A challenging trek over a series of lesser-known peaks in the National Park.
Lying to the east of Cader Idris, near the town of Dolgellau, Waen-oer Ridge is a strenuous hike over several small peaks. During this 6-hour journey, you will reach the summits of Maesglase, Craig Portas, Cribin Fawr and Waen-oer, as well as ascending the slopes of Mynydd Ceiswyn and Bwlch Llyn Bach.
The route lies a stone’s throw away from the National Park’s southern border and follows the outskirts of Dyfi Forest.
Why this path?
As a strenuous path, Waen-oer Ridge can be a great option for those who are eager for a challenge in a quieter area of the National Park. However, always ensure that you and your group have the appropriate fitness levels before venturing on these types of routes.
Waen-oer ridge exhibits a wealth of arresting viewpoints from breath-taking valleys, captivating peaks and far-reaching ridges.
Snowdonia National Park Authority has categorised this route as a hard/strenuous route. It is only suitable for experienced country walkers with a good level of fitness. Navigation skills are essential. The terrain will include steep hills and rough country. It may also include some sections of scrambling. Full hill walking gear is essential. Specialist equipment may be required under winter conditions.
Dinas Mawddwy Car Park (SH 859 149)
Bwlch Llyn Bach Car Park on the A487 (SH 753 135)
Relevant OS Map
OS Explorer OL23 (Cader Idris and Llyn Tegid)
Llam y Lladron (Robbers’ Leap)
At the other side of the Waen-oer ridge is Bwlch Llyn Bach (small lake pass). There used to be a lake at the top of the pass before the A487 road was built through it. It was near this lake that criminals were thrown to their deaths from the top of a rock called Llam y Lladron (Robbers’ Leap)!
The Red Bandits of Mawddwy
During the 16th century, Dinas Mawddwy was home to a band of highwaymen and bandits known as The Red Bandits of Mawddwy. It is said their name derives from their fiery-red hair.
The Bandits of Mawddwy had their own routines and rituals that instilled fear into the area’s inhabitants. Much of the Bandits escapades are rooted in folklore; however, some historical records do exist—namely their murder of Baron Lewis ab Owen as revenge for sentencing members of the group to the gallows.
Hugh Jones, Maesglasau
The Waen-oer Ridge route will take you through the Maesglasau valley—home to Hugh Jones (1749–1825), a Welsh poet and hymnist. Hugh Jones’ most well-known work is the hymn ‘O! Tyn y gorchydd yn y mynydd hwn’ (Oh! Remove the cover in this mountain).
The hymn inspires Angharad Price’s award-winning novel O! Tyn y Gorchudd. The novel is an imaginary autobiography of the author’s great-aunt who lived in Maesglasau. It is considered a Welsh literary masterpiece, comprising an intimate portrayal of Welsh rural society during the 20th century.