Walking Britain graphic

Snowdonia Walk
Aran Fawddwy northern apporach

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

Nat Park - Snowdonia

County/Area - Gwynedd

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.4 miles / 13.7 km

Ascent - 2450 feet / 742 metres

Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference SH815223
Lat 52.785226 // Long -3.758504
Postcode LL40 2BH (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Aran Fawddwy northern apporach 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Aran Fawddwy, lying to the South of Lake Bala, is the highest summit on a long ridge. Rising to 905 metres above sea level it offers wonderful views over much of Snowdonia. The most popular approach is the southern route from the Cwm Cywarch with the eastern approach along the ridge also gaining in popularity. This route starts from the north and offers some challenges with navigation with the relevant OS 1:25000 map a necessity. The route is described in less detail than with other walks primarily to deter less experienced walkers who should not be attempting this walk.

The start is small parking area at grid ref. SH815223 on the lane south of Esgair-gawr farm just off the A494 road from Bala to Dolgellau. After parking, walk southwest up the lane for approximately 700 metres to grid ref. SH812217. Turn left on a clear track rising in a southerly direction to reach the edge of Coed-y-Brenin forest. Just after entering the trees, turn left onto a clear path to reach a wider track after about 100 metres. Careful navigation is now required with frequent reference to your map.

Turn left on the main track and follow this for about a mile to reach an open area at grid ref. SH 828208. Fork right here following the marker arrow. The track zig-zags uphill to reach the end of the forest at grid ref. SH833206. Cross the stile into open hillside. From here an indistinct path leads uphill with a stream to your left. After 600 metres, the path bears left away from the stream and eventually reaches a fence. Turn left along the fence now following the main ascent route and continue to the summit of Aran Fawddwy (grid ref. SH862224) from where you can enjoy the extensive panorama.

Retrace your steps down the path beside the fence used for the ascent. Continue for about a kilometre to grid ref. SH855216. There is an intermittent path heading north, which roughly follows the route detailed on the OS map. However, I had problems keeping on the path and with careful use of my map made my way down to the edge of the forest at grid ref. SH837221). Cross the stile and follow a narrow track heading just west of north to reach a wider track and turning circle (grid ref. SH836223). After 600 metres go straight across a wide track and continue ahead along a grassy path to exit the forest at grid ref. SH826223). You soon join an improving track that descends to Esgair-gawr farm and a lane. Turn left along the lane back to the start.

 
Go to full list of Snowdonia Walks

 
Maps   Ordnance Survey Logo   Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL23Sheet Map1:25kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Explorer OL23Digital Map1:25kBUY MAP

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Printer Friendly Page

For an easy to print version of this walk description and outline map Click Here

OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

GPX File

Download GPX File

Right click or option-click the link and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

Recommended Reading

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue


Recommended Cottage Holidays

Sykes Cottages

Over 7,000 personally inspected holiday cottages. In fact, we think we've got the finest selection in some of the UK and Ireland's most beautiful places.

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

AZ Adventure Series Maps

Convenient 1:25000 OS maps in booklet form covering the National Trails of Britain. More info.

the people's poncho

A durable, lightweight, stylish and compact alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers with 10% Discount. More info.

New to Walking?

Click for a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.