There are so many activities to try in the Cambrian Mountains

Be inspired – try some of them!
Rhai o’r nifer o bethau i roi cynnig arnyn nhw tra’ch bod chi ym Mynyddoedd y Cambria

cambrian mountains geology


The Cambrian Mountains offer some of the most peaceful and satisfying hiking paths in Wales.

Cambrian Mountains walking routes

Walk to the summit of Pumlumon – 5 routes to the top

Climbing Pumlumon Fawr  – hiking guide

Routes around Llanwrtyd Wells – a mix of shorter and longer routes on the eastern edge of the Cambrians

Wild Walking in the Aberystwyth Hinterland – by CMS Member Maurice Kyle– a very helpful site with a selection of self-guided walks including the northern Elenydd and Pumlumon

Long distance routes crossing the Cambrian Mountains:

The Cambrian Way

Glyndwr’s Way National Trail

Across Wales Walk – 45 mile challenge walk

Heart of Wales Trail – a long distance walk that weaves between stations along the line, from Shrewsbury to Swansea

girls hiking

Walking Guides and groups

climbing guide
Cambrian Mountains cycling near Cwmystwyth
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Getting Wet

Canoeing and paddleboarding

A number of rivers in the Cambrian Mountains can be canoed when water levels (which vary widely according to recent rainfall) are appropriate.  Note however that canoeing is not permitted on Llyn Brianne and especially not on its overflow, which is highly dangerous.

Canoe Wales

Kayak Cardigan Bay

Wild swimming…

The Cambrian Mountains abound with rivers and pools for a refreshing dip.  Try the Washpool in Cwm Irfon or the Wolf’s Leap on Abergwesyn Common; Llyn Gwngu above Cwmystwyth; or the Teifi Pools (those which are not reservoirs for drinking water) above Strata Florida.

…and other ways to get wet

Bog Snorkelling – an annual competition



Red Kite Challenge – running and walking events

Man v Horse ( – the annual marathon race pitting runners against riders over the Cambrian Mountains

Cambrian Mountains -


Coarse and fly-fishing are available at various locations in the Cambrians, managed by local anglers’ associations.

Rhyader and Elan Valley Angling Association

Tregaron Angling Association

fly fisherman

Birds and birdwatching


The iconic red kite


The Cambrian Mountains provide a wide variety of habitats for birds. There are oakwoods in the valleys, sprawling coniferous forests, upland moors, reservoirs, streams and rivers. All support a differing group of birds.

The oakwoods provide habitat for woodland species such as Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. Coniferous forests, although comprised of non-native trees, can harbour Crossbills, Goshawk and Siskin. The moors are home to a few remaining Golden Plover and Dunlin whilst the rivers are home to Dippers, Grey Wagtails and, lower down, Goosanders.

The importance of the Cambrian Mountains is emphasised by the range of designations covering the area. Large parts are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Elenydd is a Special Protection Area (SPA) for Kites, Peregrines and Merlin.

The value of this area was recognised as early as 1954 when the Elenydd was designated as an SSSI and it was considered to be one of the two most important areas for upland birds in Wales.

Since then however, although the area is still important, bird populations have declined. This is not just within the Cambrian Mountains but part of serious decline across the whole of Wales, particularly for upland birds.

In order to inform management to help bird populations we need to know more about where birds are and how many of them are there. Unfortunately there is very little ‘official’ resources for monitoring populations so we need you help. If you are visiting anywhere in the Cambrian Mountains, please record any birds you see. If you are unsure of your identification skills please still send in records – just say how sure you are.

There are several ways to get records to where they will usefully be used. These are:

If you are happy using an App then you can record as you go, and keep your own list using the  BTO Birdtrack app –

There are volunteer ‘County Recorders’ for each County. These can be found via

There are also Local Biodiversity Records Centres. The two covering the Cambrian Mountains are:  BIS for Powys and WWBIC for Ceredigion and Carmarthen –

We hope you enjoy exploring the birdlife of the Cambrian Mountains and thank you for any records so we can help maintain these important populations.

Birds to look for around the Elan Valley

Birds to look out for in the Southern Cambrians

RSPB Reserve below Llyn Brianne


Experience the world of birds of prey

Stargazing and astrophotography

Cambrian-mountains-cometThe remoteness of the Cambrian Mountains  from major towns and cities gives them the inestimable advantage of truly dark night skies – hugely important for biodiversity, since light pollution affects many insects’ lifecycles, but also ideal for human study of the planets, stars and galaxies that make up the universe above us.  They include the International Dark Skies  Park of the Elan Valley Estate as well as nine Dark Skies Discovery sites in an Astro Trail scattered across the uplands.

Cambrian Mountains Dark Skies Discovery

Places to stargaze in the Elan Valley

Cambrian Mountains Astro Trail

Orion-over-Pine-in-Cambrian-MountainsThe Planetary Society has a helpful rolling guide to the visibility of the Moon, planets, asteroids and meteor showers: see What to search for this month, and there’s a handy Beginner’s Guide to Astrophotography on Sky at Night Magazine’s website.

For those interested in things related to the Solar System but not necessarily up for staying up late, there is also a geocache trail created by members of Newtown Astronomy Society.  It starts with a cache relating to our star, Sol, near Dylife then travels in a southerly direction nearly 40 miles to end with Pluto near Llanwrda just south-west of Llandovery.  Find out more at Welsh Solar System series

Photographs of comet Neowise and Orion in the Cambrian Mountains courtesy of member Rob Davies