Llandeilo

This was another day to catch the autumn colours and a walk in Llandeilo area to include Tregeyb Woods and the trees within the Dinefwr estate was deemed worthwhile.

Route

We found a free parking site adjacent to the Llandeilo firestation and walked through Pen Lan-fawr.  This small park has a fine bandstand and contains the large trees which can be seen as you approach Llandeilo Town.

From there we walked into the town and across the Afon Tywi via the shaky footbridge.

We walked south east next to the river courtesy of a permissive path which leads to the minor road to Fairfach. Our route took us into the new plantation which celebrates the battle of Trafalgar and just by a carved otter we had early elevenses.

Now the squelchy bit started through the Woodlands Trust, Tregeyb Wood.

In places there is a welcome boardwalk but with strange gaps in between. There were still lots of fungi about with examples of candle snuff, sulphur tufts, beech polypores, turkey tails, earth balls and “others”.

At another minor road we headed back towards Fairfach.

At the cross roads we headed north to cross the impressive stone road bridge, again crossing the Afon Tywi.

An interpretation board tells us that there were a number of bridges built in this vicinity.  History also shows that lessons have still not be learned when estimates are compared to actual costs!

Immediately after the bridge we turned down a path which leads past the now abandoned church of  Llandyfeisant (click) and near here we stopped for lunch.

The unforecast rain now began!.  Still by the time I put on all the gear it stopped, typical.

We were now in the Dinefwr Park and headed for the castle which is free to enter and gave good views of the surrounding countryside and of the colourful trees.

 More rain fell but again short lived. We then headed downhill towards Newton House and through the parkland back to the car.

We came across the following road sign which struck a note!

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Westonbirt

A trip to Westonbirt had been on our wish list for some time and with the weather looking good for Saturday 27th October my wife,myself and good friends Merv and Dianne set off for a 2 hour drive the arboretum.

Clearly hundreds of others had the same idea and car park was filling up.

A picture paints a thousand words and the following will allow me to stop typing.

We returned home via Ross on Wye where we had a lovely meal.  On the river bank were a party of canoeists camping for the night – a cold one I would think.

Mynydd Llangendeirne

My neighbour, Paul had not visited Mynydd Llangendeirne, the hill which is visible from our homes and so the plan was hatched.

Route

We walked from Llanddarog past Is Y Llan and down to Cwm Isfael and turnd left. The lane is over covered with trees all starting to take on their autumnal colours.

Mynydd Llangendeirne on its north side is dominated by a quarry and from time to time we had to squeeze into the hedges to avoid the lorries which came and went.

Shortly after passing the quarry entrance we turned left at a footpath sign and headed onto a quiet path which led up onto the common.

We looked down into the quarry which is gradually eating the mountain side.  I have lived here for 33 years and the quarry seems to have been busy all that time.

The path led us to the trig point which was clearly being looked after as it had been repainted in recent times.  From here there extensive views to Carmarthen, Tumble, the Great Glasshouse in the National Botanic Garden of Wales and in the far distance Tenby.

We retraced our steps back down the lanes but turned right onto the road to Porthyrhyd. We left the road on the footpath which passes GlanYr Ynys Farm and up into Llanddarog passing the local primary school.

Day 7 – Hindscarth and Robinson

 

Our last day was planned to finish on a high with a Newlands horseshoe.
The forecast was good and held true. The walk would take in Hindscarth via Scope End, onto Littledale Edge and return via Robinson.
We parked the car near Newlands Church and then headed for Scope End via Low House Farm. There were good views north and we could see walkers ascending our proposed down route from Robinson.
There was alittle hand on rock as we climbed higher to Hindscarth with a couple of false summits to face.
At the top we had lunch in the cairn as there was a cold wind blowing. Following the food we walked beyond the cairn to look down the Honister Pass and to Buttermere.  In 2010 we were walking this area and looked again at Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks.
The Navigator was considering whether to alter today’s plan and instead of Robinson return via Dale Head as there is less descent and reascent but that summit was regularly covered in cloud and we stuck to our (his) plan.
The walk along Littledale Edge was fine and the hills to the south of Buttermere gave possible plans for another year.
The pull up to Robinson went well and as we walked north west we could see our base at Keskadale Farm.
Up to now the walk  was relatively easy but the terrain changed on the descent to Blea crags.  This was an awkward downward scramble on slippery rocks not at all pleasant.  It was slow going with a sigh of relief when flatter ground was reached.
The rest of the walk was  down High Snab Bank and back to the car via Low High Snab.
Overall a good 7 days of walking with my knee behaving as I would wish.  Just the 7 hour drive home on Saturday.
Thanks to Mrs Bob for letting me out to play, to Mrs Navigator for the stew and of course to The Navigator for getting me around safely.

Day 6 – Borrowdale

 

Cloud was low again although it did clear as the day went on.
The walk today was in Borrowdale with a look at Lodore Falls.
We left the car at the foot of Cat Bells and walked down to a perfectly calm Derwent Water.
As we headed alongside the lake we came across a class of youngsters about to embark in kayaks and canoes and so far they were dry – it surely won’t last!  As a canoeist it did look a good day for paddling and perhaps exploring  the River Derwent.
There were more people out and about today enjoying the Autumn colours. We crossed the  footbridge across the Derwent and followed the signs to the Lodore Falls which runs behind the hotel of the same name.
There was a good flow over the falls and a picture was taken before the steep pull up the hillside. We had lunch by the ford shown on the OS map and down came the rain! Still it didn’t last long and by the time we were walking it had stopped.
We crossed over the river at the footbridge and started the descent with more falls to view.
 We diverted onto Shepherds Crag for good views of Borrowdale and came out onto the road at High Lodore.
A break was taken alongside the river near Grange bridge.  We stayed on the road through Grange until we met the path at Manesty.  here we walked the path (the one just above the road) back to the car.
The thing to remember in the Lake District that even in bad weather when the tops are covered in clag there are plenty of low level walks.

Day 5 – Dodd

Wednesday was planned to be a “rest day” with a visit to Cotswold Outdoors to buy a new pair of boots with my accumulated vouchers given as presents.  A short walk would also be tackled.

The weather first thing, again, was not inviting for high level walks and so we stuck (partly) to our plan.
There was no lingering in the ‘gear” shops and once in Cotswold’s I went straight to the boot section and came out with a pair of Meindls.
The Navigator had selected for our “short” walk the hill known as Dodd.  In Wainrights day this was apparently covered in conifers, but now the top at least is clear.
The route according to the Navigator’s OS map shows we should follow part of the Allerdale Ramble, but on my later map the wording has disappeared (unlike the Cumbria Way) and the public right of way is now away from the river from How Farm to High Stock bridge.
Our route
It was another squelchy walk  to High Stock Bridge. We joined the A591 and had lunch just west of the junction to Millbeck.  It was now raining again and I am sure those passing in their cars were sympathetic to our plight  but in reality probably saying “daft b—–s”

Following lunch we headed on the permissive path which takes you off the road to where the map shows P and picnic area.  This was our way up.  And up it went continually to the very top. Nothing hard but no flat bits!

The views from the top of this 502 meter hill belies  its moderate height and if the big hills are cloud bound I would suggest this one.  Once again the Navigator reeled off the names of all the fells we could see, I took no notes.

Now if you make a plan, stick to it!  Ours was to descend Dodd to the south east and come out somewhere near Millbeck.  However we were tempted by a likely looking path with good views and good underfoot.  Alas and alack it took us back to the P and picnic area. Dusk was not far away now so we loped back along the A591 and turned off for Millbeck and Applethwaite and then onto footpaths back to Keswick.
For a short walk this I think was our longest!

 

Day 4 Newlands Valley

 

The weather had changed today and it was pouring down with little hope of walking on any high fells today. The morning was spent reading and regular visits to the windows!
By lunchtime there was some improvement and after an early lunch we donned the kit and set foot outdoors. The loose plan was to stay low  and follow the paths into the  Newlands Valley (click for info)
Route (Click)
Just below our cottage at Keskadale Farm we squelched along a path towards the lane which leads to Low High Snab.
We however we headed down the lane towards the wood and then south east past Low House Farm and under Scope End where the waste from gold and other minerals were mined. (click on link above)
 Crossing the footbridge we took the footpath towards Little Town – aptly named!.  Just near here we were asked by a couple, who did not seem kitted out for a walk in the hills, if the path they were on would lead to Cat Bells.  Reluctantly we pointed them in the right direction.  I only hope the lady’s handbag contained all they would need!
Our route was to Skelgill, past the private hostel and the road back to Little Town. From here we took the lane which went past the lovely Newlands  Church (Click) and then on back to Keskadale  via Gill brow.

Day 3 – High Spy and Maiden Moor

 

We were walking by 0915 and the day started very autumnal, with mist in the valley and trees showing numerous colours.
We parked near the Borrowdale Hotel in Grange and took the footpath opposite. The waterfall shown on the map was visited and then up to Cockley How  for an early coffee and views back into the valley.
The route continued up and below Low White Rake and then  Nitting Haws although at first glance there was no obvious way though the rock formations.
 From there we were led onto the ridge which joins High Spy and Maiden Moor.
As we had made good progress we turned south and headed for High Spy passing the impressive cairn and looked for a lunch stop out of the wind.
There were some good views from the top and after “The Navigator” pointed out the various fells (I believed him) we returned to the ridge and headed for Maiden Moor.
The green line was followed for a short time but we walked a little east to the dotted line shown on the map and headed to Hause Gate
The green line was followed for a short time but we walked a little east to the dotted line shown on the map and headed to Hause Gate
 
Our route was to the south east towards Manesty and back to the car.

Day 2 – Causey Pike

 

The forecast was looking good and the The Navigator’s plan to climb Causey Pike was on.
We left the car at base which lays under Ard Crags and walked downhill to join the path which follows the valley of Rigg Beck. The going was  quite wet underfoot but became drier as we climbed.  Elevenses were had on the small scree slope just below the old woodland shown on the map.
We were looking for the path which climbs north west onto a bwlch on Scar Crags.
 We turned up too early and followed a number of sheep trods until the main path made itself known.
At the bwlch we could see a zig zag path which had clearly been recently engineered heading onto Sail. There were a number of people scattering what we assumed were heather seeds along the path and in due course growth will appear to soften the edges of the path.
We turned our back on Sail and headed up onto Causey Pike where we had lunch and looked out at the views.
Our route back continued east from the summit and onto Sleet Hause and  Rowling End.  This was a steep descent in places but we were soon at Rowling End Farm and the minor road back to base.

Day 1 Howgills

 

We left home near Carmarthen just after 0900 and headed up through Mid Wales and near Chester joined the motorways heading north. Usually we try to have a short walk to stretch the legs when our destination is near and today was no exception.
Most people know Tebay as a convenient service station on the M6, but we turned off here to park in the village of Tebay.
Here is the route
This walk was not a good omen for me as I forgot to take my camera and phone.  I had also forgotten to replace the footbeds in my boots and thought I had left my poles behind!
Never mind, it was only to be a short walk but this was the first time I had put a foot on the Howgills.  The views over the route of the M6 and the far eastern Lake District Fells and into the lesser known Borrowdale were a good introduction to our week to come..
Back at the car I was pleased to find that all my missing items were in place and we set off for the rest of our journey to Keskadale Farm and our cottage for the week.
Mrs Navigators stew was demolished in three helpings each!