Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Gower Three Cliffs and Cefn Bryn

Andy and Fran were with us for a few days and the outdoors beckoned. The day before Andy and I went for a 25 mile bike ride along the Millennium Coast Path from Pembrey to Machynys and back. Today Fran wanted some fresh air and we headed to the Gower. As a guide I used the Cicerone book about walks in the Gower.

We started in Penmaen and down to Three Cliffs bay and then west following the coast path beneath the woods and then into Oxwich Nature Reserve. From there we turned north up to the ridge of Cefn Bryn and followed this east back to Penmaen.

Three Cliffs Bay

Three Cliffs Bay from near Great Tor

Oxwich Bay


Penrice Estate Gate House

Climbing onto Cefn Bryn

A terrible English translation.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Pontardulais to Ammanford

The usual Sunday evening chat with the "Navigator" led to a plan to drive to Ammanford catch the bus (free with our bus passes) to Pontardulais and walk back over the hills.
Our little group of three was expanded by Paul.

Looking down to frosty fields
Waymarker on Graig fawr

From the bus stop in Potardulais we waked through the town and climbed steadily onto Graig Fawr, stopping halfway for a coffee break. The views showed the frosty land below while higher up we were in sunshine.

The route up

We continued to the top and then had lunch looking into Blaenffynhonnau.

Lunch looking towards Pentwyn Mawr
These lovely hills have not escaped the scourge of the windmills.

Control your temper!
They even have their own signs, not unfortunately pointing towards hills and paths.

Not footpaths but signs to wind things
As we descended towards the road  at Penlle`r Castell we discovered the tarmac was an ice sheet and watched a car and a van precariously manoeuvring their way down, the car in reverse!

Our route back took in Bettws and across the Afon Aman into Ammanford.

Slight thaw

Saturday, 13 December 2014


My wife and I were visiting our son and partner in Chester the town where my wife's sister also lives and whose husband,Andy is one of my outdoor buddies.

A decision was taken to walk near Llangollen visting Castell Dinas Bran and then onto Creigiau Eglwyseg, the limestone ridge with the return down an "interesting" gulley and back partly along Offas Dyke path underneath the ridge.

Route (Viewranger)

Crow or in Welsh Bran

The route up
Ruin of the castle

Interesting descent

Andy route finding
Looking up another valley

Town Falls Llangollen

Back in Llangollen we celebrated by having a chocolate drink and a visit to a gear shop - just to browse.

The weather was perfect, cold with extensive views with the hills on the opposite side of the Dee Valley covered in frost.

Friday, 5 December 2014


Paul suggested a walk based on the book by Alan Richards and chose the walk based on Kidwelly.


We started with a cup of coffee in the cafe next to the castle and then set off skirting the castle with the Afon Gwendraeth Fach on our right.

The route then took us onto Mynyddygarreg with fine views all around to include the hill on the other side of the main road where we would be heading to.

The first of many green lanes

Gwenllian Pool

We were too late to apply

Descending  from Mynyddygarreg we passed by the ruin of Maes Gwenllian and onto a a minor road passing Capel Horeb an imposing red brick Methodist chapel.

Abandoned farmhouse

Continuing down we came across a small holding with what appeared a large area for growing vegetables contained in a walled area much like a drained swimming pool. The veg was growing in raised beds  formed from numerous old tyres.

The good life

A good use of old tyres

As we were having lunch the owner came past in a car and stopped for a chat. He told us the garden used to be a small reservoir which fed the gunpowder works in Pembrey.

Lovely sign post.

Following lunch we crossed the main road and headed uphill to eventually descend again into Kidwelly. Throughout the walk we walked along a number of splendid green lanes, some like tunnels covered in the recent autumn leaves.

You looking at me?

Another green lane

Curious cattle

Splendid lane

But this is December

Looking down to Kidwelly

Monday, 1 December 2014

Mynydd Castlebythe Puncheston

He's back. The Navigator is back in control and todays trip was to be in the Puncheston area of Pembrokeshire taking into account Mynydd Castlebythe and the lower slopes of Mynydd Cilciffeth.


The weather was a little dreary with little in the way of clear skies, which was a shame as these modest hills would give excellent views of the Preseli Hills, Carn Ingli and the coast down towards St Davids.

With the car parked we walked south east through Morvil where an old church was being repaired, whether for private use or the church I do not know.

Mynydd Castlebythe

From here we followed the lane and then headed up onto Mynydd Castlebythe over a path recently cut into the rough vegetation. From the top there were reasonable 360 degree views but on a crisp day would have been so much better.

Summit of Mynydd Castlebythe looking towards Carningli

We descended and headed for the village of Puncheston and then north to walk on the lower slopes of Mynydd Cilciffeth with the weather starting to close in. 

Bridleway on Mynydd Cilciffeth

We came across a distressed pregant ewe laying on her back. We tried to lift her back to her feet but I regret she could not stand. There did seem to be a problem with a back leg and why she was in this particular field when all her mates were in another seemed odd.  Unfortunately there was no farmhouse in the vicinity and we had to leave her, sad.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cefn Bryn

Today was going to be our third day in recent times to visit the Gower, we will soon have Swansea Jack accents!

The walk was number 8 from the Cicerone guide to Walks on Gower.

Route Viewranger

Route UK Hills

We parked the car in Penmaen at the foot of Cefn Bryn and began the climb up.

 We soon had views overlooking Three Cliffs Bay and further west to Oxwich Bay. The weather was a lovely blue sky day with flat calm seas.

Three Cliffs Bay

Oxwich Bay

On the ridge

It was a lot warmer here than back home where for the first time this season I had to scrape ice from the windscreen.

Once on the ridge top the views were fantastic. The plan was to visit Arthurs Stone but a lack of concentration found us walking to the second trig point away from the stone. A direct route to the stone was chosen following vague sheep trods, which led me directly into a bog and like last week well over my boots. Paul decided he would not follow and sensibly took a diversion.

We did reach the stone where we had lunch and I emptied my boots. The wikipedia link above makes mention the stone was apparently thrown from Llanelli, clearly a former Scarlet player.

Arthurs Stone

The next stretch was a straightforward yomp along the road to a junction where we turned right to follow the Gower way through Decoy Woods and the woods of Parc le Breos back to the car with one last look at Three Cliffs Bay.

Waxcap Fungi

Broad Pool

Gower Way sign in Parc Le Breos

Three Cliffs Bay