Yr Eifl and Tre'r Ceiri

Tre'r Ceiri from Yr Eifl

Yr Eifl, at 564m above sea level, is the highest of The Rivals; an overlooked yet fascinating range of small hills on the quiet Llyn Peninsula. This walk takes you to the summit of Yr Eifl for stunning seascapes over the Irish Sea on three sides, and a view to the mountains of Snowdonia on the other. The most fascinating feature of this walk however, is the second highest hill of Tre'r Ceiri; the site of Britain's best preserved and possible the largest remaining Iron Age hill fort. The fort is protected on all sides by an impressive perimeter wall and the interior of the fort contains the remains of over a hundred Iron Age stone round houses. This is an easy to moderate walk, ideal for those days when the higher reaches of Snowdonia are shrouded in cloud and the Llyn Peninsula is still basking in sunshine.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the Porth-y-Nant upper car park at grid reference SH353440. To reach the car park turn west off the A499 road between Caernarfon and Pwllhell at Llanaelhaiarn. After heading west on the B4417 for two and a half miles turn right up a minor road in Llithfaen sign posted to Nant Gwrtheyrn. After just over half a mile you will reach the car park by the forest.
  2. From the car park cross the road to a track that heads in a north east direction. This track is the route of the Llyn Coastal Path. On a piece of stone by the side of the track you will see a topographic panoramic diagram of The Rivals.
  3. The diagram details the three peaks of Yr Eifl (The Rivals). The three peaks of Yr Eifl are the inaccessible heavily quarried northern peak of Garnfor (Mynydd Gwaith), the highest central peak of Yr Eifl (Garn Ganol) and the southern peak of Mynydd y Ceiri (Lleoliad Tre'r Ceiri), topped by the fascinating Tre'r Ceiri Iron Age hill fort.
  4. As you walk along the track looking left over the Graig Ddu cliffs there is a view down through the interesting Nant Gwrtheyrn valley. The scars on the hillsides of the valley show the remains of the Porth-y-Nant quarry. A village was built in 1863 consisting of 24 workmen's houses, foreman's house, cooperative shop, bakery, mansion, and chapel. Sadly all residents had abandoned the village by 1959 after the decline of the quarry. In 1978 however, work began on improving the road access and refurbishing the abandoned village into a National Language Centre. The modern facilities now house accommodation for up to fifty eight educational residents and the chapel is used as a local community centre.
  5. Continue along the wide track, heading in the direction of the Bwlch yr Eifl pass, between Mynydd Gwaith on the left and Yr Eifl on the right. After just over a kilometre you will reach the highest point on the track between the two peaks on Bwlch yr Eifl.
  6. You will see that Mynydd Gwaith is fenced off for safety reasons as there is a huge quarry on its coastal side. At Bwlch yr Eifl turn right and ascend the rough path in a south easterly direction up the north western side of Yr Eifl.
  7. Looking north east as you ascend higher, you get great views along the beautiful northern coast of the Llyn Peninsula backed by the small but equally beautiful ridge of small hills that includes Gryn Ddu and Gyrn Goch.
  8. After a kilometre of ascent you will reach the summit of Yr Eifl at 564m metres above sea level. At the summit there is a pretty stone-built OS trig point pillar and a large circular stone shelter.
  9. On a clear day the views from Yr Eifl's summit are awesome. You can make out the entire outline of the Llyn Peninsula. There is sea on three sides, the close proximity of which makes Yr Eifl feel a lot higher than it is. To the south; Cardigan Bay, to the north; Caernarfon Bay, and to the west the Irish Sea. The view to the east is the western aspect of the mountains of Snowdonia.
  10. Closer, and directly east of Yr Eifl, is its neighbouring third peak of Tre'r Ceiri. Even from Yr Eifl it makes you look twice as you marvel at its fascinating summit below surrounded by a giant perimeter wall containing over a hundred stone hut circles.
  11. From the summit of Yr Eifl follow a faint path east for three hundred and fifty metres. Then, follow the path as it turns right and descends south east into the land between Yr Eifl and Tre'r Ceiri.
  12. After half a kilometre you will reach a junction of paths beneath the perimeter wall on the northern edge of the fort. Here there is an information board with a map of the fort. Head up to the impressive perimeter wall and walk through the wide entrance with large stone ramparts.
  13. Once inside the fort, turn left and head north east following the perimeter wall as it makes its way to the far north eastern end of the fort. At the far north eastern end of the fort you will find a stone cairn and information board at the highest point.
  14. From the cairn at the north eastern end of the fort, head south west following the path that follows the perimeter wall and makes its way to the far south western end of the fort. As you cross the fort you can explore its many fascinating remains of Iron Age stone hut circles. There was an extensive survey in 1956 from which evidence of occupation during the Roman period and earlier was found. Most of the finds at Tre'r Ceiri were found to be from between 150 to 400 A.D.
  15. When you reach the far south western end of the fort there is another opening in the perimeter wall with stone ramparts. Head through this opening and continue along the path that descends the heather slopes of Tre'r Ceiri in a south westerly direction.
  16. After just fifty metres the path splits at another information board. Here, turn right and head along a path that turns left then heads south west, then west towards a stone wall.
  17. Follow the path over the stone wall then continue in a south westerly direction for a kilometre until you reach the end of a road and some buildings, turn right, passing a building then a small wooded area. Follow the path with a wall on its left in a north westerly direction for half a kilometre to reach the car park.
  18. For refreshments after the walk, drive back up the road to Llithfaen. At Llithfaen you will find a walker friendly welcome at the Tafafrn y Fic community pub. If you have time you could also drive down the road to the refurbished abandoned coastal slate quarry village of Nant Gwrtheyrn. Do be aware though that the road is very steep in places. During the peak season there is a cafe selling a variety of home-made meals, snacks and refreshments.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer 254 Map Click to buy OS Explorer 253 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 123 Map Click to buy Collins Ramblers Guides Snowdonia & North Wales

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.