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Walking in the Rhinog Mountains – the most beautiful wilderness in Wales

Published on 18 Nov 2019 by Gwion Llwyd

Walking in the Rhinog Mountains, a rugged landscape skirted by sandy beaches. This range of hills is wild and unspoilt, and comes without the crowds of more popular peaks in Snowdonia.

What is it that draws you to a day of walking in the hills? If it’s the appeal of getting away from it all – away from them all – keep reading.

The Rhinog Mountains is a chain of low mountains which stands at the south western edge of Snowdonia.

One of the most rugged upland landscapes in Britain, it is a beautiful, tranquil place. It could also inspire a new Farrow and Ball palette with the lilacs, greys, mossy greens and big blues offered up by the heather, rock, grasslands, skies and sea.

The word ‘rhinog’ translates as ‘threshold’, but this is no man-made passing place. The hills are notoriously quiet and uncrossed by any road. Most of the vegetation management is done by sheep and a population of wild goats.

Yes, you might see a few remote farmsteads, and now and then you might walk along the remains of old drovers’ routes, but it’s quite possible to spend a whole day here without seeing another human soul. You’re properly off the beaten track.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Rhinogs aren’t towering peaks. Walking in the Rhinog Mountains can be challenging, with sometimes rocky, oftentimes boggy conditions underfoot. And like the rest of the Snowdonia, they are subject to fast-changing weather conditions. If you’re heading out for a day of walking make sure you pack for every eventuality.

Walking in the Rhinog Mountains – the most beautiful wilderness in Wales

Our Favourite days out when walking in the Rhinog Mountains

An easy family stroll to the Cwm Nantcol waterfalls. Park at the Cwm Nantcol car park close to the village of Llanbedr. This walk is largely waymarked and signposted. Worth making a small diversion to explore the Grade II listed Capel Salem en route.

Wild Swimming in The Rhinogs. Make your way to Llyn Eiddew Bach, a tarn which is just above the town of Harlech. Yes, this is one for the summer months. Whilst you’re up there, visit the prehistoric stone circle nearby.

Sheep Walking. No, that is not a typo, yes, this is a thing. You can have some wooly company when walking in the Rhinog Mountains. Take mindfulness to another level by taking an award-winning Zwartbles sheep (mega friendly black sheep breed) for a guided walk on a peaceful hill farm in the Rhinogs. Kids will love this. Adults will love this too.

For more strenuous walking routes in the Rhinogs, we recommend you research and plan your route using a good map and walking guide. The lack of obvious paths make it really important that you have some skill when it comes to using a map and compass. Always take waterproofs, some food and drink, and warm clothing.

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