The Berwyn Mountains are situated on the England and Wales Border. The mountains are beautiful, unspoiled and unpopular as most of the north-east region of Wales. This region has some great walking opportunities, but most of it is rarely untouched. This guide covers everything you need to know when visiting the Berwyn Mountains.
About the Berwyn Mountains
The Berwyn ranges are located in the northeast of Wales and stretch from Llangollen in the east to Bala in the west. The highest peak in the range is Cadair Berwyn at 830 metres. In total, there are over 24 peaks, measuring about 600 metres in the range.
The ranges are home to an extensive range of wildlife, particularly birds like the Kingfisher who fish in the streams and rivers in the ranges. The landscape around the range is breath-taking and has some well-hidden gems.
There are two main walks that bring people to this side of Wales. These are the North Berwyn Way and the Dee Valley Way. Both walks showcase a different side of the beauty that the ranges and the larger northeast side offers.
Berwyn Mountains Walks
Most of the walks in and around the Berwyn Mountain are to Cadair Berwyn, which is the highest summit in the range. The most popular walking routes include:
- From Llandrillo – Cwm Llynor – This is an average route that will take about 3.5 hours, has an ascent of 850 metres and a distance of 12km. It’s not an easy path because there’s more boardwalk than good paths. On the positive side, it doesn’t get too bogged down. While on your way to Cadair Berwyn, you also get to bag Cadair Bronwen without losing much time.
- From Llandrillo via Moel Pearce – This is a shorter route. It is 8.5km long, has an ascent of 740metres, and will take you about 3 hours to complete. It uses the same drover’s road as the first route. You miss out on Cadair Bronwen, but you pass through the Bwlch, but you can reach Bwlch Maen Gwynedd using this route or, better yet, use the two routes as a circular walk.
- Cadair Berwyn via Foel Fawr – Through some boggy ground, this route gives you an opportunity to ascent a valley and a broad ridge through Berwyn Range’s western flanks. It takes only 2.5 hours to complete and it’s not the easiest or the most scenic though it has its moments.
Depending on your walking experience, your knack for a challenge and the time you have on your hands, there are numerous walks you can pick up Cadair Berwyn. Each offers a unique experience and exposure to the surrounding nature.
Places to Visit in Berwyn Mountains
There are plenty of places to visit and things to do around the Berwyn Mountains. Making the most of your time while here requires proper planning and understanding of the area.
- Pistyll Rhaeadr – From Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Pistyll Rhaeadr is a quick drive. It has a spectacular must-see waterfall that roars after a heavy downpour. There are also plenty of walks in the area if you’re in the mood for exploring. There’s a small tea room by the waterfall, which is a great place to catch some refreshments. You can walk to the waterfall from Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant or over the top of the Berwyn Mountains from Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceirog.
- Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant – This is a great place to visit by itself, especially when you’re looking to stop for refreshments. There is a small café and a fish and chips shop. Make a point of checking if they will be open when you visit because they are not always open.
- Bala – If you’re looking for some active sports other than walks and trails, Bala is the place for you. It has a lovely lake that hosts plenty of water sports that you can try out.
- Llangollen – This is a hot tourist town. It features steam train rides, canal side-walks and historic houses. Llangollen can get very busy over summer or when the sun is out. Depending on the activities you’re interested in, it might help to do some research before you visit.
- Lake Vyrnwy – Lake Vyrnwy is a great place to have a lakeside picnic. It’s a unique spot and a favourite to many. Some of the activities around the lake include walks, cycling or you can rent a canoe or paddleboard to enjoy the lake. There’s a lot of wildlife watching opportunities as well. While here, make a point to visit the waterfalls at Rhiwargor. If the weather is nice, there is a pool you can take a dip in as well.
- Miller Cerrig – You won’t get many driving roads in this part of Wales. But the Miller Cerrig pass comes highly recommended as a driving road. Before taking on the road, keep in mind that you should have a head for heights. The road runs between Bala and Llangynog.
Places to Stay in the Berwyn Mountains
Berwyn Mountains have plenty to offer. It might help to have an itinerary that spans a few days to allow you to maximise your time here. That means you will need a place to stay. Here are a few excellent and convenient locations.
- Bala and Llangollen – These two are the biggest towns in the northeast. They have an extensive range of shops, restaurants and pubs. They also offer an exquisite range of accommodation options for every visitor ranging from B&Bs, hotels, campsites, and holiday cottages. They are not very close to Berwyn Mountains, and they are often busy.
- Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog – For something that is a walking or cycling distance from Mountain Berwyn, the village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog is perfect. It has a few houses and a mix of farms and hills. It has two historic inns, including a holiday cottage.
- Corwen – this village is a great place to catch a pint. It’s not as busy and has a few small B&B’s, holiday cottages and campsites. It’s a great place if you’re going for that small village vibe.
- Llanrhaeadr-ym–Mochant – A viable alternative to Corwen, this small village has several pubs and basic shopping. There are also some B&Bs here and several other accommodation options.
Berwyn Mountains have plenty to offer to its visitors. Whether you’re coming here to walk and explore or coming to take in scenery and tour, there’s something for you.