Running trails and events

Feel the freedom and fresh air as you run along the Ceredigion coast or in the hills and forests of the Cambrian Mountains. There is a great choice of marked trails to explore and competitions and challenges you'll enjoy.

Running trails at Bwlch Nant yr Arian

There are waymarked running trails at Bwlch Nant yr Arian, all of which start from the centre's car park. Named after two local standing stones, Y Fuwch a'r Llo (the 'Cow and Calf') offer a fantastic introduction to trail running in the Cambrian Mountains.

"Y Fuwch"​ route is the longer of the two routes (6.5 miles, 10 kilometres) and has a variety of surfaces and several steep ascents, whilst "Y Llo" (3.1 miles, 5 kilometres) starts off with a flat section almost two kilometres long before climbing up onto the ridge and returning to the Centre.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian is also the venue for the Nant yr Arian Silver Trail half marathon in March.

Devil's Bridge and the Hafod Estate trails

Devil's Bridge is the home of the Red Kite Challenge - an annual series of walking and trail running events held in various locations. The half marathon and 10k races are Welsh championship qualifying races.​

The half marathon race is is a testing 13.1 miles from Woodlands caravan park at Devil's Bridge up to the Arch and on to the highest point near Cefn Croes windfarm. The route is along forest roads, tracks and trails and includes several ups and downs, including some stiff ones towards the end to test tired legs!

The 10k route follows part of the marathon route, providing a shorter option for those not yet ready to tackle the full half marathon. 

The walks follow the running routes and provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy superb views and to pick the best spot to cheer on the runners. The walks start at 11am, well before the 10k and half marathon competitions start in the afternoon, and with enough time for the children and youth races to take place.   

According to the Welsh Athletics Association, the woodland estate of Hafod was the site, in 1860, of the first organised athletics events in Wales. Today the Hafod estate is managed by Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust, and has several miles of trails popular with runners.​ 

Ras yr Hafod is an annual race event for adults and juniors, held in May following the Red Kite Challenge in April.  

Racing by the sea

Whatever time of day you visit Aberystwyth Promenade you are bound to see someone running - it's the perfect flat mile distance and elevation  - with fantastic views that change with the seasons and the time of day.

Aberystwyth promenade is also the central venue for Aberystwyth's Race for Life, Triathlon and Twin Peaks races.​

Aberystwyth's Twin Peaks race start on the promenade and heads south towards Aberystwyth harbour and marina before a 450 foot climb up to the Wellington monument and Pendinas hillfort. Runners then retrace their steps along the promenade before tackling the rocky path that zig-zags up Constitution Hill and a fast final descent back to the promenade for a sprint finish to the end.

Part of the race is the annual Town versus Gown challenge between runners from Aberystwyth Athletic Club and the University Harriers for the Dolphin Trophy.

Borth and Ynyslas beaches are famous for the remains of a prehistoric sunken forest, celebrated in local legend. Despite the forest's tree trunks, there's is still plenty of space on the wide sandy beach for runners.  The Borth Beach 10k starts at Borth and heads north to the turning point at Ynyslas dunes. The race is timed to start at low tide which means runners have a perfect, flat and firm track to follow.  The challenge is to complete the race and keep your feet dry – although on a hot summer’s day many runners take the opportunity for a quick dip at the end. 

Walk, jog run challenges

Inland, the popular Teifi 10, organised by the Sarn Helen Club is a flat, fast and scenic route along the Teifi river valley. It is a certified accurate 10 mile route and, apparently, it's a perfect course for PBs (Personal Bests).

The Sarn Helen Hill Race has been held annually in mid May for 40 years, and includes a challenging 16 mile hill climb, a 9 mile fun run and children's races.

Summer evening races 

A series of midweek races are held during late spring and summer. Ras Hwyrnos Nant yr Arian  start at with a 1 mile race for primary school age children, followed by a 3 miles race for secondary school age children and a  mile race for Seniors.   All races start from the Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre.  

The Ras yr Hafod races follow a similar pattern starting with races fro the younger children at 6pm. Entries on the night.

 The third race in the Red Kite Challenge summer series is held at Longwood, on the outskirts of Lampeter, from a base at the town's Rugby Club. 

The Felinfach 6 mile race, organised by the Sarn Helen Club is held on a late June evening on a flat, fast course along the country lanes of the Aeron Valley and through the hamlets of Talsarn, Abermeurig and Felindre before returning to Felinfach.


There are three park Runs in Ceredigion, each with a different character and terrain. You can join residents and visitors for the Abe​rystwyth Parkrun  along the town's leafy Park Avenue.

The Llanerchaeron ​Parkrun is more rural. The flat 5km loop route is along pleasant trails following the river Aeron from near the National Trust estate of Llanerchaeron near Aberaeron. This friendly group usually enjoy a good-post parkrun cup of coffee at Conti's Cafe.

The Teifi Marshes Park Run is held on tarmac paths with a short undulating uphill to finish at the grassy area next to cafe at the Welsh Wildlife Centre.


Use your map reading skills to find marker posts ( or 'controls') and your ability to run between them in the right order to complete the challenge.

There is a selection of permanently marked orienteering courses at Bwlch Nant yr Arian, suitable for beginners and families, and a harder course for experienced orienteers. Maps are available from the Visitor Centre or online.

In Aberystwyth there are permanently waymarked orienteering trails at Parc Natur Penglais which has several pleasant routes, and with the extra bonus of surroundings swathed in bluebells in spring and the beautiful colours of the beech trees in autumn. The nearby Aberystwyth University grounds, which are open to all, also has a number of trails.

Endurance challenges across the Cambrian Mountains 

Inspired by the legend of the 'three sisters'  - the rivers that rise on the slopes of Pumlumon, the Cambrian Mountains Events team  organise a series of endurance events that take in the spectacular terrain of the Cambrian Mountains.   The  Sabrina Trail is based on the Severn river that passes through Llanidloes where the circular routes starts and ends.  The Ystwyth Trail also starts on the eastern slopes of the Cambrian Mountains at Llangurig. The route crosses into Ceredigion to Cwmystwyth to follow the river Ystwyth to Llanafan and Llanilar reach the sea at Aberystwyth.  Classed as 'Difficult',  it is not for the inexperienced.

Even tougher challenges are available - the Dragon Trail starts at Borth and goes up through Cwm Ceulan from Tal y Bont, around Banc Llechwedd Mawr to Llyn Llygad Rheidol and over Pumlumon Fawr to continue through the Hafren Forest towards Llyn Clywedog and Glyndwr's Way before heading down to the finish point in  Llanidloes. 

There are even more difficult challenges available - the Dragon Trail starts iat Borth and goes up through Cwm Ceulan from Tal y Bont, skirts around Llechwedd Mawr to Llyn Llygad Rheidol and over Pumlumon Fawr before continuing through the Hafren Forest to Llyn Clywedog and following the Glyndŵr Trail to to finish at Llanidloes.