This little (~1mile) walk is one of our regular pre-dinner strolls; it takes you through the village and up to a viewpoint. There is a short but steep climb to the little summit and a more gentle walk off. In the autumn you can pick blueberries on the top (if the locals haven’t got them all first). Don’t attempt this walk in summer – the bracken is over head-height and it’s impassable!
From Isfryn walk down the lane, crossing the river and then going up the hill into the main village, passing the big house Bryn Derwen on your left. Just past Bryn Derwen is a narrow walled lane that was the route of the tramway used to transport slate from the mines in the hills to the long-closed Aberangell station. The bungalow to your right used to be part of the station buildings. Just up the hill is the Bethania Chapel, this was built in 1903 when the congregation outgrew Hebron Chapel (next door to Isfryn) – Hebron chapel used to regularly overflow and people had to listen outside.
At the junction at the top of the hill (past yet another chapel), turn left and walk along this street for a few hundred metres until you reach a road that cuts back sharply right. Take the little footpath through the trees on the right and follow it, heading up through the trees until it flattens off at the edge of the wood. The view from here is not bad, but it’s even better from the top. You should notice a path coming in from your left – make a mental note of the spot because you’ll be coming back down that path later.
Walk on a few metres and then continue up the hill (steep!) via the obvious path to the very top, where there are great views of the Dyfi and Angell valleys. to the North you can see the edge of the Aran range – Snowdonia’s most Southerly. It’s a perfect spot for a cold beer, if you’ve come prepared. This is the top of Pen y Clipiau. Clipiau is the old name for the upper part of the village, and the name means ‘Peak of Clipiau’.
Continue over the summit for 10-100m and you will see one or more paths to your left. They all join up, so pick one you like the look of and follow the path down and along until you pop out on the initial flattening mentioned earlier and turn right to retrace your steps down to road again. The path junction isn’t very obvious unless you’re watching out, but if you miss the turning it’s not a problem – you’ll probably come out close to the village hall.
If you forgot your beer or are still thirsty then, as you arrive back on the road, turn right and 100m up the road is one of the village springs, Ffynnon Byseiri, marked with a slate sign (which translates roughly as ‘it unfailingly gives drink’). Just turn the tap for cool, tasty Welsh spring water!