Ysbyty Ifan and Cwm Eidda walk
Ysbyty Estate, Conwy, SnowdoniaRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Go up into the hills on an old drovers' road, taking in wonderful views of Dyffryn Conwy and the Carneddau mountains.
- Bus stop
Start: Ysbyty Ifan car park, grid ref: SH842488
Go out of the car park to the road, turn left and then almost immediately right onto the lane between the almshouses and the tall trees. Carry straight on up this lane, through two gates, until you reach a tarmac road. This was one of the main drovers roads through North Wales, used to walk livestock to markets in England from as far away as the Llyn Peninsula.
Turn right and follow the road up to the brow of the hill. If the weather is clear; youll have wonderful views from here down the Conwy valley and across to Moel Siabod and the Carneddau mountains.
Follow the tarmac road, ignoring the road that turns down to the right, and carry on round the hillside to the left. Go through a gate across the road, cross over a large stone bridge and carry straight on where the tarmac changes to a stony track.
Cross the next bridge (Pont Rhyd-yr-Halen) and follow the track uphill till you come to a gate. Cross the stile by the gate and walk to the top of the small knoll for a wonderful and unusual view of the Snowdonia mountains.
Part of the old drovers' road at Pont Rhyd yr Halen. This was once one of the busiest drovers' roads in the area until in the 1890s the railway was built to Dolwyddelan which greatly reduced the need to walk stock for miles over the mountains.
Go back to the track. Keeping the fence on your left hand side, turn across the moorland. Go on until you get to a distinct left turn in the fence, then follow the way-markers downhill, bearing slightly right towards a stone wall and gate youll see in the distance. Walk along the track parallel to this wall and go through the gate at the far end. Follow the rough track down the hill until you drop down steeply towards the farm of Eidda Fawr. Just before you reach the cow shed on the left, turn right and skirt the manure store to get to the stile.
Go over the stile and cross the road, then follow the way-markers down the left hand side of the field below the road. Cross the stream at the bottom and head for the far right hand corner of the next field.
Look out for that most evocative bird of prey, the red kite. Red kites in Wales have made an incredible come-back, from just a few pairs in the 1970s to over 600 pairs today. You can tell kites from buzzards by their reddish plumage and forked tail.
Cross a wooden footbridge then head for the top right hand corner of the field. Go through the gate and head for the stile at the top of the field, keeping the stream on your right. Climb over the stile and turn left, through the gate onto a rough track. Follow this till you come to a tarmac road at the top of a farmyard. Follow this road to the left, through a gate and past the next farm. Walk up the hill until youre in sight of a small bridge. Before you reach the bridge, go through the gate that faces you as you walk up the hill. Follow this track.
Cross over the small stream on your left and carry on, following a faint rushy track and then an earth bank.
Follow the way-marker pointing across a track at the top of the hill back towards Ysbyty Ifan. The path follows the left hand side of Coed y Fron, a mixed deciduous woodland. In spring the ground is covered with bluebells, primroses and wood anemones.
Ysbyty Ifan from the track to Cwm Eidda. The village was known as Dolgynwal, but in 1189 the Knights of St John set up a hospice here and since then it became known as Ysbyty Ifan, Ysbyty being the Welsh word for hospital.
When the path reaches the road, turn right and walk back into the village.
The Ysbyty Ifan Estate is the National Trust's largest single estate, with over 20,000 acres (8094ha) of land, 51 farms and 40 cottages.
End: Ysbyty Ifan car park, grid ref: SH842488
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)
- Time: 3 hours to 4 hours
- OS Map: Landranger 116; Explorer 18
Steep hills, stiles, gates, rough tracks. Rather uneven ground, boggy in some parts. Dogs on leads welcome.
- How to get here:
By bus: Limited service Betws-y-Coed to Corwen, see Traveline-Cymru for details
By train: Station at Betws-y-Coed, 7 miles (11km), see Traveline-Cymru for details
By car: From the A5 Betws-y-Coed to Corwen road take the B4407 for approx 2 miles (3.2km). Turn left into the village of Ysbyty Ifan and use car park on the right over the bridge
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