Llanwrtyd Wells: St David's Walk
Distance: 12.5 miles
Duration: 3 hours.
Take stout waterproof boots.
Suitable for fit fairly experienced walkers.
Not suitable for pets, wheelchairs or prams.
Leave the town on Victoria Road (next to St James Church) in a north-westerly direction. After about 400m turn right under the trees down a small lane. Follow the track and eventually you will pass a R.S.P.B. bird hide above you on the left. Red Kite are fed between October and Easter in the field to your right. You may get a very close view of the bird during this time. Follow the track through Dolgoy’s yard, making sure to close the gates, and follow the track by the river for about ½km. Follow the path through the field and into the trees via a gate and onto the lane passing the Victoria Wells log cabin motel on your left. The motel is housed in the former wells, opened originally in 1897.
Continue on the lane parallel to the river, across a cattle grid, past the houses to a gate. Follow the path through the field and gates until you see some low tin sheds in the corner of the field. Go through the gate to the left of the sheds and onto a small lane (please ensure you close all the gates through these fields). Turn right and cross a small bridge.
Follow the lane on to old Llanwrtyd and visit St. David’s Church (Pic 1). A Church has existed on this site for about 1400 years. Inside you will see a Celtic Cross and a statue of St. David carved in wood. Here, both the Reverend Theophilus Evans and the Reverend William Williams of ‘Pant-yr-Celyn’ preached as vicar and curate respectively.
After leaving the church turn to face it once more, then turn left on the lane and head up the hill keeping the car park on your left. After a while you will pass Dinas farm on your left. Follow the track through the woods and bare left where the path splits into two. Continue on through a few gates and at the waymarker turn right through a gate into a field. Climb the path up hill at the edge for 400m. Go through the gate at the top and turn immediately left, following the fence line for about 1½km with Cwm Henog farm below you on the left. At the end of this track go through the gate and turn right up the hill. Enter the forest and follow the track very steeply uphill through the trees for about 1½km. As the path levels off it divides, you should take the right hand fork and after 100m the track turns at a right angle. Follow this (often very boggy) fire break straight for about ¾km until you see the remains of a small wooden shack on your left (Pic 2). Follow the forestry track and after 100m turn left uphill along another track, which will eventually head gently down hill for the next 3km with occasional magnificent views on your right overlooking the Irfon Valley (Pic 3).
Eventually you will come down to a road with the Irfon River below you (Pic 4). Turn right with the river on your left and continue along this lane for about 1½km. Turn left for Pen-y-bont Farm and cross the bridge. Bear right through the farm yard passing through two gates. As you enter the field turn immediately left and follow a faint track up hill to a stile and a gate into the woods. Turn immediately right along a small path through the trees for about 1km. Cross the stile and continue to cross two small streams, following a sheep path to the corner of the field. Keeping the fence on your right follow the path as it drops gently down hill (Pic 5). At the track at the bottom of the hill bare left and follow the farm track for the next 3km through farms and past cottages with the River Irfon running on your right.
Eventually you will reach a lane, to your right is the old village and St David’s Church. Bear left and carry straight on for about ½km, then follow the path that leads off the lane to your right and takes you down towards the river. Pass the bridge, keeping the river to your right and go through a small kissing gate. As you enter Dol-y-Coed Park you will see a dome shaped building at the rear of the pump house to your left. Here the sulphur spring was hermetically sealed in a massive marble and mosaic circular pedestal covered with a disc of plate glass. The springs were first discovered by Theophilus Evans who claimed to have discovered, the healing properties “Ffynon Droellwyd” (the Stinking Well), when suffering from scurvy.
Continue on past the Doel-y-Coed Hotel, which was once the centre of leisure boasting an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts and bowling greens. At the lane bear right and follow the road back to Llanwrtyd Wells.