Two Valleys - Llangynog to Pistyll Rhaeadr

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk and have an active subscription. Please join, or log in above if you are already a member.

This part of Wales tends to get overlooked in the clamour to get to Snowdonia, but that's fine by me, since it remains as unspoilt as it is beautiful. The Berwyn Hills, peaking at just over 800m, don't quite count as 'proper' mountains, but being a little bit closer to England, still present us English with an excellent option for a quick dash into the hills for a day out. Or longer: it's a good base for a holiday and this is only one of many good walks within easy reach.

The Tanat Valley is flat and green, glacial in origin and fed by three deeply-glaciated valleys cut into the Berwyn Ridge: Cwm Pennant, Cwm LlĂȘch and Cwm Rhiwarth. Llangynog is named after St Cynog, a fifth-century prince, although the remains of an Iron Age settlement on Craig Rhiwarth suggest the area was populated well before then. The village is dominated (as is much of the walk) by the sheer bulk of Craig Rhiwarth, which still shows evidence of the lead and slate mining that once supported the community. From the car park can be seen the remains of an inclined-plane ropeway up the almost-sheer side; and all along the escarpment are streams of scree, marking mine entrances that would once have meant prosperity to the area. There was once a railway linking the village and the mine with Oswestry and although the station has long since disappeared, the course of the track can still be seen along the river valley.

After leaving the Tanat Valley, the walk is mainly through open-access land, along well-made tracks that would have served the mine workings; there are several mine entrances along the way, now long-abandoned. Gradients are reasonably uniform, apart from a couple of steep stretches, one just before the summit on the way over and the other between the bottom and top of Pistyll Rhaeadr.

The waterfall at Pistyll Raeadr is one of the highest in Europe, with a drop of over seventy metres and is one of Wales's finest spots. It has a car park for those who prefer not to arrive on foot and serves as a starting point for other fine walks along the Berwyn Ridge. Watch for kingfishers and dippers along the river valleys and listen for woodpeckers and ravens. Watch out for raptors too - buzzards, red kites, kestrels and possibly a glimpse of a peregrine near the ramparts of Craig Rhiwarth.

Wales - Mid Wales - Powys - Berwyn


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Pub, Public Transport, River, Toilets, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland
5/7/2019 - Julius Mach

Walk completed in May 2019. Some gates more dilapidated, others recently new. Cafe liable to shut early if little custom and menu may be restricted. On the day we walked (Tuesday after bank holiday) it was just soup, sandwiches and jacket potatoes. Toilet in cafe car park needed 20p coin; turnstile would also take larger denominations but give no change.

5/7/2019 - Julius Mach

In the additional info note 1 it still states that there is no footbridge. There is a footbridge as stated in waymark 14.

7/16/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Andrew McKechnie for his new photos for this walk. July 2012. Adrian (Admin)

3/31/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Sandra Clarke for her update for this walk. March 2012. Adrian (Admin)

8/20/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Our thanks to Andrew McKechnie for his update for this walk. August 2011. Adrian (Admin)

8/3/2011 - Sue Dockerill

Excellent walk. There is now a new wooden footbridge crossing the river at waymark 14

Walkingworld members near this walk

Distance away
28.6 Miles