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Cwm Pennant & Cyrniau Nod / 1 day / 15 miles (24km)

Outline Map → Map

Start / Finish: Llangynog. Car park.
Maps: Explorer 239 Lake Vyrnwy.

Day 1Cwm Pennant & Cyrniau Nod15 miles / 2200 feet (24km / 670m)

We have documented this walk from our archives to demonstrate a point.
Alan Dawson's book 'The Relative Hills of Britain' contains a discussion of the 'most boring hills of Britain', and Cyrniau Nod is shortlisted as a candidate for Wales. Though amusing, it is also a bit saddening. We are more inclined to the view we saw expressed somewhere that there is really no such thing as a boring hill, only boring people, and that under the right conditions any hill has something to offer. It may be a grim prospect in mist and rain, but then so are most hills, and on sunny holiday weekends when all and sundry come out of the woodwork, the peace and solitude can be reward enough. On this day trip though, we fared a lot better than that.

Update: 07 Jul 2004

** The path along the SW side of Blaen y Cwm that leads past Pistyll Cablyd is no longer possible as a through route - there are new signs erected barring access through the property **. This is shown on the outline map by a red 'X'. To visit the Pistyll Blaen-w-cwm waterfall, you must now use the permissive path along the NE side and return the same way. This path is gained via the bridleway from the road, which itself has been diverted and leaves the road further SE than shown on the Explorer map, about halfway between the farm buildings at the road-end and the car park at Pennant Melangell.

Day 1 - Cwm Pennant & Cyrniau Nod

From Llangynog we took the lane W on the N side of the valley and forked R on the bridleway that climbs the side of Y Gribin and zigzags down to the track to Pennant Melangell and rejoins the lane. Further on where the lane ends, a farm track heads L to a footbridge at Pistyll Cablyd, an attractive waterfall, and a path continues NW into the delightful Blaen y Cwm where more waterfalls tumble down. Crossing the cwm a good path leads back SE contouring Moel Blaen-y-cwm. When the buildings came back into view we turned L steeply uphill to join a smooth grassy track ascending gently back NW to reach the top of the falls. Veering W the path vanished as we started the trek to Cyrniau Nod. We have noticed that this area has occasional mown tracks that come and go from year to year, but we found none on this crossing and it was hard work through the tussocks and heather. However the conditions compensated for that in spades. Under a cloudless sky, the whole area was ablaze with vibrant pinks and purples and the air was filled with scent and the buzzing of bees. Unusually for late summer, the air was also very clear and the summit is a great viewpoint for distant mountains, a characteristic it shares with its neighbour Foel Cwm Sian Llwyd. All the major mountain groups of Snowdonia stood out clearly while closer to hand the Clwydian hills were prominent. To the S and E the Malvern ridge and Peckforton hills were etched against the background and the Shropshire hills could be seen. Unfortunately we had no camera to capture this rare magic, and we relaxed here for some time with nobody around for miles. Boring?. Anyone who thinks this is boring is in serious need of a soul transplant.
Descending SW along the tiny reedy stream of Nant Cyrnia Nod we picked up a good sheep path that climbs to the ridge near the summit of Cefn Gwyntog. From here we followed a sort of loose track of chippings E to the head of the Afon Cedig where a faint intermittent path on the L side picks its way along the wet reedy bank. On reaching the Nant y Fuwch Foel we veered E to Llyn y Mynydd and joined the track which leads down the valley below Rhyd y Felin to the lane that took us back to Llangynog.