A night Out On Abergwesyn Common

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Nov 17, 2011
I've had a loose idea that I'd like to wild camp every month this year. Whilst I've not been entirely successful so far, I have at least been out every month ie garden (Jan, Feb), Burton Dasset (Mar) & Rough Close (Apr). This time I wanted to do it properly and so after perusing a few of my favourite blogs, I settled on 'Backpackingbongos' route to Abergwesyn Common as a basis for a wild camp and walk with my 11 year old son. I know it's the easy way out, having someone else research the route & parking etc, but it sure takes away the stress of researching and organising a trip, as well as introducing me to new areas to explore. So last Sunday my son and I set off for Abergwesyn and after a 2 hour drive from Warwickshire we arrived, via some stunning roads A481 and A44, at the carpark outside the hamlet. With kit on we set off and after 1km bumped into the only people we would see, after a few pleasantries, we continued up the river valley, first on a bridleway and then sheep trod's. There are a couple of fords to cross which proved entertaining and a varied mix of terrain and wildlife was encountered as we progressed up the valley. Red Kites wheeled overhead and lambs and sheep patrolled the valley sides, providing lot's of interest and discussion potential for my son and I. Eventually we approached the head of the valley at the watershed and started the stiff pull up Bryn Glas for a short break, food and a drink. From there we set off across bog and tussocks towards the flanks of Drygarn Fawr, with it's picturesque 'Beehive' cairns. We dropped our packs half way up, before exploring the summit, looking for somewhere to pitch the Trailstar. Due to the Southerly wind we opted for a spot just off the summit on the Northern slopes that was both flat and free of boulders. Having set up home, we had an evening meal before settling in for the night, story followed story before my son eventually drifted off to sleep and I soon followed. It was pretty cold (3~4 deg C) and plenty of condensation formed on the Trailstar and we awoke to a damp foggy hillside, we both turned over and drifted off back to sleep until the sun had burnt off the fog. It was still cold though and neither of us felt like waiting for a brew and porridge, so we packed up chucked some trail mix down before heading off to the second cairn. From here we set course across the watershed aiming by compass for a valley and ridge to take us down to Coed Trallwm and back to the carpark. Although the marshes were shown as further to the east, as everyone knows in Wales you have to take that with a pinch of salt, we headed across some of the worst terrain I've experienced (think Elan valley or Kinder for an idea), with tussocks and sedge grass covering either ankle breaking boulders or knee deep bogs. It was like Russian roulette! having negotiated that we descended from the common and entered the Forest before climbing back out and contouring round the hills back to Abergwesyn. Once back at the car, we dropped our gear, cleaned up in the toilets and then drove back to Warwickshire. A great time out, full of adventure and father son bonding.













Hope you like the pictures!


May 22, 2011
march, cambs
Fantastic read!! Thanks for that!!

Good to see a young lad out too!!

Did you take much kit?


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Nov 17, 2011
Thanks Steve. I took the following.
Shelter - trailstar and bivy bags (Alpkit), sleeping bags (Alpkit Skyhigh), Thermarests and ground sheets
Stove - primus Himalayer + gas cart, 2 Alpkit Ti mugs Ti KFS + pot cosie's
Food - trailmix, meat balls and rice (look what we found)
Water - drinksafe in line filter, Source 3l bladder + 2 750ml bottles
Wash kit & toilet kit
Water proofs - MTP mvp trousers and jacket
Rucksack - Lightwave 60l
I think the all up weight for me was 14Kg in the pack, my son took a North Face 20l sack with his sleeping kit and clothes and ods and sods, about 4.5 Kg.



John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
I love that part of the world :)
I used to do a backpack every year up that way - between Xmas and New Year:)
Pretty hard going in places - especially after a lot of rain!


Nov 17, 2011
I can certainly recommend it, it's very quiet and doesn't attract the masses like the honey pots of Snowdonia and The Brecon beacons.
Thanks for the kind words everyone.


Jul 24, 2008
I know that area very well, I have had some great trips there over the years it’s a lovely area with some beautiful waterfalls on the streams, the Gwesyn valley is a nice walk to Drygarn Fawr and those beehives cairns are great. You mention some marshes and rough walking and guess you are referring to and tried to avoid Bryn Rhudd bog by descending west of it, I know what you mean, south of Drygarn between the head of the Gwesyn to Carnau the whole area is a bog, the first time I ever went there I was standing at the cairn at Carnau and could see the cairns of Drygarn so decided to walk in a direct line to them crossing the heads of the Gewyn and Melyn streams which was a big mistake, it is indeed very rough and is better to contour round. Thanks for sharing its brought back many memories, the Abergwesyn to Tregaron road along the River Irfon valley via the ‘Devils Staircase’ is fantastic and Llyn Brianne reservoir down the road is just stunning and my favourite one in Wales. Nice to see your young lad enjoying himself too.:) ATB.


Aug 11, 2011
Abergavenny Wales
Nice trip for you both , was that first one your son has done , use to do a lot with my boys but youngest is 26 this year ,still recall how exciting they found it though before they got into all the game systems in their teenage years ,pity more youngsters were not involved in the outdoor life .

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