Walking and hiking around Llanbrynmair (near Machynlleth)-great but frustrating!

The countryside to the east of the Dovey Valley (west of Llanbrynmair, east of Machynlleth) looks to have it all for the keen walker. Scenic hills, rolling valleys and impressive vistas combined with the long distance Glyndwr’s Way route sound hard to beat.

But don’t expect an easy time.

First the good news. The Glyndwr’s Way path is a mix of footpaths and bridleways and the sections we sampled were clear, waymarked, accessible and very pleasant. Even the gates worked and reflected the efforts in creating and maintaining a national path. Great stuff.

Now the bad news. The area we sampled is sprinkled with a network of footpaths on the OS map but the story on the ground is completely different. At best the paths are completely unmarked. More often than not there are no stiles, no gates, no paths and no access. The Explorer OS map for the area might as well be fantasy!

In some areas you can even see where farmers have pulled out the old walker-friendly fence and just slapped barbed wire across. Is this payback for having a national trail imposed on them?

Take our advice. Use the Glyndwr’s Way – it’s great. Try the really big obvious bridleways. Do not waste any of your precious leisure time looking for the footpaths!

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