Owain Glyndwr was a fifteenth century Welsh hero, famous for battling the English right across Wales. The Glyndwr trail was conceived as homage to him and it passes through Mid-Wales, close by the sites of many of the battles he fought together with the site of the fifteenth century Welsh capital and parliament Glyndwr created at Machynlleth. Important sites along the route have had information boards installed giving details of the relevant events that took place there.
The 135-mile long trail begins at Knighton, which straddles the border with England, and heads roughly north-west to Machynlleth, almost on the coast, before heading roughly northeast to return, almost back to the border once more, at Welshpool. It is possible to complete the triangle with a return to Knighton from Welshpool via the Offa's Dyke long distance trail. Overall, the Glyndwr trail is very peaceful and consists of large amounts of good mid-level walking. There is a good deal of ascent and descent and little in the way of sustained high-level ridge walking so some stretches can be tiring. However, there are also long sections of walking on very quiet tarmac roads, often in valleys, which allow quick and easy progress with little effort.
Beginning at Knighton, the first section involves a good deal of walking on made-up roads but the green scenery of the Radnorshire hills more than makes up for the road surface. The terrain soon opens up onto moorland over Stanky Hill before dropping into the tiny hamlet of Felindre. A long climb onto the ridge follows and then it's a succession of open moorland, woods and well watered pastures in the intervening valleys before the ruins of the 12th century abbey at Abbeycwmhir are reached. From here, the path avoids high ground for a while and keeps to the valleys and coniferous forests until arrival at the town of Llanidloes with its timber-framed buildings. Another section of tarmac follows but again, the roads are tiny and rural and quiet and the fantastic scenery of the Llyn Clywedog reservoir again makes up for the lack of a green path underfoot.
More great scenery soon arrives at the 510m Foel Fadian and Glaslyn lake with fantastic views down the valley and out to sea as well as south to the heathery slopes of Plynlimon where Glyndwr won his first victory at the Battle of Mynydd Hyddgen and became Prince of Wales as a result. From here, the path winds down through wooded hills to Forge and the halfway point at Machynlleth. Here, you'll find a fantastic clock tower and the Owain Glyndwr Centre, which sheds a great deal more light on the Welsh Revolt and Glyndwr.