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Close-up of a common blue butterfly perched on a flower stalk at Coombe Hill
Common blue butterfly | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Cwm Tydu to Cwm Soden butterfly walk

This circular route takes you along cliffs from the little bay of Cwm Tydu to Cwm Soden, one of the few sites for the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly in Wales. The walk offers opportunities to spot a variety of other wildlife such as the forester moth, Welsh chafer on the maritime grassland slopes, and the giant lacewing along the shady stream.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Car park behind beach at Cwm Tydu, grid ref: SN356575

Step 1

Facing seaward at Cwm Tydu, bear right and take the footpath up the cliffs, via the kissing gate. The first bit is the most steep but soon becomes more gentle. The path then zig-zags up the steep slope before veering seaward. Follow this main coastal footpath.

Step 2

Go through the second kissing gate and continue to follow the coastal footpath, past the remains of a clifftop Iron Age hillfort, along, and then down to the mouth of Afon Soden at Cwm Silio.

Step 3

Explore the stony storm beach, which seals sometimes use, then cross the wooden footbridge over the stream. Initially bear left, to explore the maritime grassland on the cliffs, with abundant thrift, birdsfoot trefoil and kidney vetch. Then head inland, past the fingerpost, along the main footpath that runs along the lower slope – the bracken stands here are managed specifically for fritillary butterflies. Next, descend into the small pocket of meadowland appearing on your right.

Step 4

Walk over the bridge. You then have two options. Option one is to follow the path straight on and turn right after the second bridge. Option two is to turn left, signed Nanternis, and follow the path into another flowery meadow, at the end of which bear right into a third meadow. Follow the path down through this third meadow, into a fourth small meadow. It will return you to the second bridge.

Step 5

Turn right after the second bridge and head up the wooded lane, again following Cwm Tydu signs to a field gate. Go through the gate and keep to the hedge on the seaward side, where you will walk up the hill through a wildflower meadow. In the top right-hand corner you will reach a kissing gate leading onto a short dirt track – turn right at the end of this into the surfaced lane. You will come to Pen Y Graig house – go through the kissing gate to your right next to the farmhouse, and you will be back on the cliff top above Cwm Silio.

Step 6

After the farmhouse gate, bear immediately left, following the footpath over a minor plank bridge along and down towards the Castell Bach settlement. You'll now know where you are – just bear left back along the coastal footpath to Cwm Tydu.

End point

Car park behind beach at Cwm Tydu, grid ref: SN356575

Trail map

Cwm Tydu to Cwm Soden butterfly walk map
Cwm Tydu to Cwm Soden butterfly walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Exterior of Llanerchaeron with daffodils in bloom, Ceredigion, Wales.


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