The “Navigator” decided on a linear walk today utilising our bus passes (all fully qualified!).
We parked the car in Pontarddulais adjacent to the bus stop and caught a bus to Gorseinon on a very circuitous route taking in most of the roads in the Gorseinon area.
We had been warned that although the paths were shown on the OS map there was a high probability they were not on the ground. However luck was on the “Navigator’s” side and the paths were there, most waymarked.
From the bus station in Gorseinon we headed south and then west towards Lougher joining a traffic free cycle track which led us to the Loughor bridge which of course divides Ospreys from Scarlets but not before a very muddy path.
Today was Friday but arrived at 1300!
Unexpectedly we came across a lovely riverside path and park area with picnic benches and a view point. This had been financed by the plastic bag charge of Marks and Spencer.
A different kind of footpath sign
Not just any Greener Living Space …..
We now walked north and were pleasantly surprised to find paths and signs where it had been expected they would not exist. The route took us under the M4 to a bend in the river where an enclosed graveyard could be seen. The church had been taken down and rebuilt in the folk museum in St Fagans near Cardiff.
From here we walked through a park and back into Pontarddulais.
It was just Paul and I today and we chose a walk from the Cicerone publication, “Walking in Carmarthenshire”, which was to lead us onto Mynydd Myddfai.
We parked at the Myddfai Village Community Hall and Visitor centre. We were too early for a coffee but we should be back well before 1700 when it closes.
The first part of the walk follows the Physicians Trail – a leaflet can be obtained from the centre, although a reprint was awaited – leading to the Physicians Well. From here the walk climbed steadily to the trig point on the summit of Mynydd Myddfai.
Climbing out of Myddfai
There were some good views of the surrounding countryside including the Carmarthen Fans, Pen y Fan and Corn Ddu in the Brecon Beacons. The former had some cloud cover but those in the Beacons were clear.
This way to the Physicians Well
We had lunch at the trig point and could see the forecast rain rapidly approaching and so fully kitted out we continued our walk.
Over tousers? Yes
We thought we could take a short cut down the hill but it led us astray for a short while but we were soon back on track without the necessity of calling out mountain rescue.
The way back to Myddfai was by way of a quiet lane where we celebrated our day with coffee and bara brith.
Odd sculpture, perils of war?
Rain. It started during the early hours of Sunday and was still pouring down at 0730 when I dismantled my tent. I sat in the car and read a book until 0930 when I thought it was time Andy should leave his sleeping bag. His excuse was he thought I was still in the land of nod and didn’t want to disturb me!
By the time we left the site the weather had eased and our plan was to again park in Carding Mill Valley and head up to the Long Mynd and descend above Ashes Hollow and back to the car.
We walked up the Valley passing the national Trust cafe which may have our custom later and turned left at Lightspout Hollow, passing a small waterfall. from here we climbed onto the moorland made our way to Pole Bank on the Long Mynd.
One of a number of times we took off the rainwear
The path is wide and made up of compressed gravel, an improvement since Andy’s last walk here. We saw a party of mountain bikers and possibly one of a few groups of D of E youngsters.
From the trig at Pole bank we walked along the Long Mynd to just past Pole Cottage and took a path south east which followed the lip of Ashes Hollow as far as Barristers Plain.
Places to see from Pole Bank – apparently!
Pole bank trig point
It was now raining heavily once again but with tummies rumbling we stopped for lunch before continuing down the path to Little Hollow. The views on this walk were obscured a lot of the time but when there was a break the views down into the valleys reminded me of the Lake District.
Once in Little Stretton we walked on the Ludlow Road and then up into the woods shown as Cunnery Road passing the small reservoir and down a nice path back to the car park but not before celebrating our weekend with coffee and cake in the National Trust car park.
A just reward
There is plenty more to explore in this area and I’m sure we’ll be back before too long.
My brother-in-law, Andy and I were able to escape for the weekend and our destination was to be the Shropshire Hills. I had never been there before or even driven in the area. The “Navigator” had confirmed we should enjoy the walking and I had also been in touch with Andy Howell of the blog “Must be this Way” for ideas.
We had considered a backpacking weekend but the weather, especially for Sunday was not looking good and so we decided to book a base camp and have two separate walks. Our first choice for a camp site was a small one in Little Stretton but was fully booked. The second choice which turned out to be a winner was Brook House Farm a few miles east of Church Stretton on the B4371.
Saturday’s walk was pinched from Walking Britain route 3048 and would take in The Lawley and Caer Caradog.
We parked in Carding Mill Valley and then walked through the town of Church Stretton crossing the A49 to find a path which skirted Caer Caradog which led up onto The Wilderness.
We kept on the ridge and then onto Enchmarsh where we took a by way up to and along Hoars Edge which led to a minor road and the north side of The Lawley. We stopped for lunch here before climbing steadily to the top of the hill which gave extensive views of the Shropshire countryside.
Looking toward the summit of The Lawley
Views north and west
Caer Caradog the next hill
Summit sculpture on the The Lawley
Our next objective was Caer Caradog which meant a descent of the The Lawley and then a climb up to the summit of Caer Caradog. Again good views of the countryside. Following a coffee break we made our last descent and walked back to the car in Carding Mill.
The start of Caer Caradog
Outcrops on Caer Caradog
Three Fingers Rock (?)
We found the camp site which was nice and flat and with just a few tents and camping vans in situ.
With our tents soon pitched we ate a hearty meal before retiring to the local pub for a few glasses of very tasty beer.
During the night the forecast rain poured down. We had already decided that we would walk on Sunday no matter what the weather.
Sunday’s walk follows.
Another cracking weather day to look forward to and we were off to Cilycwm in the upper Afon Tywi area. Daisy was disappointed as Paul was slumming it in Crickhowell celebrating a birthday.
The “Navigator” did inform us that the chosen route although on the map may not be there on the ground but it was. In addition Carmarthen Council who I frequently grumble about had clearly been investing money installing new gates and waymarks, hooray!
We headed north to climb the unnamed hill near Penfedw Fawr where we had our first coffee break. from there we entered the woodlands of Cwm Rhaeadr and could see in the distance the waterfall which gives its name to the cwm.
You can just make out the waterfall
We went a little off piste, talking you see, which meant a climb but well worth it with the views which enfolded.
Daisy cooling off
Wood pile porn
We descended down to the Afon Tywi and walked through the campsite in Rhandirmwyn – recommended and then stayed close to the river as walked downstream to Dolachddu. My gadget stopped working here but the route continued along the quiet lane back to the car.