Glyndŵr’s Way is one of the quietest National Trails and I’m at a loss to know why. Perhaps it’s the difficulty getting to and from wherever you decide to start or finish. The majority of people would probably divide this stunning trail in to various sections. The circular route which takes in part of Offa’s Dyke Path is 135 miles (217km), starting and finishing at Knighton. This trail was granted National Trail status in 2000.
Here is just a very small insight into Owain Glyndŵr.
Glyndŵr’s Way is named after the late-medieval Welsh leader Owain Glyndŵr. There’s a great deal of mystery surrounding his life. It is thought that at he was born in 1354, a descendant of the Princes of Powys. He studied law in London and in 1383 he returned to Wales. A year later he was called into military service under Richard 11, joining a garrison on the English-Scots border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, returning to Wales in the late 1380’s. In 1400 he declared himself Prince of Wales at Glyndyfrdwy. In 1404 Glyndwr assembled his Parliament at Machynlleth, where the bold ‘Tripartite Indenture’ was drawn up. This proposed a territorial division in which Glyndŵr would control Wales, Edmund Mortimer the South and West of England, while Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, the Midlands and the North of England. Nothing was heard of Glyndŵr after 1412 and it’s believed that he died in 1416.
We’ve been walking this trail in sections and this particular weekend is from Afon Biga to Llanbrynmair with an overnight stay in Machynlleth.
The forecast for the weekend is set to be a scorcher, mindful of that we are all carrying plenty of water, sunscreen, hats and insect repellent. Setting off from Afon Biga, the path leads us through a small section of forest; a very pleasant way to start. It’s not long before we are spoilt with stunning views. It becomes a weekend of ‘Oh’s and Ah’s’ not always down to the views; there are occasional moans due to some fairly steep climbs and consequently steep descents. Saturday was a bit hazy so that hampered views slightly, but as the day went on the visibility got better and better. Views of the mountainous skyline of southern Snowdonia and extensive moorland every which way you turned.
We stop briefly to take in the isolated moorland lake of Glaslyn which is managed as a nature reserve by the Montgomery Wildlife Trust. It’s not long after this that we arrive at the highest point on Glyndŵr’s Way on the southern slopes of Foel Fadian 500m (1640ft). Not a bad spot to stop for lunch.
As we approached Machynlleth the views were breathtaking. Once in the town centre the impressive Castlereagh Memorial Clock Tower reminds us that it is well past ‘beer o’clock’. The perfect end to our first day’s walking.
We were all up bright and early and after a fantastic Welsh breakfast we regrouped and set off for our second day’s walk. Leaving Machynlleth we passed by Parliament House and its not long before we’re out in the open countryside once more. The morning starts out fairly gently but we’re soon ascending once more, over Bryn Wg where we witness the beautiful views across the Dyfi valley and a closer view of southern Snowdonia.
Today was kinder weather wise as there was a pleasant breeze blowing and more cloud cover. The views IMO were even more breathtaking than yesterday, if that’s possible. I would strongly recommend you consider this trail. It really is spectacular. I will certainly be returning 🙂