(Warning: this route may not be as well waymarked and maintained as the coast route. You will need the 1:25,000 maps, the ability to use a compass and some experience as a walker.)
Our original route from Cymmer to Conwy followed the line of Sarn Helen past Dolwyddelan then cut down through the Gwydir Forest to Llanrwst. From here, a route devised by John Bemington of the Conwy Ramblers took us down river to Maenan (the eventual home of the monks from Conwy) and along footpaths and side roads to Conwy. The high-level alternative continues on the line of Sarn Helen up the west side of the Conwy Valley,past the Gwydir forest lead mines and the lovely medieval church of Llanrhychwyn. From Conwy it goes back up river to Maenan then over the hills past Llyn Brenig to Llanrhaiadr in the Vale of Clwyd and along the Pilgrim Way from St David's to Holywell.
We like this route. Part of it is on old hollow ways and part goes over rough open moorland with no obvious trackway and wonderful views. You need to take a compass and know how to use it. Even the map is of limited help. It marks old stone walls (often barely visible under turf) and old fences but not the new fences which now enclose the sheepwalks. Keep checking your bearings with the compass, especially on the stretch over the pass south of Gwytherin.
Most of the route follows or shadows the traditional way taken by pilgrims from Holywell to Gwytherin.People and Places