Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Castlemartin - Pembs

It had been some time since we had visited the coast and the Navigator had phoned the Castlemartin Range to find that there would be no firing for a few weeks and the path was open from Bosherton to the car park near Elugug Rocks.

Mrs Navigator was visiting the fleshpots of London and just the two of us parked up at The National Trust Car Park on the coast just south of Bosherton Village.

The weather was clear and sunny, probably the best day of the week. There was a good swell running and the waves were crashing into the cliffs.  Despite walking this coast on numerous occasions it never fails to impress.

We looked down on St Govans Chapel from the cliffs above and then on to pass Huntsman leap, a deep cleft in the cliff with the sea boiling below.

Elevenes was taken near to the radar station at The Castle Fort. It wasn't long before we were walking in shirt sleeves!

Bullslaughter Bay was passed and then on to the impressive Elugug Sea Stacks and the Green bridge of Wales. The latter is not green and is not a bridge but a large sea arch.

After lunch the temperature dropped and we walked back in a more direct route along the main shared path (bikes, walk and bridleway).

The only walker we met happened to be a colleague we had not seen for some time.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Llangadog, Bethlehem and Carn Goch

I missed last Monday's walk owing to a bout of serious man flu, but almost fully recovered I joined again with The Navigator and his good lady for a very seasonal walk which would take into account Bethlehem.  This was indeed to the east of where we live but there was a dearth of wise men.

A cracking winter day with blue skies throughout.

The car was parked on Carreg Sawdde common close to the road bridge and we headed through Felindre on a footpath across fields  to Bryngwyn Farm and then on a lane to Dolau Farm.  Here a footpath led up through the woods (ignore a footpath sign to your right which is not on the map) and to the road which leads to Bethlehem.  The small post office does a roaring trade here in December.

The Beacons Way starts here just after a well carved seat.

We followed this onto Carn Coch a huge iron age fort with good views to the Tywi Valley and down to Bethlehem.  Further information Just as we joined the footpath we were lucky to see some eight or nine kites swooping up and down over a field.

We had lunch on the east slopes of Carn Goch and then continued to follow the Beacons Way to a junction before it climbed to Bwlch Y Gors.  Our route went north west along the green dotted line.  The route is good but a little muddy in places.  If we had more day light hours we may well have taken the higher path which is just below Trichrug. This hill unfortunately is not on open access land.

We stayed on our path as it led downhill in a north westerly direction to join  quiet lanes back to Felindre.  We did pass a farm sign with an intriguing invitation, which we did not take!

Paxton's Tower (Llanarthne) (8th December 2012)

A good day was forecast and as Paul had not been to Paxton's Tower near Llanarthne the plan was made.

We parked the car in the National Botanic Garden of Wales and walked down the minor road which leads past Glascoed Fawr.   A very sad Landrover was seen in a field.

We could also see our main objective of the day.

At Derlwyn Isaf we took the footpath to the right and across the Llanarthne recreation ground to join the other road which forms part of the National Cycle Network route 47.  We then walked south for a short distance and and took the footpath near Pen Heol Fawr.

About  a year ago there was no footpath sign but I was pleased to see that my request to the Council has met with success.  The path leads across a number of fields where the areas by the gates were a bit of a mud fest.  Just short of Pistell Dewi we joined the main road.

The lane shown by the map with green dots then led us steadily up through the woods with views over to Dryslwyn Castle.  

Clear of the woods we took the lanes which led to Paxton's Tower a large folly with extensive views of the Tywi Valley.

The history of the tower can be viewed  here.  After a coffee break we continued downhill on quiet lanes to a wooded area which forms part of the National Botanic Garden of Wales and shown on the map as Pont Felin Gat. If you find yourself here follow the orange tipped posts and it will lead you into the main area of the Gardens passing the Great Glasshouse.  Click here for the relevant website.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Far Western Black Mountain (28/11/12)

Little yellow suns all over the weather forecast and Wednesday looked good for a walk in the hills.

My neighbour, Paul was in agreement and we set off for a walk new to him.


We travelled through Llangadog on the road to Upper Brynamman and parked at the middle carpark.  We had been beaten by a number of army vehicles, whose passengers we were to see layer that day.

The weather was cold with a brisk breeze but we were suitably attired. We set off on the Beacons Way for a short while onto the cairn on Foel Fawr with extensive views.

The next target was the unnamed  peak just east of south shown on the map as "cairn" and a height of 616 metres. We stopped here in a small shelter for elevenses before setting off for a down and up to Foel Fraith. There were good views over the valley of Cwm Sawdde Fechan onto the Carmarthen Fans.
In the distance the peaks of Pen Y fan and Corn Ddu could be seen.

After leaving Fan Foel we headed north towards Cefn y Cylchau passing some huge shake holes. Near the top we had a fairly quick lunch and then headed south westish taking in Cefn y Truman and then down to Afan Clydach.  We were able to easily cross this river someway above the waterfalls, despite all the recent rainfall.

A quick look was made of the waterfalls and then uphill to the abandoned quarries.  Just before setting off  the troop of young army men marched very quickly passed us each with a huge rucksack - over nighting the night before?

These quarries must have been a huge concern when they were in full flow. The old lime kilns are large and still contain the furnaces.  I understand that these may in due course be renovated as an attraction.



There are no information panels at the site but at the first car park there is a snippett. In this car park we were met by a small but heavily coated pony who clearly had no fear of humans and was happy to be smoothed.  Unfortunately for him/her we had no food for it.  Another pony was doing the same thing by another car.  Hope springs eternal.

I think this could be described as the first walk of the winter season.  Lets hope for more bright cold days ahead.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Mynydd Llanllwni

The scourge of the wind turbines has it sights on Mynydd Llanllwni in Carmarthenshire despite strong local opposition.

It was time to walk there again before the whirlygigs appear. The Navigator fresh from two weeks in Tenerife thought this was a good idea.

The recent weather had been grim but today was a 50/50 chance of rain and we gambled.


We parked on the minor road which leads off from the A485 and then walked to the viewpoint / picnic area and headed south west across the moorland to join another minor road not far from Clynia. 

At the dog leg shown on the map we had elevenses and then set off north eastish hoping that we would be able to cross the ford..  Thankfully this was managed with dry feet. 

The route then went eastwards to overlook the valley and then north to Nant Y Feinen where we had lunch. We seemed to be walking in a bubble of dryness as the elsewhere the weather looked very damp, we even saw some blue sky.

Following lunch we walked south east to the sheepfold and it was here we noticed the sheep with anti wind farm markings; that raised a smile. 

We then headed for the minor road which we followed back to the car.  It was thought that our good luck with the weather would run out if we struck out across country and the boggy areas.

It will be a great shame if the planners allow any turbines in the area of Mynydd Llanllwni.  To the non walker it does look a bleak area but then we know different.

Monday, 19 November 2012


Last weekend we travelled to Chester to visit my son and my brother in law (Andy) and family.

The plan was to have a walk or cycle ride with Andy on the Saturday depending on the weather.  Both sets of kit were taken with the bike fitting in the car.

My son lives in a terraced house in Hoole where cars were non existent when the homes were built. In 2012 parking is a nightmare!  We found a place two streets away and carried our clothes etc to our son's.

Later on that evening I did manage to move the car nearer.  The following morning I reloaded the car with my walking kit but found to my horror there was only one boot in the car!  Now I knew I had packed them both, could it be I knocked one on the floor when we carried our other stuff the previous night.  I ran around to the street where we had originally parked and there it was lying in the street, soaking wet but safe!

I met up with Andy and we decided to head for Llangollen and walk the limestone escarpment north of the town.

We parked up in Trefor and set off firstly on the Offa Dyke's Path, through woodlands and then headed up onto the escarpment.  With fine weather the views into the Dee Valley were impressive. I left without my camera so the pictures were taken on my mobile phone with lesser quality.

We walked as far as we thought would allow for a return before dark.

A good day.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Preseli Hills Area

"The Navigator" suggested a walk in the Preseli Hills Area, not the main hills but the target would be Foel Dyrch.

This is a revised blog as I had lost my camera on Foel Dyrch, but luckily we went back the next day and there it was, thankfully in a dry bag and working and now I can add the pictures.

On the main walk day the weather was good and we had excellent views across to the main Preseli ridge.  At one point we could see the distant Carmarthen Fans in the east.

We parked at 167332 at the place marked "P" on the OS map.  We did not take the green line but headed uphill towards Crug Yr Hwch and then followed just inside the open access area to the minor road near spot height 304. From here we headed directly south on the green line and had elevenses just near the spot marked as "cairn" on the map.

Our route continued south past the television mast and just outside the woods.

Until now the going was good if not a little damp underfoot.  Dramatic changes now took place!  We turned west along the narrow neck of open access. No wonder this spot is open access as tractors would get swallowed up here! We all fell in the boondoo (that's our word for hellish ground, usually well overgrown and frequently wet).  Mrs Navigator came off worst soaking most areas up to her nether regions.

We eventually made it the the lower slopes of Foel Dyrch and took the green line around the base where part way along we stopped for lunch and for Mrs Navigator to empty her boots and  change socks (apparently no change of underwear was carried).  Carrying on to beyond Tyrch Quarry we struck upwards to the top of Foel Dyrch.  It was here at the shelter I last took a photo.

More boondoo bashing although a little easier than before saw us meet up with the green line on the map.  The way marking is no longer the diagonal shown but north west along the fence line and then north east towards Pen Y Ddafad.  Just beyond the farm I realised my camera was missing.

A decision was made that I would carry on to the car and Mr and Mrs Navigator would retrace our steps a little way to see if the camera had been dropped.

On my way back along the green path which leads from spot height 304 directly back to "P" I disturbed a fox who was about to have lunch on a recently deceased ewe.

I drove back to Pen Y Ddafad but my searchers had failed to find the camera.  Mr Navigator suggested we come back on Tuesday and get as far as when I last took a picture and hopefully we will be lucky.  We were!!

Amazingly on our way back down we met a National Park Ranger checking paths and placing way marks.