Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest – enjoy stunning views from this forest near Aberystwyth

Bwlch Nant yr Arian is a forest located near Aberystwyth, Wales. It sits high on the mountains and is popular with cyclists and walkers who want to enjoy stunning views of the Cambrian Mountains and technically difficult trails. We wanted to highlight this forest because even if you're not based in Wales, it's still well worth the trip over if you're a keen cyclist or walker.

What are the popular trails within the forest?

As we mentioned in our introduction, there are a few trails that you can explore throughout the forest, including 3 walking trails and 5 cycling trails. These are:


Barcud Trail -at 1.3km in length and with only a 10% gradient, this is a great walk for any groups with kids. It's also a level route making it suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Another thing that makes it great for younger walkers is that The Animal Puzzle trail follows this path too - you can pick up a leaflet from the visitor centre so you can take part in the game whereby you try to spot all of the animals listed.


Miners' Trail - at just over 2km and with a 60m climb, this trail is a little trickier but still quite straightforward. It should take no more than an hour to complete this walk.


Ridgetop Trail - This trail is just over 3km long but can take around 3 hours to complete due to the climb of 80m. This is definitely a trail that will require some proper walking shoes and a good amount of time set aside to ensure you can complete it. The views on this walk are pretty stunning!


Mountain Bike


Arian Trail - this 8km trail has a climb of 160m and should take no longer than 90 minutes to complete


Pendam Trail - this is a 10km trail that includes a 200m climb and although hard, is by no means difficult and should take no longer than 2 hours to complete


Summit Trail - at almost 20km, this is where the trails start to get tricky. You'll want to set aside at least 2 hours to complete this trail


Syfydrin Trail - if you're serious about mountain biking and you've got a whole day to kill, then this 36km trail with a 750m climb is probably right up your street. Your reward for tackling this trail is a series of stunning views. Definitely make sure you pack some food and plenty of fluids for this one.

Visiting Bwlch Nant yr Arian (2022)

There is a visitor centre next to the forest which includes information about the trails as well as a shop and toilet facilities. You're allowed to bring pets to the forest, and adventurous dogs are sure to love it.


Car parking costs:
£1.50 for 1 hour
£3 for up to 3 hours
£5 for all day

Anything else to mention?

Yes - Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest is well known as a place for spotting red kites, a protected bird of prey species that can only be found in specific parts of the UK. Bwlch Nant yr Arian became a red kite feeding station in the late 90s, and you can watch the red kites being fed every day at 2pm in the winter months and 3pm in the summer months. You can often see as many as 150 red kites coming in to eat! It's really impressive and well worth staying for.
If you want to visit other great locations in Wales,  check out our guides about Crickhowell, Builth Wells, and St Davids.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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