This section on ‘wild walking’ is presented by myself, Maurice Kyle, a retired school teacher, researched with the help of several fellow-walkers, whom I acknowledge below. I was brought up on ‘wild’ walking from a young age, had Mountain Leadership training, and twenty years leading school-based hill walking groups; also author of two local guide books still in print, available on the "Books for sale" button at the bottom of the page, and of the ‘Wild Walking’ series in the EGO magazine. I am also a member of the local Ramblers, and live near Aberystwyth.
What this website is for:
My aim is to provide free to use, comprehensive, and quality guidance for discovering the wilder parts of the Aberystwyth hinterland, similar to a good guidebook. These should display nicely on mobile phones so that you have something to take with you when out in the 'wilds'. I am not aiming to make money from this... my motive is to encourage ethical tourism to support the local economy, and also help safeguard and protect this wonderful countryside by increasing responsible access. The work is not without costs, however, so any small donation (coffee money?) you might feel like making, perhaps after having a great day out, would be most welcome. At least as helpful would be feedback, so that I can modify the instructions where, inevitably, they have fallen out of date.
What you can find here:
Here you will find detailed maps, point-by-point instructions, and photographs of walks in the stunning, wild country that forms the ‘hinterland’ of Aberystwyth, and the northern part of ‘Elenydd’, the Cambrian Mountains. Many of the walks are slightly ‘off the beaten track' and I will be including routes that you are unlikely to find detailed elsewhere. They require a ‘good walker’s’ attitude, including being properly equipped, but on the other hand, they are designed for those not able or willing to go for the more intrepid and long-distance backpacking approach which is becoming increasingly popular. Some of them are relatively short and physically unchallenging. In other words, perhaps I should call it ‘wildness for the wary and slightly weary’. I will be adding to them, and amending them gradually as my work on this site progresses… that is why your comments will be so useful.
Information provided with each walk:
At the start of each walk description there's a table of summary information giving the grid reference of the starting point, approximate length and ascent of the walk, and level of challenge, according to the rating scale used for Ordinance Survey's routes. There's a map with the route marked on and numbers that correspond to the numbered points in the description. This will open in a new tab so that you can switch back and forth between the description and the map.
Next, there are two links to the route in OS maps, one for the web version and one for the mobile app. It is possible to view the web version as a casual visitor but the mobile version requires you to download the app and create a free account. This app uses your phone's GPS to indicate where you are on the route as you folllow it. Upgrading to a premium account gives access to more detailed maps and additional features. Both free and premium accounts work across both web and mobile platforms.
Additionally, we have the GPX file of each route available to download. This is a file format for routes that can be read by sat navs and various apps, including the OS Maps app.
Although I have researched and checked every walk as carefully as possible, of course you proceed entirely at your own risk. Fences, gates, stiles, waymarks, and landscape features often change, and you should be confident with your map-reading skills.
Huge thanks to my friend and colleague Rachel Seabrook for hosting my ‘Wild Walking’ section on this excellent website! Also for the many many long hours and days she has spent on its beautiful design and construction. We hope you will enjoy all sections of the site, including her Moments of Stillness videos, and Living in the Land Where Clouds are Born blog.
Of course, also huge thanks and love to my wife, Abeth, who you may spot in some of the walk pictures, for tolerating all the time I have spent putting this stuff together, being a constant huge support in practical ways, and not least her dogged determination on our walks together!
Thanks also due to those who have helped with walks ‘reconnoitering’ so far: Richard Wells, Mohan Kyle, Siobhan Crittenden, Abeth Kyle, and Rachel Seabrook…