A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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A circular walk through the historical Nannau estate and along the shore of Llyn Cynwch

The Precipice has a fantastic array of qualities. From habitats such as woodlands and meadows to captivating views of Eryri’s mountain ranges. The path will take you through part of the Nannau estate which dates back to the 12th century and is steeped in fascinating Welsh history.

The route ends on the shores of Llyn Cynwch—a working reservoir that provides nearby Dolgellau with water.

Why this path?

For a moderate walk, the Precipice offers an abundance of viewpoints across some of Eryri’s most striking mountain ranges. To the north stands Eryri and the Moelwynion and to the west stand the Rhinogydd. Cader Idris, the Aran and Arenig can be seen towards the south and east.

Although the path stands at 800ft above sea level, there is little climbing and descending along the route. It can be a great option for an adventurous family outing.

Particularly great for:

© Crown copyright and database rights OS AC0000825604. Use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.

The Route

The National Park Authority has categorised this route as a moderate route. It is suitable for people with some countryside walking experience and a reasonable level of fitness. The terrain will include some steep or unsurfaced paths in the open countryside. Walking boots and waterproof layers are essential.

This walk does not follow a public footpath. The public has been invited to use this walk by the Nannau estate since 1890 on the understanding that they observe the country code, follow the route indicated and use the proper access. Please keep dogs on a lead.

Saith Groesffordd Car Park, Llanfachreth (SH 746 212)

Relevant OS Map
OS Explorer OL18 (Harlech, Porthmadog and Bala)

Download Route PDF
Download Route GPX
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Always park in designated parking places and never in areas where you block entrances to fields, residential areas.

Saith Groesffordd Car Park, Llanfachreth (SH 746 212)

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There are also toilet facilities at this car park. Check to see when they are open.

Toilets and Facilities

Stay safe and help protect the countryside by reading the information about safety and following the Countryside Code.

Countryside Code

Cymer Abbey

A stone’s throw from Llyn Cynwch, near the community of Llanelltyd, stands Cymer Abbey—a Cistercian abbey founded in 1198. The abbey has strong connections to the Princes of Wales. It is believed to be founded under the patronage of two brothers, Gruffudd and Maredudd ap Cynan, grandsons of Owain Gwynedd.

About Cymer Abbey

Nannau Estate

On the southern side of Llyn Cynwch is the mansion of Nannau estate.

Nannau has a fascinating history of iconic Welsh characters. The present house, which is almost 750ft above sea level, was built in 1796 and was the residence of the Vaughan family, who owned most of the land in the area. It is a three-storey, late 18th century stone house built with dressed blocks of local dark grey stone. Nannau was the last mansion to practice the old tradition of sponsoring poets and harpists.

Glyndŵr on the Nannau Estate

One of the most famous tales in Nannau’s history happened in 1402 during Owain Glyndŵr’s revolt against the English crown. Glyndŵr’s cousin, Hywel Sele, was Nannau’s proprietor at the time.

According to legend, Hywel invites his cousin to Nannau. Glyndŵr accepts the invitation and, upon reaching the estate, embarks on a hunting trip with Hywel.

During the hunt, Hywel spots a stag. He draws his bow and suddenly shifts his aim towards Glyndŵr. However, knowing his cousin to be a staunch English supporter, Glyndŵr had come prepared. He had a vest of chain mail under his clothes and Hywel’s arrow didn’t so much as pierce Glyndŵr skin.

Glyndŵr drew his sword, killed his cousin, and hid his body in a hollow oak tree.