Distance: 9 miles / 14 km
Time: Around 6 hours
Grade: Hard Mountain Walk
Start: Dinas Mawddwy car park (Grid Reference: SH 859 149)
Finish: Bwlch Llyn Bach pass (Tal-y-llyn pass) car park on the A487 (Grid Reference: SH 753 135)
Terrain: Woodland paths and rough and wet mountain terrain.
Map: OS Explorer OL23 (Cadair Idris & Llyn Tegid). Note - Good navigational skills are essential for this walk.
The Waun-oer Ridge Walk climbs from the village of Dinas Mawddwy over the bare mountains of Maesglase, Craig Portas, Cribin Fawr and Waun-oer and then down the slopes of Mynydd Ceiswyn to Bwlch Llyn Bach pass, Tal-y-llyn.
This is the area of the Red Bandits of Mawddwy (Gwylliaid Cochion Mawddwy in Welsh), the C16 robbers known to rob those travelling through Bwlch Oerddrws pass at the upper part of Cwm Cerist. The placenames on Bwlch Oerddrws, for example Llety'r Lladron (robbers lodging) and Llety'r Gwylliaid (bandits lodging), reminds us of this troubled time in the area of Mawddwy.
The walk takes you to Maesglasau valley where the poet and hymnist Hugh Jones, Maesglasau (1749-1825) was brought up. According to O.M. Edwards, Hugh Jones' hymn 'O! tyn y gorchudd yn y mynydd hwn' ('Oh remove the cover in this mountain') is considered the best hymn in the Welsh language. It was from this hymn that Angharad Price's award winning novel's title, O! Tyn y Gorchudd, came from. This jewel of a novel is the imaginary autobiography of Rebecca Jones who lived at Tynybraich, Maesglasau and was the sister of the author's grandfather.
At the other side of the Waun-oer ridge is Bwlch Llyn Bach pass (small lake pass). There used to be a lake at the top of the pass before the A487 road was built through it. It was near this lake that criminals were thrown from the top of a rock called Llam y Lladron (robbers' leap) to their deaths!