The Arch, near Aberystwyth

Walks through huge beech trees with views over hills

What's here

This site and visitor facilities are open – please see more details on this web page.


Coronavirus update


There are coronavirus local restrictions in some areas of Wales.


Our sites remain open in areas with local restrictions but you should not travel from outside the area to visit them - this site is located in the county of Ceredigion.


We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.


You need to wear a mask when going inside one of our buildings.


You can check-in via the NHS app when entering one of our buildings – scan the QR-code on the NHS Covid-19 poster on site.



The Arch car park and picnic area is named after a spectacular old masonry arch which sits by the side of the road from Devil's Bridge.

It was built in 1810 to mark the Golden Jubilee of King George III and the road used to run through it. The arch was once the gateway to the nearby Hafod Estate.

The three short walking trails all lead through huge beech trees planted over 200 years ago by Thomas Johnes who designed the Hafod mansion and grounds.

The viewpoint from the Panorama Walk has far-reaching views.

There are picnic tables on the grassy slope by the car park, overlooking the arch.

Picnic site near the Arch car park

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trails.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Ancient Beech Trail

  • Grade: moderate
  • Distance: ½ mile/0.8 kilometres
  • Total climb: 130 feet/40 metres
  • Time: ¾ hour
  • Trail information: A moderate walk with one steep climb. The surface is generally good but may be wet in places. Walking shoes with a good grip recommended. You need a reasonable level of fitness for this walk.

See huge 200 year-old beech trees planted by Hafod Estate designer, Thomas Johnes, on this short trail.

The Arch Woodland Trail

  • Grade: moderate
  • Distance: 1 mile/1.6 kilometres
  • Total climb: 65 feet/20 metres
  • Time: ¾ hour
  • Trail information: A moderate walk with one steep climb. The surface is generally good but may be wet in places. Walking shoes with a good grip recommended. You need a reasonable level of fitness for this walk.

The Arch Woodland Trail winds its way uphill, passing through several areas of broadleaved trees.

It has views to the surrounding hills, especially in the areas where trees have been felled recently.

Panorama Trail

  • Grade: moderate
  • Distance: 1½ miles/2.5 kilometres
  • Total climb: 400 feet/120 metres
  • Time: 1¼ hours
  • Trail information: A moderate walk with a long climb and steep descent. The surface will be rough and possibly wet in places. Walking shoes with a good grip recommended. You need a good level of fitness for this walk.

After a short but steep climb through heather and bilberry, you’ll reach the viewpoint with bench and panoramic views over the surrounding hills - on a clear day you can see Cadair Idris many miles away in Snowdonia National Park.

The trail continues down a steep slope and returns to the car park through areas of huge beech trees.

Other walking routes

There are five waymarked walking trails at the nearby Hafod Estate which is famous for its “Picturesque” landscape.

The Cambrian Way

The Cambrian Way passes by the Arch car park.

This long distance trail crosses some of the highest and wildest parts of Wales on its journey from the coast at Cardiff to Conwy.

Find out more about The Cambrian Way.

Dark Sky Discovery Site

The Arch at night - Dafydd Wyn Morgan

The Arch has been designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site as it is one of the best local places to see the stars.

It is located in the Cambrian Mountains which have some of the darkest night skies in Europe.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites are places that:

  • are away from the worst of any local light pollution
  • provide good sightlines of the sky
  • have good public access, including firm ground for wheelchairs, and are generally freely accessible at all times

Get tips for enjoying the night sky on the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership website

Fighting tree disease

We have felled groups of larch trees infected with the fungal disease here to help stop it spreading.

The walking trails all pass through areas of recently felled trees and there are now more views from the paths to the surrounding hills.

Read more about tree health in Wales

How to get here


The Arch car park is 15 miles east of Aberystwyth.

It is in the county of Ceredigion.

Ordnance Survey map

The Arch is on Ordnance Survey (OS) map 213.

The OS grid reference is SN 765 756.


Take the B4574 from Devil's Bridge to Cwmystwyth.

After two miles, pass a stone arch on the left and the car park and picnic area is just after it on the left.

Public transport

For details of public transport visit Traveline Cymru's website.


Parking is free of charge.

Closures and diversions

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.
  • 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 on site and any temporary diversion signs

Contact details

0300 065 3000

Other places in Mid Wales