It was a wet and horrible Saturday that inspired our most recent outing, we were on the way to Glasfryn Parc in the hope of getting out of the rain and entertaining the kids with soft-play and ten pin bowling.
On route we noticed the brown Cadw road-sign for Ffynnon Gybi (St. Cybi’s Well) intrigued we decided to return on the next sunny day to investigate, and that happened to be the very next day.
With the sun shining and a picnic in the boot we headed off towards Llangybi to visit the well and walk up Garn Bentyrch, hopefully we’d have time to circumnavigate the hill on footpaths and country roads.
The first part of the plan went well enough, following the brown signs off the A499 drove to Ffynnon Gybi and parked by the road. We slung on our rucksacks and headed off following the path from the road to Ffynnon Gybi, it was just a short stroll.
Ffynnon Gybi is a delightful monument maintained by Cadw. Our expectations were exceeded immediately, the well’s buildings were in remarkable condition, especially the building that houses the well. The stone surround was complete with steps down into the well, the water looked crystal clear and I was tempted to bathe or sample the water, just as Pilgrims and people seeking a cure had done hundreds of years before.
Once we’d thoroughly explored the well, we decided to continue up Garn Bentyrch. Access is through a gate directly to the rear of the well buildings. It’s a steep walk up through a small woodland area then up through two gates before you reach the top of the hill.
Here you’ll find a trig point and a sheltered dip which is perfect for a picnic. We stayed for a good hour soaking up the sun, chatting and enjoying the scenery – the whole time we didn’t see another soul.
Once we’d finished lounging around, we decided to continue on our journey. We backtracked down the hill and with the hope of walking around Garn Bentyrch and returning to the car in time to find a pub on the way home for a nice cold drink.
According to my OS map there is a footpath that tracks around the hill – this path seemed very obvious on the map and we’d hoped that there would be some clear signage to help us on our way, this wasn’t the case. After a short detour through a field full of cows, and a hysterical outburst from my daughter who is not keen on any type of livestock, we decided to give up on the original plan and re-join a single-track road.
Being a beautiful day, we continued along the road. We continued walking along the road until we came to coed cau bach here, marked on the map there is a footpath that would take us across field and join another single-track road that we could follow back to the car.
When we got to coed cau bach, we couldn’t locate any public footpath finger-posts, we did climb over a locked gate and crossed through a field where we believed the right-of-way to be but we couldn’t pick up a path and we eventually gave up and backtracked along the road to the car.
Once we’d got back in the car, we took a spectacular single-track road through the hinterland to Clynnog Fawr. Here I’d hoped we could have a drink at the Beuno Arms, sadly though it had shut since my last visit. I’m told it’s now a holiday let, what a shame to have lost what was at one time a large coaching hostelry.
Undeterred and very thirsty by now we went to Llandwrog hoping for a drink at the Harp, but this country pub was also closed and was up for sale. How sad that we are losing all these characterful country pubs, we’ve all heard the stats about rural inns closing at an alarming rate but never has it been illustrated to me so clearly in an afternoon.
Despite the disappointment of two navigational failures and more than a little sadness about the pubs, it had been a lovely afternoon exploring an area that I’ve neglected in the past. I’ll certainly be back to do more walking along these charming country lanes.
A map of the walk is available here, although I wouldn’t recommend using it for the purpose of navigation! http://walestrails.com/my-routes/ffynnon-gybi-st-cybis-well-and-garn-bentyrch/