A circular path that follows the river Clywedog through its striking gorge
The Torrent Walk is a path on the outskirts of Dolgellau and is one of the more popular routes in the area. This walk will lead you under a woodland canopy, along the Clywedog river and past hidden industrial remains.
The walk’s name likely derives from the many striking views of the Clywedog river as it cascades down the gorge.
Why this path?
The gorge is home to a wealth of wildlife, including otters, dormice, lesser horseshoe bats, and an important collection of unique plants such as lichen, ferns, mushrooms, and liverwort.
At one time, the banks of the river Clywedog were bursting with industrial activity. There was a mill, smithy, woollen mill and an iron furnace, some of which can still be seen today.
Snowdonia 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.
Start / Finish
Lay-by near the village of Brithdir on the B4416 (SH 761 182)
Relevant OS Map
OS Explorer OL23 (Cader Idris and Llyn Tegid)
Creating the Torrent Walk Path
Torrent Walk was designed and engineered by Thomas Payne. Payne was also responsible for engineering the stone sea wall across the Glaslyn river at Porthmadog, known locally as ‘Y Cob’. The original intention of the Torrent Walk was to extend the gardens of the nearby mansion, Plas Caerynwch. Baron Richards of Caerynwch commissioned the work during the 1800s.
Plas Caerynwch Botanist
You will come across a commemorative bench for Mary Richards along the route. Mary was a botanist who lived at the nearby mansion, Plas Caerynwch. She travelled a great deal, mainly to Africa, and brought many plants back to the mansion’s gardens.
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Snowdonia National Park Authority has carried out work to restore the old route on the eastern side of the gorge—attempting to keep to the former path where possible. The gorge is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. The National Park Authority took special precautions to ensure the restoration work would not impair the site.
A short distance from Pont Clywedog bridge, towards Dolgellau, lie the ruins of an old iron furnace dating back to the early 18th century. The furnace was built by Abraham Darby, a Quaker from Coalbrookdale. He and other Quakers from Dolserau and Dolgun farms mined iron ore on nearby Tir Stent and hauled it down to the furnace.
As you cross Clywedog Bridge, you might notice a collection of buildings on your right. The buildings were previously a woollen mill and warehouse. The Clywedog river powered the mill.