The Torrent Walk is probably one of the most popular low-level circular walks in Snowdonia and takes you through the striking gorge formed by the river Clywedog. The path was commissioned by Baron Richards of the mansion Plas Caerynwch and built by Thomas Payne and his son. The path is now maintained by the Snowdonia National Park. Being 2-3 Km you can rush the walk in an hour or take your time, as we did, and spend most of the morning.
Directions to the Torrent Walk
From Tywyn, head north through the High Street on to the A493. Turn right on to the B4405 (Talyllyn). Continue on this road and then turn left on to the A487. At the Cross Foxes turn left on to the A470. After a mile turn right on to the B4416 sign posted Brithdir. Pass over a single-car width bridge, Pont ar Ddibyn, and there will be a lay by after 100m on your left as the road curves to the right. If the lay by is full, there is further parking after 30m on your right outside a school. You probably won’t be very popular if you take advantage of this parking on a school day! Journey time is probably ½ hour.
Postcode: LL40 2RH
Once you are parked you have a choice of route. If you want to tick-off all the best views good and early, then walk clockwise. If you want to deny yourself, then anti-clockwise it is. Another consideration worth bearing in mind is that you will be walking through a gorge following the path of the river as it descends. At the half-way point, you will cross the river and make your way back, up the gorge. The clockwise route has a steeper climb, essentially a series of steps carved into the hill side, than the anti-clockwise route where the ascent is more gradual. Not knowing any better we chose the clockwise route and were fairly puffed-out at the end.
The anti-clockwise route starts at the lay by and is signposted. The clockwise route is a further 40m up the road back towards Pont ar Ddibyn and, again, is signposted.
The details below relate to the clockwise route.
The Torrent Walk
Once you are through the gate, the river Clywedo will be on your left and you will cross a wooden bridge over the ravine.
As we are definitely towards the leisure-end of the walking spectrum, we took advantage of a bench straightaway on the other side of the bridge.
If this is a little too early for you, then there is another bench a little further into the walk dedicated to Mary Richards. Mary was a botanist who lived at Plas Caerynwch and spent most of her time travelling to Africa returning with plants which can now be found in the gardens at Caerynwch.
The one criticism I have of this walk, especially as it was purpose built, is the lack of benches. Once you have passed Mary’s bench, then you are done with sitting. If you have taken a picnic, then this is your best spot for a rest up as it overlooks the highest water fall.
When we visited in May, the wild garlic was in full bloom along with the blue bells.
A little further into the walk, you will come across three large boulders across the path orphaned by the last ice age.
The half-way point is marked by the Pont Clywedog bridge. Exit the path through the kissing gate and turn right. Walk up the slight incline and take the right fork. You will arrive at another signpost within 50m on your right. Unfortunately, views of the river and its many falls are few and far between on your return journey making the route back just another wooded walk. This coupled with the steeper climbs makes it more of a trudge. When I do the walk again, I will take the anti-clockwise route!
As with many gorge walks the sights and sounds are probably best experienced after a good bit of rain when the Afon Clywedog is likely to be in full flow. We visited on a beautiful warm spring day when perhaps the spectacle wasn’t at its thunderous best. But then again we are fair weather walkers.
On our return to Tywyn we stopped off at the Tallylyn Lake purely to take in the views of this picturesque glacial lake.