This is a teaser for all those who haven’t yet been bitten by the hill walking bug. Or for those with young children that you want to have a go.
You start by heading for Mynach Road (only 100 yards right from the exit drive to Penbryn Mynach) and turn right off Mynach Road up a cul-de-sac and follow the footpath sign into the woods. It is much better to do the walk by taking the northern route through the woods first as the ascent is steep and the descent shallower. The descent through the woods would be quite hard, the ascent the same way is hard but doable. Once in the woods the footpath is very well defined and you simply follow it. When you get to the bit that I have just described as hard you are quite near the end of the ascent. This part of the walk can also be quite soggy after lots of rain but I don’t remember too much trouble or any other particularly wet parts of the walk.
You come out of the woods into a beautiful but typical open piece of Barmouth hillside. There is a flag on top of this bit of hill which you can see from Penbryn Mynach’s garden and from some of the hill facing windows. The flag is on a cairn which is a memorial to the soldiers of Birmingham District from WW1. There is a detour to the memorial just as you come out of the woods having exited through a metal gate. Take the right hand path for less than a hundred yards and you get to the cairn, memorial and flag. Head back the same way back to the main walk and the level route to the derelict Gellfechan houses. Remember to wave to any members of the party who have decided to stay behind, maybe sunbathing in the garden!
The ascent through the woods has been relatively steep and so you are already fairly high and the views are good, especially if you made the detour to the memorial. All other paths out of the wood, keeping the sea views on your right, head towards a series of derelict buildings known as Gellfechan. The book “Gellfechan and Its Last Family” by Carol Ann Skelton about the last family to inhabit the buildings is a fascinating read. The book is usually available at the Lifeboat shop in Barmouth and the Tourist Information Centre at the railway station.
When you get to Gellfechan you turn right onto the well signposted southern section of the fairly new Taith Ardudwy Way path back into Barmouth. All paths downward lead to the town so don’t worry too much if you come across a choice of route.