A Day Out in The Ystwyth Valley

Explore the Ystwyth Valley with a drive to the village of Pontarfynach to discover "Devil's Bridge". It's where the story of the Devil being tricked by an old lady into building a bridge originates from. There are two walks to chose from (or do both) where you can see The Devil's Punch Bowl, or take the Nature Trail through the woodlands to see the waterfalls. The three bridges can be seen from both walks.

The Vale of Rheidol Railway runs from Aberystwyth to Pontarfynach. The journey takes about an hour (one way), and has fantastic views of the Ystwyth Valley, as you slowly chuff along the steam railway line towards Pontarfynach.

In the afternoon, make your way to Bwlch Nant-Yr-Arian; a Natural Resources Wales managed site where you can see Red Kites being fed, or participate in one of the many walks or cycle trails around the site. The Visitor Centre has a shop, toilet facilities and a café for refreshments.

You will find Traveline Cymru useful for travel via Bus should you decide to take public transport. Visit www.traveline.cymru to plan your journey. There is a frequent service to Bwlch Nant-Yr-Arian and Devil's Bridge, returning to Aberystwyth, for both destinations.

 

Morning

There are 2 options for this journey:

You can take the Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge which takes about an hour (one-way). As you get off the train and head down towards Devil’s Bridge, you’ll pass the Hafod Hotel which was featured in the Welsh drama, “Hinterland”. The sound of the waterfalls can be heard as you walk towards the bridge, at which point you can go either go through a turnstile and down a steep path towards the “Devil’s Punchbowl” or you can take the longer woodland walk which heads down towards the Waterfalls, both with views of the three stacked bridges where the story of Devil’s Bridge stems from. Learn about the legend of the Devil who was tricked into building the bridge, whilst you’re here. Return via the steam railway to Aberystwyth.

OR

Leave Aberystwyth on the A4120 for Pontarfynach (Devil’s Bridge) which is approximately 12 miles away. There is parking on both sides of the bridge. Hafod Hotel overlooks the Bridges and woodland and was featured in the Welsh drama, “Hinterland”. The sound of the waterfalls can be heard as you walk towards the bridge, at which point you can go either go through a turnstile and down a steep path towards the “Devil’s Punchbowl” or you can take the longer woodland walk which heads down towards the Waterfalls, both with views of the three stacked bridges which the story of Devil’s Bridge stems from. Learn about the legend of the Devil who was tricked into building the bridge, whilst you’re here.

Continuing along the A4120 and onto the A44, you should aim to leave Devil’s Bridge in time to see the Red Kites being fed at Bwlch Nant-Yr-Arian. It is approximately 6 miles from Devil’s Bridge to Bwlch Nant-Yr-Arian and should take about 10-15 minutes.

The village of Devil's Bridge, which translated in Welsh is Pontarfynach, means 'The bridge on the Mynach' is internationally famous for its waterfalls, and the Rheidol narrow gauge Steam Railway.

Ceredigion, SY23 3JW

Walkers are Welcome Towns and Villages

 

Travelling on the Vale of Rheidol Railway is the finest way to explore the stunning Rheidol Valley. Opened in 1902, the railway has been delighting passengers young and old for over a century.

Rail Route: Devil's Bridge to Aberystwyth

Pontarfynach | Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion, SY23 3JW

Walkers are Welcome Towns and Villages

 
 

Lunch

The Hafod Hotel is situated in the village of Pontarfynach and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A gift shop and tearooms are both located at the entrance to the walks, but only open from Mid Spring to October.

Bwlch Nant-Yr-Arian has a café within the Visitor Centre and serves hot food from 10am-3pm.

The café serves fresh, locally sourced produce daily. The menu includes succulent pork sausages and tasty venison or beef burgers, homemade soups and a delicious choice of cakes.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3AB

Visit Wales VAQASFood Standards Hygiene (Very Good)Self-assessed Accessibility Information

 
 

Afternoon

Bwlch Nant-Yr-Arian is managed by Natural Resources Wales and has a large car park; cycling and walking trails, a boardwalk, Red Kite feeding station, café, shop and toilets. The Red Kites are fed daily at 3pm in summer (2pm in winter) beside the lake. If you walk towards the Visitor’s Centre from the car park, head to the left-hand side of the building and follow the boardwalk (in a clockwise direction) around to the viewing area. There are various walking trails of different lengths and abilities for you to have a wander. Perhaps venture out on the Miner’s Trail where you will come to the Giant’s Chair, which is literally a gigantic wooden chair overlooking the woodland, with views down towards Aberystwyth (you can see the sea from here).

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre sits at the head of a dramatic valley and has commanding views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3AB

Visit Wales VAQASFood Standards Hygiene (Very Good)Self-assessed Accessibility Information

 
 

Overnight

Please visit: www.showmewales.co.uk for places to stay if you need accommodation, and suggestions for places to eat.
 
 

Other Itineraries

> Explore Mid Wales Days Out

> Heritage Railways

> Scenic Railway Day Trips

> Short Breaks by Train

> Short Breaks in Mid Wales

Connect with us on Social Media