Grade: moderate to severe, mostly on forest tracks and footpaths with some steep climbs.
Transport links: There are occasional buses between Cwmystwyth and Aberystwyth but you may need to book in advance: see https://bustimes.org.uk/services/CGAT022 and http://www.carlberry.co.uk/rfnshowr.asp?RN=CET22A. There are buses between Ponterwyd and Aberystwyth, and a regular coach service from London Victoria.
See http://www.traveline.cymru for details.
The Cambrian Way goes up Cwm Glas from the centre of Cwmystwyth but it is very wet and boggy underfoot. The Ceredigion CC route recommends going back to SN 7892 7398 and turning up the hill then taking a long diversion to the east. The side road is quiet and it's simpler to walk along the road.
At SN 7908 7515 take the waymarked footpath to the left to cut across the angle of the roads. When you reach the next road turn right then left immediately and follow the waymarks across the moor and into the forest. The path is very wet and boggy underfoot but well stiled and waymarked with footbridges across most of the streams (much of the work done by students of the Institute of Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University).
Cross two forest roads then at SN 7806 7609 bear right on the forest road from Gelmast.
At SN 7774 7621 follow the waymarked track up to the left. This climbs quite steeply and cuts across more forest roads then down a steep and very boggy slope. The section from about 774 770 to 772 775 has been badly damaged by logging. Continue on the same line across another forest road, down to a clearing and across a footbridge.
At SN 7707 7776 you leave the Pontrhydfendigaid-Pontarfynach route which goes down the Mynach valley. Head for the far left corner of the field.
At SN 7698 7787, down in the dip is a bridge, then steep steps up the far bank. Turn right on the forest road then left almost immediately up a VERY steep stony path. This is a punishing climb but you are rewarded as the views open up. (You can take an easier climb by continuing along the forest road and cutting back, but you have to make the climb eventually and it adds a mile to the day.)
At SN 7685 7863 (the top of the ridge) you leave the forest and follow the track down through Tymawr farm. Turn left on the main road (care needed here – the road is fast and quite narrow) and Ysbyty Cynfyn church is on your right.
Follow the lane north of the church down into the valley. Cross Pontbren Offeiriad (Parson’s Bridge) and walk up the far bank.
At SN 7452 7913 turn right to head for Ponterwyd. Follow the path which contours round above the crags and down a line of waymarking posts to cross the stream below Bryn-bras Farm. Go through the farmyard and follow the farm lane to the main road. To your left are the Llywernog silver mines and mining museum. To your right is Ponterwyd — shops, pubs, accommodation.
|Cwmystwyth to Ponterwyd|