Wye Source View Trail
The 'Wye Source View Trail' is fairly easy as it follows a gravel track that takes you through the 'Sweet Lamb' estate and the home of Rally GB. After 3.5 to 4KM at the Wye Viewing platform you have the option of doing the 'Off Piste Gully Trail,' which will take you up to the source through the majestic plynlimon Cwm and then onto the summit. However, if your fitness levels aren't up to it follow the instructions below for the 'Wye View Trail.' The views of the Wye source on this route as you navigate the interior are awe inspiring.
Eventually after skirting around Cerrig Yr Wyn you reach the viewing platform for the Wye source. In front of you on the fairly flat grassy protrusion is Plynlimon lay bare with the Wye source almost advertising its presence with its 3 impressive gully's. This is a different show to the Severn source just across the way. It's worth sitting for a while if the weather is good and admiring the light if it chooses to dance over the tops of the mountain. For navigation see Grid Ref, link or PDF file below.
Starting at Pont Rhydgaled Car park, which plays host to the X47 Bus stop if requested cross the road into the 'Sweet Lamb Estate.' Keep to the track for a KM or so and you'll see the Wye to your right down below. Walk on until it crosses your path flowing from right to left. Stick with it around a right hand bend for another 2 Km until you reach the rally complex. They're you'll see a group of unmistakable outbuildings. (see photo above).
At the outbuildings take the track that leads you up into the Nant Lago. (Check map). To your left after passing a small plantation 1 KM in you'll see the ruins of the Nant Lago mine. Keep going until you reach a bend that arches around to your left. It's as if you're going around the Nant Lago but always keeping it to your left. You're now skirting around Cerrig Yr Wyn to the viewing platform.
Eventually after skirting around Cerrig Yr Wyn you reach the viewing platform for the Wye source. In front of you from the fairly flat grassy protrusion is Plynlimon or Pumlumon (meaning 5 peaks in Welsh) lay bare with the Wye source almost advertising its presence with its 3 impressive gully's. This is a different show to the Severn source just across the way. It's worth sitting for a while if the weather is good and admiring the light if it chooses to dance over the tops of the mountain. For navigation see Grid Ref, link or PDF file below.
Spec N Stats
Start: Pont Rhydgaled Climbing: 164 Meters Distance: 7 Miles Time: 2.25 hours Walking Grade: 3
The Wye View is very easy to walk to with well laid out tracks all the way until you turn the bend South for the last 1.5 KM or so. There's lots of industrial farming and what we consider to be an overstocked pheasant shoot but the mountains and the Wye interior are distractions enough. That's not to say we don't respect the farming operation going on amid the Wye - we do. It's all part of it and has been here for centuries as has the led mining, which is in evidence as you near the viewing platform. All in all it's a stimulating and later an awe inspiring walk.
River Wye. Click. Britains 5th longest river and most uninterrupted.
Plynlimon Project. Click. A project to restore Plynlimon.
Cambrian Mountains Society. Click. All things Cambrian Mountains.
Hydrological Study. Click. Plynlimon water catchment.
Plynlimon Led Mine. Click. Industrial history.
Cool short hiking video in the upper Wye. Click to enter video.
Map 1: Location
Map 2: Start
To operate use your mouse as you would on google maps. Press and hold right and move the map around in any direction. For the elevation profiler click mountain icon below left and follow the trail profile with your mouse, which will correlate with the map as you go. To zoom in or out see plus/minus on the right. To return back to just satellite view click mountain icon again.
Things to Look Out For
There are a number of things to look out for as you head on up to the Viewing platform. We mentioned Nant Lago led Mine. This is worth studying as part of the areas industrial history. One small detail also is the official sign post for the Wye View on the left hand bend of the upper Nant Lago. Old and weather worn look out for it on the right side of the path. At the view point try and identify the other peaks to. It's always a good vibe orientating yourself.
Pumlumon Fawr 752 Meters
Pen Lluest Y Carn 699 Meters
Cripiau Eisteddfa Fach 540 Meters
Y Drum 462 Meters
Y Foel 546 Meters
Bryn Daith 498 Meters
Llechwedd Hergoed 535 Meters
Other Points Of Interest
Cae Gaer Roman Fort
There are some good walks close by using the . Pont Rhydgaled car parking area with an X47 bus stop (just ask). Something missed by many is the roman fort called Cae Gaer. You can't see much but once you become aware (check out google for an aerial view) it fascinates to stand in its midst. The river that flows adjacent to it is the river tarennig a river Wye tributary (see diary). We recommend the walk - the back end there feels remote and wild and if you fancy it you can trek on through to the Nant Syddion Bothy from there or Nant Rhys - check the Mountains Bothy Association out for details.
Members of the Mountain Bothies Association
As we're viewing the Wye source here we'd like to mention the excellent book 'Coming Down the Wye' by Robert Gibbings. We recommend the read. It's a 1940's classic that chronicles the time Robert Gibbings spent in the upper Wye during the 40's. This is old school.
The Bidno Valley
The Bidno Valley, which plays host to the river Bidno another Wye tributary is a beautiful hidden gem a short distance East from the Wye View platform. From the Sweet Lamb estate it's rough going but there is public access to the valley and river from near Llangurig. We recommend the rough route in from East to West as a boggy wild traverse. However, not everyone is up for that so here is the much easier going Llangurig Route. We assume that if you're considering the Wild way you can find your way.
There are a few renowned trails in the area. The Wye Valley Walk is the most obvious. We recommend this having walked it ourselves. It passes through Wales and England and back into Wales and follows the course of the beautiful river Wye. (See the River Wye Diary) or the Wye Valley Walk Partnership for details.
Other trails include the Cambrian Way said to be the mountain connoisseurs trail. If you like mountains and like it wild then this trail is for you. It passes right by the Wye source and through Plynlimon.
Finally there's Glyndwrs Way sections of which we've done. It celebrates the life of the Welsh independence fighter Owain Glyndwr and skirts Plynlimon passing through the Hafron Forest and then good parts of the Wye Basin Namely the upper reaches of the Ithon and within yards of the river Lugg source in the Radnor Forest. (see river Ithon & river Lugg Diaries).
Llangurig the highest village in Wales gets its name from St Curig a Celtic Roman Catholic bishop and saint of Wales during post Roman times. With only 700 plus residents it's a handy little place. Look out for some refreshments at the Blue Bell Inn & the Black Lion. There's also the village tea room and post office where you can pick up some supplies if you're backpacking. We've used it for that purpose and it's super useful in the remote upper Wye. For more information see the Llangurig Village website.