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GPX files of Cambrian Way Route

The following GPX files can be downloaded and imported into the Ordnance Survey's OS Maps Service or into any other mapping software or GPS unit that supports this format. To download these files, just click each link. Internet Explorer may offer options to Open or Save but other browsers may just save the file. Files are normally saved in your Downloads folder unless another folder has been selected. Alternatively CambWayGPX.zip (last updated 13/08/2017) will download a zip file containing all the GPX files.

KML File for Whole Route

Alan Iwi has kindly sent a KML file created from the whole list of GPX files including Route Variants and has also added Welsh translations. Please note that not all mapping software (including Getamap) is able to cope with files of this size, so it is a matter of trial and error with each one. Google Earth handles the file perfectly well, but does not show O.S. mapping, only aerial images.

Please Note: This file does not include the latest amendments and corrections that have been made to the GPX files due to lack of software to handle a file with this number of plotted points.

Download Cambrian Way KML file (211 kb) 3/5/2013

O.S. Getamap Service - Now Replaced by OS Maps service (1/8/2015)

Any attempt to log into Getamap is now directed to the OS Maps service which will work on multiple devices such as phones and tablets as well as on PCs. However, this service severely restricts what is available for free, which is limited to a zoomable map with faint contour lines but no height marking and little detail of many features or footpaths, so it is only of limited value to walkers. However, as a registered user it is still possible to load routes from GPX files and make A4 prints. Detailed aerial mapping is also available. Other mapping with 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 Landranger and Explorer maps and many useful facilities is restricted to the subscription service which currently costs 19.99 per annum or 7.99 for one month (as of Aug 2015) with some special offers available, but is likely to increase as more facilities are added.

It would be nice to think that many of the problems with the old service have been resolved, but there seems to be no improvement in performance, and plotting routes becomes painfully slow when the number of waypoints reaches a couple of hundred as before. This means it is still unsuitable for downloading track logs, which generally contain a much larger number of waypoints. Looking at their information, there is a limit of 2000 waypoints supported by OS Maps, but also an undefined limit at which Microsoft Silverlite which is used by OS Maps, gives errors and fails to load. This can happen with a lot less than 2000 waypoints, presumably depending on the computer resources available. In any event, with more than 200 to 300 waypoints everything becomes tediously slow. This problem has been raised with the Ordnance Survey and their response is to avoid large numbers of waypoints, as there are no plans on trying to improve this in the foreseeable future.

A further problem that has been raised with the Ordnance Survey is that with OS Maps it is not possible to display more than one route at once, so if a map section needs to show an alternative route or a continuation from another route file this is not possible, unlike Getamap which would enable several routes to be displayed at once. The Ordnance Survey say there are no plans to change this, so this limits its usefulness to a great extent. It can still be used to print off map sections, but only one route section can be displayed on each print.

Another problem that existed in Getamap was that of poor quality printing on many low cost colour printers. This was because maps were sent in full colour rather than using only the limited range of colours that are necessary for mapping. For many domestic printers this involved print resolution being reduced to an unacceptable level for fine detail. This problem, at least, has been reolved with OS Maps, and high qauality prints can now be made on a low cost ink jet printer. It has not yet been put to the test on a laser printer, but is likely to work well.

Looking at all the problems with OS Maps, it is difficult to see it as a useful product, though it could prove worthwhile for simple routes and for printing of plain map sections. The attitude of the Ordnance Survey to its shortcomings means that it is unlikely to improve, at least in short term unless they have a drastic reappraisal of the situation and decide to put more effort into making it into a worthwhile product. Its only redeeming feature is in the quality of the underlying maps themselves and the relatively low cost of a subscription. On a recent walk, A4 map sections were printed without attempting to include the route, which was then added manually with a highlighter! By printing double sided, a great deal of weight was saved compared with taking normal maps, and the cost, incliuding subscription and printer consumables, was also much less.

Importing Files to OS Maps

The Cambrian Way files vary in the number of waypoints they contain, but are generally less than 300, at which level slow performance is becoming a significant factor, so some patience is required when using the service. Select 'Routes' from the top toolbar and one of the options on the left is 'Import GPX'. After selecting a file, click 'Save' and the route will show on the map. A4 prints can be made for free from the zoomable map, but to access any other maps or many other facilities requires a subscription.

O.S. GPX Route Files

Please note that these files have been created by updating the route to match that of the 7th Edition of the Cambrian Way Guidebook (2016) as closely as possible, using OS maps online software. In places where there was some uncertainty as to the correct route on the O.S. maps, an attempt has been made to follow paths visible on aerial photographs, though some of these are difficult to find or follow. This means that there may be places where the route plotted is not the best practical one. Feedback to george@gtleisure.co.uk would be greatly appreciated on any problems with these route files. There is, of course, no obligation for walkers to take the exact route, as the Cambrian Way can be considered completed by having walked a continuous route taking in all the checkpoints, but the objective of this exercise is to define the route as accurately as possible to assist walkers, particularly in bad weather, and to avoid errors that may occur when transferring the route from the sketch maps of the guidebook onto O.S. paper maps.

In June 2016 some of these files were validated on a walk from Cardiff to Barmouth and a number of minor corrections were made as a result. Unfortunately, the GPS in use would not hold more than 5 days of track log, so many of these were lost and corrections to earlier sections relied on memory and notes, so they may not have the accuracy that was hoped for. The majority of the route, however, proved to be remarkably accurate.

GPX Files

Section No. Route Download File Notes
Walking time is given using Nasmith's Rule of 3mph plus 30mins per 1,000ft of ascent. Note With a heavy pack and/or rough terrain plus rest breaks it is likely to take considerably longer. This is not an exact science and measurements have been rounded off. Some GPS units will not accept routes with more then 250 waypoints, so split sections have been included with names ending in 'X' or 'Y' for larger files.
1 Cardiff to Risca CambWaySect1.gpx Main Route - minor corrections added 08/07/2016
Distance: 18.0ml (28.9km) - Total Ascent: 2,600ft (793m) - Total Descent: 2,450ft (746m) - Time: 7hr 15min
2 Risca to Abergavenny CambWaySect2.gpx Main Route - minor corrections added 08/07/2016
Distance: 20.5ml (33.0km) - Total Ascent: 3,800ft (1,160m) - Total Descent: 3,800ft (1,160m) - Time: 8hr 40min
2X Risca to Pontypool CambWaySect2X.gpx First Part of Section 2 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 8.5ml (13.6km) - Total Ascent: 1,835ft (560m) - Total Descent: 1,640ft (500m) - Time: 3hr 42min
2Y Pontypool to Abergavenny CambWaySect2Y.gpx Second Part of Section 2 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 12.0ml (19.4km) - Total Ascent: 1,965ft (599m) - Total Descent: 2,154ft (657m) - Time: 4hr 58min
3 Abergavenny to Capel-y-ffin CambWaySect3.gpx Main Route - minor corrections added 08/07/2016
Distance: 13.4ml (21.6km) - Total Ascent: 3,690ft (1,125m) - Total Descent: 2,840ft (866m) - Time: 6hr 15min
3A Accommodation Diversion to Llanthony CambWaySect3A.gpx Alternative route for accommodation
Distance: 1.4ml (2.3km) - Total Ascent: 55ft (17m) - Total Descent: 960ft (293m) - Time: 0hr 29min
4 Capel-y-ffin to Crickhowell CambWaySect4.gpx Main Route. The last half a mile to the summit of Twmpa is not clearly defined, though a number of faint tracks can be picked up along the way. Minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 16.3ml (26.2km) - Total Ascent: 3,055ft (931m) - Total Descent: 3,805ft (1,160m) - Time: 6hr 53min
4A Accommodation Diversion to Pengenffordd CambWaySect4A.gpx Alternative route for accommodation
Distance: 2.9ml (4.7km) - Total Ascent: 95ft (29m) - Total Descent: 1,520ft (464m) - Time: 1hr 0min
5 Crickhowell to Storey Arms CambWaySect5.gpx Main Route. This is a very demanding section to complete in one day. A detour to Danywenallt Y.H. or Talybont-on-Usk is generally preferable. Several sections of the route are undefined, though paths can be picked up for most of the way. Updated to follow Beacons Way onto Craig Cwareli instead of crossing rough ground. Minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 21.0ml (33.7km) - Total Ascent: 6,020ft (1,835m) - Total Descent: 4,870ft (1,485m) - Time: 9hr 53min
5X Crickhowell to Torpantau Pass CambWaySect5X.gpx First Part of Section 5 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 13.7ml (22.1km) - Total Ascent: 3,050ft (929m) - Total Descent: 1,950ft (929m) - Time: 6hr 4min
5Y Torpantau Pass to Storey Arms CambWaySect5Y.gpx Second Part of Section 5 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 7.0ml (11.3km) - Total Ascent: 2,970ft (905m) - Total Descent: 2,920ft (891m) - Time: 3hr 49min
5A Talybont Variant CambWaySect5A.gpx Alternative route for accommodation, either at Danywenallt Y.H. or in Talybont-on-Usk.
Distance: 12.4ml (20.0km) - Total Ascent: 2,510ft (766m) - Total Descent: 1,630ft (498m) - Time: 5hr 22min
6 Storey Arms to Llanddeusant (road crossing near Talsarn). CambWaySect6.gpx Main Route. Updated with minor changes by road crossing at SN853202. Further minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 16.3ml (26.2km) - Total Ascent: 4,305ft (1,312m) - Total Descent: 4,670ft (1,424m) - Time: 7hr 28min
6A Llwyn-y-celyn Hostel Variant and Ystradfellte Variant CambWaySect6A.gpx Alternative routes for accommodation. Considerable sections of this route are undefined, though paths can be picked up in some parts. Alongside Ystradfellte Reservoir there are several tracks at different heights running in parallel. The lower ones have deep dips where they cross many small streams, whereas the ones higher up the hillside afford easier crossings. Updated to cross River Neath by old footbridge near Blaen-nedd-isaf Farm as shown in guidebook (no right of way to new footbridge through farm land and old footbridge has not been removed as previously thought).
Distance: 19.0ml (30.6km) - Total Ascent: 4,435ft (1,352m) - Total Descent: 3,510ft (1,070m) - Time: 8hr 30min
6B Llanddeusant Hostel Variant CambWaySect6B.gpx Alternative route for accommodation. Although this is an alternative route, it is highly recommended for the fine views of Llyn y Fan Fach, if time permits. Updated to follow Beacons Way from near Llyn y Fan Fach to Llanddeusant (disputed access on previous route). Further minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 5.0ml (8.0km) - Total Ascent: 165ft (50m) - Total Descent: 1,310ft (400m) - Time: 1hr 44min
6C Sarn Helen Variant CambWaySect6C.gpx Alternative route following Roman Road. This route turns off the Main Route at Bryn Melyn to follow the old Roman Road of Sarn Helen, joining back up with Ystradfellte Variant near Blaen-nedd-isaf Farm, thus avoiding about 4 miles of rough walking, though not offering any accommodation.
Distance: 4.0ml (6.4km) - Total Ascent: 320ft (98m) - Total Descent: 700ft (213m) - Time: 1hr 29min
7 Llanddeusant (road crossing near Talsarn) to Rhandirmwyn CambWaySect7.gpx Main Route - minor corrections added 08/07/2016
Distance: 15.1ml (24.4km) - Total Ascent: 2,110ft (643m) - Total Descent: 2,825ft (861m) - Time: 6hr 4min
8 Rhandirmwyn to Strata Florida CambWaySect8.gpx Main Route. Involves about 2 miles of difficult walking over rough and boggy ground beyond Ty'n-y-cornel Hostel. Route here is undefined, but keeping to higher ground helps to avoid bogs. Updated with diversion round Nant y Maen Farm. Further minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 19.2ml (31.0km) - Total Ascent: 3,360ft (1,024m) - Total Descent: 3,095ft (944m) - Time: 8hr 3min
8A Soar y Mynydd Variant CambWaySect8A.gpx Alternative route. About half a mile longer but with easier walking (about 2.5 miles on minor road).
Distance: 5.5ml (8.9km) - Total Ascent: 1,045ft (318m) - Total Descent: 620ft (188m) - Time: 2hr 20min
8B Pontrhydfendigaid Variant CambWaySect8B.gpx Alternative route for accommodation. First 1.5 miles of route is undefined, though some faint paths can be picked up from time to time.
Distance: 5.0ml (8.0km) - Total Ascent: 165ft (50m) - Total Descent: 1,310ft (400m) - Time: 1hr 44min
8C Tregaron Variant CambWaySect8C.gpx Alternative route for accommodation.
Distance: 5.0ml (8.0km) - Total Ascent: 140ft (43m) - Total Descent: 1,040ft (317m) - Time: 1hr 43min
9 Strata Florida to Devil's Bridge CambWaySect9.gpx Main Route. Paths are now better defined, though boggy in places. Amended to avoid very boggy area towards Domen Milwen.
Distance: 14.7ml (23.6km) - Total Ascent: 2,720ft (879m) - Total Descent: 2,660ft (812m) - Time: 6hr 13min
10 Devil's Bridge to Dylife CambWaySect10.gpx Main Route. Some sections of route are not clearly defined, particularly that for about a mile from Source of Severn until track to Bugeilyn is picked up. Minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 19.8ml (31.9km) - Total Ascent: 4,325ft (1,317m) - Total Descent: 3805ft (1,160m) - Time: 8hr 42min
11 Dylife to Commins Coch CambWaySect11.gpx Main Route. Some short sections are not clearly defined, particularly at the head of Cwm Ednant. Path from SN853983 to SN861987 now follows trcck on south side of fence. Other minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 9.5ml (15.3km) - Total Ascent: 1,840ft (561m) - Total Descent: 2,850ft (869m) - Time: 4hr 2min
12 Commins Coch to Dinas Mawddwy CambWaySect12.gpx Main Route. Some sections of route are not clearly defined, particularly the right of way alongside the wind farm and also over hillside from SO873099 for about half a mile. Other minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 13.6ml (21.8km) - Total Ascent: 2,720ft (829m) - Total Descent: 2,610ft (795m) - Time: 5hr 50min
12A Cemmaes Variant CambWaySect12A.gpx Alternative Route for accommodation. Minor corrections added 08/07/2016.
Distance: 5.2ml (8.4km) - Total Ascent: 3,105ft (946m) - Total Descent: 1,130ft (344m) - Time: 3hr 13min
13 Dinas Mawddwy to Barmouth CambWaySect13.gpx Main Route. This is a very demanding section to complete in one day and a detour for accommodation at Minffordd or King's Youth Hostel is generally preferred. Minor amendment made 25/8/2014 to avoid fences at Bwlch Llyn Bach. Further minor corrections added 08/07/2016 and 13/08/2017.
Distance: 21.6ml (34.7km) - Total Ascent: 6,560ft (2,000m) - Total Descent: 6,845ft (2,086m) - Time: 10hr 20min
13X Dinas Mawddwy to Bwlch Llyn Bach CambWaySect13X.gpx First Part of Section 13 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 9.0ml (14.5km) - Total Ascent: 3,470ft (1,039m) - Total Descent: 2,785ft (849m) - Time: 4hr 39min
13Y Bwlch Llyn Bach to Barmouth CambWaySect13Y.gpx Second Part of Section 13 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 12.6ml (20.2km) - Total Ascent: 3,155ft (962m) - Total Descent: 4,090ft (1,247m) - Time: 5hr 41min
13A Minffordd Alternative Route to Cadair Idris CambWaySect13A.gpx Alternative Route - either for accommodation or to take the more spectacular Minffordd Path to Cadair Idris. Minor amendments to show footpaths alongside A470.
Distance: 5.2ml (8.4km) - Total Ascent: 3,105ft (946m) - Total Descent: 1,130ft (344m) - Time: 3hr 13min
13B King's Hostel Variant CambWaySect13B.gpx Alternative route for accommodation - Footpath diversion round Ty'n Llidiart Farm. GPX file updated.
Distance: 4.6ml (7.4km) - Total Ascent: 780ft (238m) - Total Descent: 1,835ft (559m) - Time: 1hr 53min
14 Barmouth to Maentwrog CambWaySect14.gpx Main Route. This is a very demanding route and takes far longer than the mileage would suggest because of the difficult terrain, so few people can walk it in one day. Accommodation is scarce, generally involving a long detour west from Bwlch Drws Ardudwy - see guidebook for suggestions. The latest modification to the file results from recent evaluation of various routes on the ground. There are numerous alternatives, but this is one that avoids too many steep scrambles, though the difficult terrain makes some scrambling unavoidable. Minor corrections to route and to emphasise which side of wall to take towards Diffwys 13/08/2017.
Distance: 24.6ml (39.6km) - Total Ascent: 8,345ft (2,544m) - Total Descent: 8,345ft (2,545m) - Time: 12hr 12min
14X Barmouth to Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy CambWaySect14X.gpx First Part of Section 14 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 11.0ml (17.7km) - Total Ascent: 4,140ft (1,262m) - Total Descent: 3,155ft (962m) - Time: 5hr 40min
14Y Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy to Maentwrog CambWaySect14Y.gpx Second Part of Section 14 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 13.6ml (21.4km) - Total Ascent: 3,985ft (1,214m) - Total Descent: 4,960ft (1,512m) - Time: 6hr 25min
14A Rhinog Alternatives CambWaySect14A.gpx Alternative bad weather routes. These are provided through concerns about mountain safely in bad weather, allowing the most difficult parts of either half of the walk to be bypassed. Taking either of these involves missing a checkpoint.
Distance: 12.1ml (19.4km) - Total Ascent: 1,175ft (358m) - Total Descent: 2,700ft (822m) - Time: 4hr 35min
14B Trawsfynydd Variant CambWaySect14B.gpx Alternative route for accommodation
Distance: 6.0ml (9.7km) - Total Ascent: 355ft (108m) - Total Descent: 495ft (151m) - Time: 2hr 10min
15 Maentwrog to Beddgelert CambWaySect15.gpx Main Route. A few sections of the route are not clearly defined, but there are paths most of the way. Attemt to clarify route from Llyn Cwm-corsiog to ridge leading to Cnicht (still unclear in places).
Distance: 13.8ml (22.2km) - Total Ascent: 4,335ft (1,321m) - Total Descent: 4,235ft (1,291m) - Time: 6hr 40min
15A Bryn Gwynant Hostel Variant CambWaySect15A.gpx Alternative route for Youth Hostel only. This is seldom used, not easy to follow and obstructed in places, but has been updates as well as possible.
Distance: 5.1ml (8.2km) - Total Ascent: 360ft (110m) - Total Descent: 2,085ft (635m) - Time: 1hr 51min
16 Beddgelert to Pen y Pass CambWaySect16.gpx Main Route Some minor changes made to ascent of Snowdon 25/8/2014.
Distance: 10.8ml (17.3km) - Total Ascent: 3,890ft (1,176m) - Total Descent: 2,840ft (866m) - Time: 5hr 27min
17 Pen y Pass to Llyn Ogwen CambWaySect17.gpx Main Route. Parts of the route to Glyder Fawr are indistinct, but there is a path for most of the way. The rocky nature of the Glyders means it is likely to take longer than the stated time. Minor corrections to route.
Distance: 5.6ml (9.0km) - Total Ascent: 2,530ft (771m) - Total Descent: 2,725ft (831m) - Time: 3hr 3min
18 Llyn Ogwen to Conwy CambWaySect18.gpx Main Route. This route is quite demanding, but is possible in one long day with the prospect of a rest at the end of the walk. Alternatively it can be broken with a detour to Rowen Youth Hostel. Updated route towards Sychnant Pass to match route intended in guidebook 08/06/2017.
Distance: 19.3ml (31.1km) - Total Ascent: 5,325ft (1,622m) - Total Descent: 6,250ft (1,905m) - Time: 8hr 59min
18X Llyn Ogwen to Bwlch y Ddeufaen CambWaySect18X.gpx First Part of Section 18 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 11.5ml (18.6km) - Total Ascent: 3,845ft (1,171m) - Total Descent: 3,440ft (1,048m) - Time: 5hr 41min
18Y Bwlch y Ddeufaen to Conwy CambWaySect18Y.gpx Second Part of Section 18 for GPS limited to 250 waypoints.
Distance: 7.8ml (12.6km) - Total Ascent: 1,390ft (423m) - Total Descent: 2,720ft (829m) - Time: 3hr 15min
18A Rowen Hostel Variant CambWaySect18A.gpx Alternative route for Youth Hostel. This is the return route to the hostel leaving the main route at the eastern end of the Tal y Fan ridge and rejoining on a lower route to the old quarry. Minor corrections to route.
To Hostel: Distance: 1.0ml (1.6km) - Total Ascent: 40ft (12m) - Total Descent: 1,095ft (334m) - Time: 21min
From Hostel: Distance: 1.1ml (1.8km) - Total Ascent: 709ft (216m) - Total Descent: 115ft (31m) - Time: 43min

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