Monday, 31 March 2014

Heol Senni and Surrounding Hills

"Where are we going tomorrow?" Well the answer was Heol Senni, a small hamlet in the Senni Valley south of Sennybridge.

We parked in the car park of the village hall, hopefully with no irate committee member meeting us on our return.


We walked up the minor road slowly gaining height as the road increased in steepness.

An artistic wheelie bin
Three chaps on cycles came past in what I assume was granny gear as we were having a coffee break.

Looking back down the Senni Valley
We met up again shortly after the zig zag where they were having a well deserved break. We left the road here and struck off below Fan Nedd following a wall to Bwlch y Duwynt where a lunch stop was taken.

Fan Nedd
The route continued following the wall climbing steadily to the trig point at 603 metres - this ridge is not named. This handy wall was followed back downhill to another minor road to Heol Senni.

We had views through the day of Fan Frynych,Fan Nedd, Fan Llia, Fan Gihirych, and in the distance Pen Y Fan and Corn Ddu.

Fan Girhirych

And again

Pen Y Fan and Corn Ddu in the distance

The summit known as 603 with Pen Y Fan and Corn Ddu in the distance

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Llangain Circular

Although Paul and I had been enthused by the previous night's showing of various extreme outdoor films presented  at the Banff Mountain Film Festival we decided on a country walk with little hope of danger.

The walk was another by Alan Richards and based on the village of Llangain.


I woke to rain but the web site forecasts insisted it would be a dry day and in fact the rain stopped and the waterproofs remained in the bags.

I will let the photos tell the story.

The following 5 were taken within Green castle Woods one of those owned by the Woodland Trust.

Unusual waymarks

Is this to clean up fallen leaves?

Wood carvings

Sulphur Tufts?

Looking upstream of the Afon Tywi

 We now start to head out to the countryside.

Misty view back to Carmarthen

Not much left of the cromlech

Afon Lydan

We are now about to pass Fernhill the property where Dylan Thomas spent his youthful holidays and the subject of his famous poem.  The house is clearly unoccupied and in need of some care. This seems an odd situation bearing in mind the connection.(c/o Wikipedia -A manor house dating back to 1723 and listed as a grade II building for its architectural and historic connection. Famous as a frequent childhood holiday retreat of the world renowned poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953), it became immortalised in one of his best-known poems, Fernhill. Fernhill is also known for its association with the notorious county hangman, Robert Rickets Evans who lived there at the turn of the 20th century. His daughter was heiress to a fortune. He imprisoned her in a cell in the courtyard (which can still be seen today) to gain her fortune, but her lover helped her to escape, according to folklore. The story has been confirmed in more recent research, which has also described Thomas' stays at Fernhill and the extent of his family connections in the Llangain area.[1])

 We head on towards Llangain

Neat hedge laying

Why the moorings, no where near the sea.

Llangain Church

Monday, 24 March 2014

Llyn Brianne

Back from sunnier climes "The Navigator" was once again back in charge.  The Sunday evening chat left things up in the air as the forecast was not looking good. However at 0800 on Monday morning the game was afoot.

The decision was to head to the hills in the Llyn Brianne area near Rhandirmwyn.  Although I had walked in this part on numerous occasions, today would see me for the first time,walking across the reservoir dam and visiting the the hideaway of our own local Robin Hood, Twm Sion Cati.


Just after we set off we came across a small runaway herd of Welsh Black cattle strolling down the road. Thankfully they ran up into the trees when a van came down the road.

You looking at me?

We crossed  the dam and looked down  the spillway on which brave (stupid?) kayakers have been known to slide and which runs into the Afon Tywi. It has been said one of the contractors employees was the first to carry out this manoeuvre by sliding down sitting on his shovel!

The spillway

After walking along the track we cut up into the wood where we came across a pair of shoes in perfectly good condition.  I must admit to looking up but thankfully no hanging bodies.

A mystery

As we exited the trees there was a strong and cold wind which blew off and on throughout the walk. The route took us down to the Doethie valley and back towards the road leading up to the reservoir.

Heading down to the Doethie

 We had lunch overlooking where the Afon Doethie meets the Afon Tywi.

Confluence of Afon Doethie and Tywi

 Along the Doethie river there are 5 homes but a large civil contract was underway laying down a new bridge. Apparently the current one is unstable.

Looking upstream of Afon Tywi

Afon Doethie

We turned off the road into the RSPB reserve of Dinas and walked around the hill, but also taking in the cave where Twm Sion Cati was said to have hidden.

The two rivers from Dinas Reserve

Desirable residence?
What I saw showed it to be a most uncomfortable place.The route around the hill is very picturesque and we were soon back at the car.

St Paulinus Church
The board walk from this car park leading into the reserve is currently closed.

Board walk closed

Monday, 17 March 2014

Llangadog to Llandovery

With The Navigator sunning himself in Mallorca I had to guide myself.

Thankfully I was in the capable hands of Mr Alan Richards and his excellent book, Great Walks in Carmarthenshire Vol 1 and the linear walk from Llangadog to Llandovery via Myddai.


I parked in Llandovery, £1.50 all day and caught the bus to Llangadog and then followed the guide book. His directions are always spot on and an OS map could be left at home, but you won't!

I met a number of farmers who were happy to chat despite this being a hectic time for them seeing to the lambing.

The walk included footpaths, bridal ways, green and sunken lanes and paths through woods, nice and varied.

Pictures follow.

Looking back to Llangadog

Busy time

Remains of Sardis Chapel

Bannau Sir Gar in the distance

Closed Mondays!

Loads of fungi on waste sawdust

Disappointed sheep as I was not carrying feed

Looking down to LLandovery

Racial harmony

Llewelyn ap Grufudd ap Fychan

Yet again a good day.