|The Ystwyth Valley & South|
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The Ystwyth Valley: The B4574 from Devil’s Bridge takes you across into the neighbouring valley of Cwmystwyth (vale of Ystwyth) where beautiful mountain scenery combines with the lonely remains of its industrial past dating back more than three and a half thousand years. Described as ‘one of the most spectacular mining landscapes in Britain’, today, agriculture combined with tourism are the main industries.
The scenic and lonely mountain road from Cwmystwyth will take you across to the beautiful reservoirs of the Elan Valley but taking the B4574 towards Pontrhydygroes (a quaint village tucked into the hillside) will take you close to the historic and very beautiful Hafod Estate. Thomas Johnes MP landscaped the grounds in the picturesque school between 1783 - 1815 planting between 5-6 million trees. The Hafod Church car park, off the B4574 is the best place to follow some of Thomas Johnes’ original walks with fine vistas, streams and waterfalls. The mansion house itself was deemed unsafe and demolished in 1958 but the ruins can still be seen.
From Pontrhydygroes a scenic drive links up with the B4340 to Aberystwyth. Turn off at the Trawscoed Bridge and you will find Llwyn Du (Black Covert), a sheltered picnic place in mature broadleaf woodland setting, beside the Ystwyth river. The river’s shallow spots provide a cool place to play on a hot summer’s day but there is also a pleasant and gentle riverside walk.
A more demanding walk starts from the Llwyn Du car park and follows the waymarkers back along the public road. This leads uphill through the woods to the ancient hill fort site of Allt-Fedw (Birchgrove) from which panoramic views may be enjoyed across rolling hills and valleys.
The lovely setting of Nanteos (stream of the nightingale) Mansion, (above) built 1739 and steeped in history, can be viewed from the road (B4340) three miles from Aberystwyth.
The A487 south of Aberystwyth is a coastal route, with beautiful views of the bay and coastline, that takes you through villages such as Llanrhystud with its pleasant beach, Llanon built on a raised beach with the old cliff line distinctly visible and Aberaeron a quaint and small Georgian harbour town designed by John Nash. He also designed Llanerchaeron Mansion and gardens which is situated some 2 miles from Aberaeron and can also be reached via a traffic-free cycleway and footpath. Now owned by the National Trust the mansion is well worth a visit.
Inland, for spectacular scenery it is well worth visiting Mynydd Bach (small mountain) and the lake known as Llyn Eiddwen. Take a left turn at the village of Llanfarian and then a right along the B4576 to the village of Llangwyryfon where you should again take a right and then a left which takes you through the village of Trefenter. The road is both narrow and steep but well worth the trouble. A plaque on the mountain top pays tribute to the poets of the area.