Abergwesyn Commons – Walk on the Wild Side

October 2, 2015

There are few places in the UK where you can get a real feeling of remoteness (surprisingly hard on these highly populated islands), and Abergwesyn Commons is one of those places.

Set in mid-Wales, Abergwesyn Commons is an expanse of hills, valleys, peat moorland, streams, and woods.  It spans twelve miles from Llanwrthwl in the east over to the Nant Irfon valley in the west. (See OS Grid Reference SN854527).

If you want to bag its summit head for Drygarn Fawr, but don’t worry if you’re not up to a lot of hill climbing as you can walk a long way along the ridge on relatively level ground.

Drygarn Fawr is one of the highest points in Mid-Wales, rising to 645 metres above sea level.

The summit of Dragarn Fawr. Photo: Nigel Brown (CC2.0)

It should be repeated that this is a peat bog moorland, so perhaps something to avoid if it has been very wet.

Llanwrthwl Horseshoe Walk

There are a number of walks over different terrain within Abergwesyn.

The National Trust manage the area and have produced a 10 mile walk that is  fairly challenging.

You can get the Llanwrthwl Horseshoe walk instructions here.

Mountain Biking

Biking is also permitted on the Common. The National Trust have produced some information here.


The area of the Commons is an ancient grazing site, and there are many archeological features, including Bronze Age settlements.

Nearby you can find Fforest Castle.  Now nothing more than a ditch and bank on a hill, it is most likely a medieval stronghold, or possibly a hunting lodge (forest was a term to describe an area set aside for hunting and not woodland).

Typical of the Welsh Marches, other castles are nearby: Woodcastle Castle and Llandovery Castle.

Getting to Abergwesyn Commons

Not far from Builth Wells or Rhayder, the eastern end is accessed from the A470.

Put LD5 4TP into your Sat Nav to get to Abergwesyn Village.

There’s also an interesting nearby drive (if you’re up to it).  Head to Nant Irfon valley and take the steep road over the Devil’s Staircase.

Called the Abergwesyn Pass, it is along the route of an old drovers trail, and goes for about 20 miles from Abergwesyn village to Tregar.

This has a 1 in 4 gradient, and many hair pin bends.  Not something to do with a caravan or car full of camping gear! (Mind you, Sat Nav took us to a few of those in Devon….but that’s another story!)

What’s in the area?

[geo_mashup_map map_content=’global’ zoom=’12’]


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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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