Craig y Ddinas Walk
Craig y Ddinas is an Iron Age Hillfort situated on an isolated rock at 350m above sea level and boasts a very dramatic location with wonderful views of the sea and the mountains.
It is the natural focus of a wide upland valley overlooked by the mountains of Moelfre, Diffwys and Llawlech. The oval shaped hillfort preserves much of its original features, especially around the external side of the fort where some of the stone ramparts can be seen in their original state. There’s an impressive entrance on the eastern side of the hillfort with a trackway defined by stone walls leading down to a flatter land where remains of round houses from the Iron Age and the Roman period can be seen. The hillfort itself may have been used as a place of refuge or as a communal meeting place while the round houses were probably used as settlements. Whether you want to explore the prehistoric remains or enjoy the fine views you will be greatly rewarded by this walk.
How to get there?
On the A496 road from Harlech to Barmouth turn east just south of Dyffryn Ardudwy and north of Llanddwywe and go along the narrow road towards Cors y Gedol Hall. Follow the road to its end.
Distance: Linear route 4 miles - 6 Km
Time: Around 2-3 hours
Grade: Moderate Walk
Terrain: Mainly tracks but boggy in places
Start/Finish: Car park near Cors y Gedol Hall (SH 602 231) Car park near Cors y Gedol Hall (SH 602 231)
Parking: Private car park at Cors y Gedol Hall. £1 parking fee required
Post Code: LL44 2RJ
Relevant Map: OS Ordnans Exp OL18 (Harlech, Porthmadog and Bala)
1. Turn right out of the car park and follow the track straight ahead through two gates.
2. In the fields on your right is a multi-period landscape containing the remains of ancient field systems and settlements. Amongst the fields there’s a Neolithic burial cairn, Bronze Age burnt-stone mounds, prehistoric huts, two Romano-British hut groups and numerous Medieval and post-Medieval building foundations. This evidence of vast settlements within these fields proves that this was an ideal place for our ancestors.
3. Continue along the track and shortly you will be passing the remains of Cors-uchaf on your left where, on a nice sunny day, there are fine views of the mountains and the sea.
4. Shortly you will reach two gates side by side. Go through the gate on your right and the track immediately bears right. When the track arcs to the left you will be able to see Craig y Ddinas on your right in the distance and, behind the hillfort, the Llawlech ridge.
5. The track gradually climbs towards the slopes of Moelfre. Go through the gate and in about 500m you will reach another gate where you will have reached the open access land.
6. Walk along the track for roughly 500m then turn right and head SW towards a stile crossing over a stone wall which is roughly 300m away. This section can be very wet and boggy at times.
7. Cross the stile and head towards Craig y Ddinas hillfort which is only about another 300m away.
8. When you reach the hillfort enjoy the magnificent views and have a good look around the hillfort. From the entrance to the hillfort on the eastern side, walk down the trackway and explore the remains of the round houses on the flatter land below the fort.
9. To head back to the start of the walk, retrace your steps back to the track. Turn left and follow the track back to the car park.