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Walking – Llyn Eiddwen

llyn eiddwen source of river aeronLength: 5 Miles

Time: 2 Hours

Start: The Old School, Trefenter

Finish: The Old School, Trefenter

Rating: Medium

This beautiful circular walk takes in the unspoilt landscape surrounding Llyn Eiddwen, the source of the River Aeron. Crossing quiet, picturesque moorland this walk also takes you over the highest point in the county of Ceredigion, providing panoramic views all the way back to Aberystwyth and along the coastline.

To find the start of the walk, follow the map (included below) to the village of Trefenter and upon reaching Trefenter make your way to the Old School buildings marked with a red cross here. You can park your car on the grassland opposite the buildings, just after you have crossed the cattle grid.

1. From the Old School buildings, head back up the road towards the village of Trefenter. Although barely visible on your left hand side, in the field you may see an old moat, which used to surround a mansion house, built in the 1800′s by Augustus Brackenbury and knocked down by unhappy local peasants. The land to your right was common land, farmed by peasants until it was purchased by Brackenbury who stopped the local poor from growing their own food on the land. According to reports from the time, the destroyed two of Brackenbury’s houses in the area, and even held him over a burning fire until he agreed to meet their demands and give some land back to the people.

2. When you reach the crossroads at the edge of the village, follow the road to your right, and continue to follow it round past the remains of an old poor house on your right, as it winds up to the top of the hill.

3. As you pass the long driveway on your left, you will see a monument on top of the hill slightly to your right. Head to this monument, and survey the view from the highest point in the county.

4. From the monument head left towards the house and two artificial lakes, and follow the pathway through the grassland, keeping the lakes to your left.

5. Once you reach the road, follow it to the right keeping the small valley to your right hand side. Do not enter the valley, as it is a bog and has been known to make the local sheep disappear.

6. Once your have reached the top of the valley, turn right and walk along the crest of the hill. Abount half way across the hill, you will see a stone cairn, which dates back to the Bronze Age. From here you get beautiful views across the forests, which obscure Tregaron in the distance.

7. Carry on past the cairn until you reach the track, which descends down the edge of the hill towards the road below which leads to the farm house.

8. Upon reaching the road bear right and carry on for around 200 yards.

9. Follow the track across the field keeping the lake to your left, until you reach the gate in the distance. As this gate is often locked, you may need to climb over it at this point. It is also worth noting that this part can get a bit boggy after heavy rain, so good waterproof boots are best!

10. Upon passing the gate you reach two abandoned stone houses, which offer the perfect spot for a well deserved break, or just a snoop around. If you look out to the lake you will see the remains of what was once a victorian home in the style of a castle. This was built and owned by the son of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Brunel’s son threw wild parties with many local women at the home (who had to row across the lake to reach it) but eventually abandoned it after running up large debts with local tradesmen hired to deck out the house in a lavish style.

11. From the cottages follow the trail as it goes slightly right and up the hill until you reach another abandoned home which is again worth exploring (just avoid the nettles).

12. From the top of the rise above the abandoned home, head right towards the top of the hill, going through the gate which gives you access to the field.

13. From the very top you will see the Old School building at the bottom. Descend down the winding track and this will take you back to your car.

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