A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
Glyndwr’s Way has existed as a mid-Wales route for many years – but it has grown in popularity with its elevation to National Trail status in 2000. When I was first interested in walking it there wasn’t even a proper guidebook – just a series of pamphlets devoted to separate sections. Today there are several guidebooks available, as Internet research will soon reveal, as well as specialist walking firms that can book all your accommodation for you and transfer your heavy baggage between stops on route. I do recommend the use of such firms for Glyndwr’s Way winds through a lovely but remote countryside – where accommodation is thin on the ground and arrangements often have to be made to get you from a spot on the trail and over to a b&b provider who may be miles away.
Accommodation addresses for the route are included in the annual handbook of the Offa’s Dyke Association and there is a separate list maintained by Hillary Matthews at talbontdrain.co.uk – but, as we discovered, such lists are quickly out of date. Never show up without a reservation.
The Ordnance Survey maps for the route are Explorer numbers 23, 200, 201, 214, 215, 216 and 239. David Perrott’s National Trail Guide does contain relevant excerpts from these maps – but the wider view is only obtained from the maps themselves. If you have never undertaken a walk of this length you may want to augment your preparations with a look at my A Walker’s Alphabet: adventures of the long-distance footpaths of Great Britain – published in 2010 and available from the publisher at www.authorhouse.co.uk or from www.authorhouse.com or from www.amazon.co.uk or from www.amazon.com.
We walked 137.5 miles in 2008, 2009 and 2010, completing an often hilly C-shaped route that begins in one border town, Knighton, and ends in another, Welshpool. It is hard to give a precise figure for your own journey since you too may be required to veer off route in pursuit of accommodation. It took us fifteen days to complete the walk – many will take far fewer days – but we often liked to do some walking on the same day we arrived from London (or returned there) and this lead to a number of relatively short days on the trail. You can always let me know how you got on by leaving a message on the Contact Page.
It will also be noted that, because of injury (my own) we did not complete all the stages in the usual order. For those of you who want to follow our adventures in the order you are most likely to complete them – then the following outline of my journal entries may be of use.
Day 1: Knighton to Llangunllo – 6.5 miles
Day 2: Llangunllo to Felindre – 9.5 miles
Day 3: Felindre to Llanbadarn Fynydd – 8 miles
Day 4: Llanbadarn Fynydd to Bwlch-y-Sarnau – 11.5 miles
Day 5: Bwlch-y-Sarnau to Llanidloes – 12 miles
Day 8: Clywedog Sailing Club to Glaslyn – 9 miles
Day 6: Glaslyn to Talbontdrain – 5.5 miles
Day 9: Talbontdrain to Machynlleth – 7 miles
Day 10: Machynlleth to Cemmaes Road – 8 miles
Day 11: Cemmaes Road to Llanbrynmair – 7.5 miles
Day 12: Llanbrynmair to Llangadfan – 11.5 miles
Day 13: Llangadfan to Pont Llogel – 10.5 miles
Day 14: Pont Llogel to Meifod – 13 miles
Day 15: Meifod to Welshpool – 11 miles