Visiting Snowdonia

Cader Idris from Foel Caerynwch

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Torrent Walk

Torrent Walk - 1 February 2018


Torrent Walk
Rhys Gwynn

Grade: Moderate Walk

Distance: 2½ miles - 4 km

Time: Around 1-2 hours

Terrain: Rough, steep sections. Wear appropriate footwear


This is one of the most popular routed in the Dolgellau area, it’s a circular route which follow the river Clywedog for a mile downstream and then back through a picturesque gorge full of waterfalls.

The route was originally constructed by Thomas Payne and son, which planned the ‘Cob’ a sea defence wall across the river Glaslyn in Porthmadog. The work was commissioned by the Baron Richards from Caerynwch Hall to expand his gardens in order to impress visitors.

At one time the river Clywedog was full of industrial boom. There was a fulling mill, blacksmith, woolen mill and an iron furnace. Some are still here today. The gorge is full of wildlife and rare plants – there are otters and lesser horseshoe bats as well as an important collection of moss, lichen, fearns, liverwort and mushrooms. It’s a sheltered gorge with lots of moisture which suits these plants and fungi to perfection.

To reach the walk from Dolgellau, follow the A470 to your right. After two miles turn left for the B4416 towards Brithdir. Cross the narrow bridge ‘Pont ar Ddibyn’ after 50m. After another 200m theres a layby on your left with a post pointing the direction of the path. There’s an iron furnace to be seen around 100m towards the Dolgellau direction. It was renovated by the Snowdonia National Park Authority but erected first by Abraham Derby, the quaker from Coalbrookdale because of his connections with the local quakers such as the Dolgun and Dolserau families.

Rhys Gwynn (Area Warden (South))