Starting from the scenic market town of Machynlleth, this stunning hike will take you to the summit of Cadair Idris before ending in the gorgeous coastal town of Barmouth.
As you begin your journey from the centre of the town, follow the main road out of town heading towards to Dyfi Bridge. Follow the road left for a few hundred metres before turning right and joining the Coastal Path for a couple of kilometres. The road continues steeply uphill. passing the junction to Bron-Yr-Aur, which you will continue to the left.
The track will eventually become rougher before entering a woodland area. After 400m, you will reach a junction where the track may become less visible. Carry on straight through the wooded area, where you will reach an open hillside, despite being marked as forestry on your OS Map near Pantyspydded. The views here are sensational and should not be missed.
The woodland track hairpins behind an old farmhouse, gradually making your way uphill. The track is eventually replaced by a footpath that will lead you into open hillside. When you reach SH719 054, join the mountain path into the bwlch below Tarren y Gesail.
Follow the route towards Bryn yr Eglwys Quarry along the fence, which should bring you out at a forestry track. Although it may not be on your OS Mao, continue along the track where you’ll find a pair of small cairns, denoting the descent into Pont Llaeron. From here, the path may be difficult to find, but will lead directly to an ancient packhorse bring and Pont Llaeron.
The route down may appear obvious, but actually getting there can be tricky and most likely face a number of pesky diversions before you reach the Bryn Eglwys Quarry. Continue along the track,keep your eyes peeled for the waymarker for the train station, which will lead you down a path to the village of Abergynolwyn. Should you wish to stop for a drink, the Railway Inn has been proven to be popular with a number of hikers.
Once refreshed, continue your journey to Llanfihangel-y-pennant, by taking a bridleway along the river. You’ll eventually pass Castell y Bere as well as a monument to Mary Jones, who famously walked barefoot to Y Bala to buy a bible.
As you pass farms, the track you will start ascending towards the bwlch above Rhiw Gwredydd. The incline may be challenging for some, but the views from there are worth the climb. From here, follow the Pony Path, which will take you directly to Pen y Gadair, the summit of Cadair Idris. Once you’ve taken in the breath taking sites, follow the path back down towards the Tŷ Nant car park.
Head along a minor road, until you reach a footpath at Nant-y-gywyeddail to your right, which will lead you to Llynnau Cregenne. The views here are breathtaking and have been said to be some of the best in Snowdonia.
Take the road heading to Arthog, following the footpath waymarked at SH 655 146, leading you down to the waterfalls and the main road. Cross the field next to the church and continue alongside the river to join a minor road, before joining the Mawddach Trail and heading left.
Once you cross the toll footbridge, you’re on the home stretch to Barmouth and the end of your journey.
This route has been adapted from a user-submitted guide on Mud & Routes in 2015. For more information, please visit