Hafod Estate, near Aberystwyth
Dramatic woodland walks, waterfalls and views in an historic landscape.
- Walking trails
The Hafod Estate occupies about 200 hectares of the Ystwyth valley and the surrounding hills twelve miles south east of Aberystwyth.
History of Hafod
The estate was designed in the late eighteenth century by Thomas Johnes. He built a new house in this remote location and laid out its grounds in the “Picturesque” style which was fashionable at the time.
Hafod soon became an essential destination for visitors in search of “wild nature” and the paths, views, gardens and mansion were the subject of numerous contemporary accounts.
The mansion was demolished in the1950s and Hafod now lies within a working forest. It is managed by Natural Resources Wales in partnership with the Hafod Trust.
The historic landscape is being conserved and restored to protect its habitats and to provide access for walkers to the circular paths created by Johnes. There are five way-marked walks, of varying length and difficulty, from the car park.
- Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations
- Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff
- Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place
All of the walking trails are waymarked and start from The Hafod car park.
You can download a PDF of the trails before your visit or purchase the guide map produced by the Hafod Trust from the onsite dispensing machine (takes 2 x £1 coins) or by post from the Hafod Trust office (see useful links).
Bedford Monument Walk
1 mile, 1.6 kilometres
A walk with a relatively gentle gradient up to the Bedford monument from where you can enjoy a beautiful view over the estate.
Ystwyth Gorge Walk
1 mile, 1.5 kilometres
This spectacular route takes you across the rocky gorge on a wobbly (but safe!) narrow chain bridge. There are some climbs and descents along the way and steep drops beside the path.
The Lady’s Walk
2.2 miles, 3.6 kilometres
This walk is one of two classic circular routes created by Johnes in his first years at Hafod. It takes you through a lovely meadow and past a stunning waterfall along paths with a gentle gradient.
The Gentleman’s Walk
3.7 miles, 6 kilometres
This spectacular walk is the second “Picturesque” circuit created by Johnes. It takes in huge old beech trees, the amazing Cavern Cascade and unique bridges. It is a strenuous walk with many steep climbs and descents.
Coed Hafod Walk
Three quarters of a mile, 1.2 kilometres
This short walk runs west along the south-facing slope of the Ystwyth Valley and offers stunning views across the Hafod Estate. It passes through several different types of woodland and there is the option to join a different trail to complete a circular walk back to the car park.
- Download our PlacesToGo app to plan your visit
- Find out what’s on
- Find out how to respect, protect and enjoy the countryside
- Help prevent the spread of tree disease
- Organise an event or activity in a woodland managed by Natural Resources Wales
- Plan an educational visit or activity
- See the list of current exclusions and restrictions to open access land
The Hafod Estate is 12 miles south east of Aberystwyth on the B4574.
The OS grid reference is SN 768 736.
Car parking in Hafod Estate car park is free of charge.
From Devils Bridge: take the B4574 to Cwmystwyth. Pass The Arch car park and carry on downhill. Turn right shortly after passing the Cwmystwyth sign. Go past Pwllpeiran Farm to a T-junction and turn right. Pass Hafod Church and turn left into Hafod Estate car park.
From Pontrhydygroes: head north on the B4343 and turn right onto the B4574 towards Cwmystwyth when you see the Hafod sign. Go along this road for one mile and Hafod Estate car park is on the right.
The nearest train station is in Aberystwyth. For details of public transport visit www.traveline.cymru
Tel: 0300 065 3000