Llyn Alwen in winter

Routes in the North

High-level alternative to Cymmer to Basingwerk

(Warning: this route may not be as well waymarked and maintained as the coast route. You will need the 1:25,000 maps, the ability to use a compass and some experience as a walker.)

Our original route from Cymmer to Conwy followed the line of Sarn Helen past Dolwyddelan then cut down through the Gwydir Forest to Llanrwst. From here, a route devised by John Bemington of the Conwy Ramblers took us down river to Maenan (the eventual home of the monks from Conwy) and along footpaths and side roads to Conwy. The high-level alternative continues on the line of Sarn Helen up the west side of the Conwy Valley,past the Gwydir forest lead mines and the lovely medieval church of Llanrhychwyn. From Conwy it goes back up river to Maenan then over the hills past Llyn Brenig to Llanrhaiadr in the Vale of Clwyd and along the Pilgrim Way from St David's to Holywell.

We like this route. Part of it is on old hollow ways and part goes over rough open moorland with no obvious trackway and wonderful views. You need to take a compass and know how to use it. Even the map is of limited help. It marks old stone walls (often barely visible under turf) and old fences but not the new fences which now enclose the sheepwalks. Keep checking your bearings with the compass, especially on the stretch over the pass south of Gwytherin.

Most of the route follows or shadows the traditional way taken by pilgrims from Holywell to Gwytherin.



High-level alternative to Cymmer to Basingwerk

Dolwyddelan to Trefriw

Along the Roman road and through the Gwydir Forest

Trefriw to Conwy

Over the mountains to the west of the Conwy valley

Conwy to Maenan

Back down the Conwy valley

Maenan to Gwytherin

Through the lanes to St Winifred's monastery

Gwytherin to Llyn Brenig

Over the moors, along medieval trackways and new paths round modern reservoirs

Llyn Brenig to Llanrhaiadr

Through the forest and some picturesque villages to the stunnig church at Llanrhaiadr

Llanrhaiadr to Llandyrnog

Visit the beautiful medieval churches of the Vale of Clwyd.

Llandyrnog to Afon-wen

In the footsteps of medieval pilgrims across the Clwydian range

Afon-wen to Basingwerk

Over the rolling hills of Flintshire to the place of Winifred's 'martyrdom'.

Places to visit along this route


© Cistercian Way / Privacy Policy