Visitor looking out over the valley at Hafod

A historical 18th century picturesque landscape combing forests, rocky gorges and spectacular views of the Welsh countryside near Aberystwyth.

A Welsh historical gem

Created by its most celebrated owner, Thomas Johnes, the grounds of Hafod were designed in line with the picturesque principles popular at the time. Circular walking routes around the two hundred hectare estate were designed so that visitors could enjoy the Welsh landscape and an ever-changing sequence of views. 

Hafod was a must-see destination for early tourists to Wales, including those completing the Grand Tour - an educational tour customary amongst aristocratic young men in the 18th century. Some brought an artist with them to record the scenes, while other visitors captured the experience in their own sketches and travel diaries.  

Hafod continues to attract creatives and those wanting to experience its heritage and natural beauty today. Dotted with monuments and listed buildings, Hafod contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is rich in biodiversity, being home to an array of plants and wildlife such as otters, pine martens and buzzards.

Mossy Seat Falls at Hafod

Walking trails

Waymarked from the car park are five trails of varying length and terrain, free for you to access all year around. They include two historic circular routes created by Thomas Johnes in his first years at Hafod - the strenuous Gentleman’s Walk and the gentler Lady’s Walk. Taking you past Picturesque features like the Rustic Bridge and Mossy Seat Falls. You can also visit the church, Eglwys Newydd, built by Johnes in 1803 and the only substantial structure surviving from that time. Today it is home to an exhibition about the history of the estate.

Visitor information

Opening times

All year round, from dawn to dusk.

How to get here

Hafod is 15 miles south east of Aberystwyth.
Directions via Google Maps.   

By car
Take the A4120 from Aberystwyth towards Devil's Bridge. Follow the brown and white signs from Devil’s Bridge via the B4574 to the car park. 

By train 
Train station in Aberystwyth.

Facilities and access

  • Temporary toilets available in main car park (next to church) - including temporary disabled toilets. 
  • There are stiles, steep ground and steps on all of the waymarked walking trails.
  • There are disabled parking spaces at the Estate Office's and Mrs Johnes Flower Garden, follow the signs from the forest entrance on the B4574. From Mrs Johnes Flower Garden , you can access the flower garden and a riverside picnic site.
  • There are picnic areas in the main car park, the mansion site and by the river on the Lady’s Walk.
  • Dogs must be kept on leads around livestock and in the gardens, but can be off leads under control in the woodlands.

Additional information

  • Natural Resources Wales retain the management of the working forest for woodland management.. 
  • Cavern Cascade cave is closed due to safety reasons.
" A ‘historical hidden gem’ landscape in Mid Wales to connect people and nature "
- Lhosa Daly