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The Arch, near Aberystwyth

Walking trails through huge beech trees with views over surrounding hills

Woman on bench looking at view

What's here

Dogs welcome
Parking (free)
Picnic area
Walking trail

Coronavirus update


All Natural Resources Wales (NRW) car parks, play areas and toilet blocks in the reserves, woods and forests are closed from 23 March 2020.


For more information see our main page on coronavirus.


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 three walking trails are waymarked and start from the car park.

They are circular trails and they all return to the car park past a bench in a glade of huge beech trees.

Ancient Beech Trail

½ mile/0.8 kilometres, moderate

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

Arch Woodland Trail

1 mile/1.6 kilometres, moderate

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

1⅓ miles/2.1 kilometres, moderate

After a short but steep climb through heather and bilberry, you’ll reach the viewpoint with bench and panoramic views over the surrounding hills as far as Snowdonia National Park.

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

Other routes

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

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.

Dark Sky Discovery Site

The Arch at night - Dafydd Wyn MorganThe 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 Phytophthora ramorum 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

Closures and diversions

Please note:

  • 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

How to get here

The Arch car park is 15 miles east of Aberystwyth.

Parking is free of charge.

Download the location map.


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.

Ordnance Survey map

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

The OS grid reference is SN 765 756.

Public transport

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

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000



Related document downloads

Location map PDF [163.7 KB]

Other places in Mid Wales

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