Hafod is known mainly for its association with an inspired individual, Thomas Johnes, who owned the estate from 1780 – 1816. At this period a tour of the wild upland scenery and antiquities of Wales was fashionable among the leisured classes, and Johnes made Hafod an essential destination for these early tourists. He shaped the already spectacular landscape in the “Picturesque” style, laid out walks to make it accessible, constructed bridges, gardens, cottages and a model farm, erected a new house of romantic appearance, and, to accommodate visitors, built the Hafod Arms at nearby Devil’s Bridge (then part of the Hafod estate).
Although Johnes’s house has gone, the natural elements of the landscape – river scenery, woodland, waterfalls, rocky crags – remain, and the historic walks and other features are being restored by Forest Enterprise, in partnership with the Hafod Trust.
Hafod is open to the public at all times, free of charge, although forestry or restoration works may sometimes restrict access. Walking routes begin at the car park near the church (on the B 4574), where a free leaflet is available, and there is also a programme of guided walks during the year.
NEW: Hawthorn Cottage is now available for booking. See website for details.
Waymarked trails at Hafod
The Hafod Project is restoring historical walks through the breath-taking scenery of this old estate. Waterfalls, wildlife, and wonderful old trees abound.
Three waymarked routes are currently available:
Bedford Monument Walk: 1.6 km, easy but with one short steep section. Stays above the valley, with good views over the estate.
Alpine Bridge Walk: 3.6 km, moderate. Visits the celebrated Peiran Cascade, meadows beside the Afon Ystwyth, the restored Alpine Bridge, and parkland around the former mansion and home farm.
Gentleman’s Walk: 3.2 km (plus 2.5 km to & from the car park), difficult. A newly-restored route starting at the Alpine Bridge and visiting waterfalls, the Nant Gau ravine, groves of old beeches, a rustic bridge, and riverside fields. Excellent for bluebells in spring.
All walks start at the car park near Hafod church on the B4574; grid ref. SN768737. Free leaflet available in the car park.
Please note that uneven or slippery ground and unguarded drops may be found on all routes, and strong footwear is advised.