 scale OS map booklet of the Cleveland Way.
More information

The Wales Coast Path

The Wales Coast PathA single guidebook to walking the whole Wales Coast Path - 1400km (870 miles) the length of Wales from Chester to Chepstow, including Anglesey, described in 57 stages. The route passes through the Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire National Parks and many AONBs and can be linked with the Offa's Dyke Path for a complete circuit of Wales.
More information

Map and Compass

Map and CompassAn instructive guidebook explaining map and compass techniques, to help readers enhance their outdoor experiences. Whether you are experienced in map-reading, or have never used a compass before, this guidebook will sharpen your skills and have you exploring new areas in no time. There are also tips for GPS and digital mapping technologies.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.