Level - Hard
UK Region: Cambrian Mountains
County: Caredigion Wales
Actual Ascent: 1,312 Ft or 400 Meters from Start Point.
Route Distance: 4.5 Mile/source/4.5 mile return
The mountain and source of the Wye on Plynlimon is remote but accessible from anywhere in the UK. You can use public transport, which some of us have done. Again, see Vaga Story and these links to public transport.
Llandrindod to Rhayader & Llangurig Bus
This service is through to Llanidloes but stops at Rhayader and Llangurig. We have walked through to the source from here. It's a good walk and or hike that lends you an appreciation for the upper Wye. Buses back are from Llangurig or Rhayader.
Llandrindod to Aberystwyth X47
This service is through to Aberystwyth but is not as frequent. It will though take you closer to the source. A series of camps nearer to your hike into the Massif might be a good idea. It will introduce the area to you and be a great night out also.
Of course, bus rides back the other way depart from Aberystwyth. You need to be looking at the X47
General Directions - Click for map
Head for Pont Rhydgaled. Turn right into car park if heading east on the A44 or right if heading West from Llangurig.
Own Route Map & Description
There is a service track through the Sweet Lamb estate, which is in the Plynlimon massif leading up to Cerrig Yr Wyn View Point. OS Explorer 213. Grid Ref SN 819862.This is easily one of the best overall views of the Wye source and is in fact marked as such. To get there keep following the track as the infant Wye is initially revealed to your right and then Left as you progress. Skirt around Y Drum 462 meters 1,515 Ft, passed a small plantation on your left and through some modern out buildings beyond. The Wye is on your left and the track arcs around to run adjacent to Nant Lago and some olf mining ruins below. Keep on the trail and as you near its headwaters arc left in a sweep whilst looking out for the Wye View sign. Keep going around until you reach the view point.
Part Visual Guide
Once at the view point admire the 3 and finally 4 channels of the Wye as they sit on the Easterly side of Plynlimon. Weather permitting of course! From here you head down towards the Wye. This is open access land according to CRoW legislation or Countryside and Rights of Way Act. But be careful and respetcfull as it is a sensative area - part of Wale's largest water catchment see Vaga Story. The infant Wye will lead you directly up to the source, which is the right-hand channel or most Northerly as you get to the top See Link. It's an exhilarating hike up punctuated by boggy fields, steep ground, rocky outcrops and water falls as the water rushes down the steep slopes. Made for more experienced hikers you should have a thrilling day.
The journey back via the source leads you up to the summit of Plynlimon at 742 meters or 2,467 ft. It's a great little hike up passing some good Plynlimon features on the way such as Llyn Llygad reservoir (Grid SN 791878) on your right or to the North West - a glacial remain. From source though head West for 150 meters until you hit a fence. Follow it South until you get to a gate. Climb it and follow the fence line running North West until you reach a slate slab. At the corner (Grid SN 799872) head West or Left along its length. The trail drops down and then rises for about 500 meters until you reach another corner. Follow it around for about 200 meters. You can bear 1 O'clock from here to hit the trig point but the fence is a good marker. Shelter is at hand right next to the trig point (Grid SN 789-869)
Returning back to Pont Rhydgaled is fairly simple from the summit. From the summit shelter or trig point look South East 20 meters or so to a style that straddles the fence. Climb and head East across open moorland. It was mentioned this was for experienced hikers. You're following the contours South East until you get just below Pen Lluest Y Carn about 500 meters South. It dips down and rises to this point. You'll pass through peat accumalations before hitting another fence line. Be careful to negotiate it. This is actually the fence that runs South from the source but we've summited Plynlimon. Beyond the fence 200 meters is another service track. You bear left and follow this all the way around passed a small plantation about 2.5 KM from this point. The Wye leading you back to Pont Rhydgaled is not far. It's a back-country route to the start point but it's a fabulous hike worth the effort.
Gear To Pack
Firstly, weather up here is unpredictable in the latter part of the year specifically. It's the largest watershed in Wales and so it gets wet. So, Pack a good water proof set. That's a jacket and trousers - if in summer a shell. Make sure also you have a good rain cover for your ruck sack (they're not totally waterproof and the lids have been known to drown). Inside pack a good map of the area and a warm insulating layer depending on the time of year.
Additional contents and kit: Water - Warm Drink - Food or Good Energy Snack - Headtorch (You Never Know) - Whistle - First Aid and Mobile Phone. Additional kit may include Camera - batteries - Tripod If Your Big into Home Movie. Youtubers Won't Ever Forget!