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Bucknell Hill and Hopton Titterhill

Report from Len.

8:00 start from The Oak car park for seven eager walkers looking forward to a riverside stroll from Bucknell a large village 4 miles east of Knighton followed by ascent of two hills, both via upland pasture and woodland.

Start point for the walk is another pub car park: the Baron at Bucknell. Just half a mile of country lane led on to bridlepath for a pleasant riverside walk alongside the River Redlake passing an impressive line of redwoods leading on to the Chapel Lawn road. Just half a mile of quiet country road before turning N. E. at Upper Lye through a field gate for our first taste of “uphill”. A good steady pull now through enclosed pasture and a dingle at Honeyhole, a great name for a secluded cottage. Climbing steadily, good views of Caer Caradog and Bucknell wood came into view with Buzzard overhead. We now entered Hopton Wood, first having a read of the information guide provided by the Forestry Commission. The Commission has provided a network of cycle trails through both Hopton and Bucknell Hill woods, very good they looked too. Level forest track for a mile now with views down Darky Dale towards Bedstone and over the wonderfully named holding of Gripesnest with pasture dotted with ant nests. A good place to look for Green Woodpecker on another day, on my recce of the walk there were Roe Deer here, but out of luck today. A sharp turn North now taking to a cycle trail for our ascent to the summit of Hopton Titterhill, a good pull up here building an appetite for our lunch break on the summit. A grassy knoll surrounded by gorse marks the high point; sadly the surrounding trees have grown so tall that our views were obscured.

Post lunch we set off down through a most pleasant woodland walk passing an unusual plantation of firs that had been sawn off just over head height and were now being managed to produce seed for tree nurseries, looked similar to a very large orchard, none of us had even heard of such an operation. We now arrived back at the F. C information point and headed due South to climb Bucknell Hill, again this is tree clad, not as steep as earlier ascent, but plenty of birdsong with the sun desperately trying to break through the clouds. Over the ridge and now a gradual descent now through the wood, followed by metalled track past Vermont cottage. Titterstone Clee hill came into view over to our left and Bucknell straight ahead at the valley bottom. But first we turn South West on to a bridleway bordered by wonderful thickets of gorse and briar, rabbit heaven. After a succession of gates we are back alongside the River Redlake for a gentle stroll back to the cars.

A good day out, 8 miles, dry overhead and dry underfoot, can’t be bad for mid April. Thanks to all who came and all who drove with a special ‘thank you’ to Mike Starr for publishing the walk and being so helpful when I rang him to plan todays walk.minibootprint

What a stunning day!

Img_2365Aberdyfi excelled itself on Sunday – wall to wall sunshine, gentle cooling breeze, magnificent views, a walk along the beach and an ice cream at the end. The route was one of Derek the Weatherman’s walks a bit extended.

Six of us met Yvonne in the beach car park and set off on the circuit of Aberdyfi at 9.45. I had worked out the tides for the day so that we could have a good walk back along the beach in the afternoon on a falling tide, but failed to realise that the highest of high tides at 9.30 ish meant that part of outward route – ie The Roman Steps – were well under water. This entailed a single file walk along the main road for about half a mile to get round them and up onto the hill behind the Outward Bound Centre. We climbed up through a couple of farms and slowly made our way up to the Panorama Walk ridge and a welcome elevenses stop: this got most of the climbing done before lunch. Here it was so quiet, just skylarks and pipits to break the spell of silence, with great views back down to the estuary and the hills beyond.

The next section took us down a delightful path into Cwn Maethlon (Happy Valley) to meet the road at Dyffryn-gwyn. We turned west here along the lane for about 10 minutes then a short climb to Gwyddgwion and the start of a very gentle downhill green lane all the way to the sea. Lunchtime called and we spent half an hour lolling in the sunshine before continuing down the green lane. At Dyffryn-glyn-cul we put up a heron from the farm pool: he circled lazily around waiting for us to move on so that he could return. Another 10 minutes down the lane and we hit the main coast road, crossed the railway line, crossed the slack behind the sand dunes, through the perfuming gorse and there was the beach. The tide was way out by now and still falling, so a good step along the firm wet sand brought us back to Aberdyfi. Dave was determined to have an ice cream so we joined him – very nice end to a very good walk.

More pictures in the gallery. Thanks to all who came and all who drove.  minibootprint

Up in the slush above Bontddu

lunch

Quick lunch at the top – picture by Annie

“Wet n orrible” just about describes it. This is a walk for a long warm summer evening where you can get up high quite quickly and sit and admire the great views down the Mawddach estuary and beyond. (See pic below I found on the interweb) But we had a wet Sunday in February with low cloud and very cold sloppy snow. But hey ho – we had some fun.  Six of us left the Oak and we picked up Yvonne at Cross Foxes, to travel up to Bontddu on the Barmouth road – turn right up a very steep and narrow road for 2k or so to park at the top.  It was a thin wind with drizzle in it as we set out with Richard leading on a horseshoe route laid out in the wild country to the south of Dyffwys.  We headed west on a rough path from Banc-y-Frân towards the derelict farm at Caerau: here the path stops and the wet hillside sheep tracks take over.  We had the wind at our backs as we climbed higher, a wind loaded with sleet and wet snow, eventually coming out at the top cairn in real snow. The cairn marks the crossing point on the ridge of the old stage route from Harlech that comes up from Pont Scethin. We stopped here for 5 mins to scoff some of Yvonne’s bara brith then headed round the top of the horseshoe and down the old stage route.  We all retreated into our hoods for this next bit as the snow was coming straight at us, but eventually we dropped out of the cloud and even got one or two glimpses of the estuary below us.  We then splashed our way back to the vehicles at Banc-y-Frân with the rain just turned to fine drizzle.

View in good weather. Picture and copyright by www.markhorrell.com.

View in good weather. Picture and copyright by www.markhorrell.com.

The vehicles steamed up mightily requiring the blower on maximum for quite a while, but all returned safe and sound with a tale to tell.  Pictures in the gallery. Thanks to Richard for leading and all who came and all who drove.  minibootprint

Allt y Main in January

Image1A very good turnout for this local walk only 10 minutes up the road and the route straight out of the Kittiwake Meifod guide – what more could you want?  Well, we didn’t have endless sunshine but the weather was set fair.

The route description starts: “… This is a strenuous walk of seven miles with a 1000ft of gradual ascent …”  and that ascent starts almost out of the carpark so no time to get a second wind. Following the recce I had to alter the route a bit because of the conditions – paths blocked by fallen trees and paths underwater on the banks of the Vyrnwy.  We stopped first at the Glascwm Viewpoint for an early elevenses amid the gorse with good views out over the Vyrnwy and beyond to Long Mountain, The Breiddens and assorted other lumps and bumps.  From here it is not far to the top, but a good pull up to the trig point at the summit of Allt y Main 356M (1170ft) so a climb of 272M (892ft) overall.  We didn’t hang about too long at the top as it was a bit chilly, just took lots of pics and headed back down. (I had left my camera in the van again – so pics in the gallery are mainly from Paul)

A delightful walk out (all down hill!) with a very steep path through the forest bought us back to Meifod.  This walk would make a wonderful summer evening event – excellent views and masses of wildlife to kept it interesting and two benches: one at the Glascwm Viewpoint and one at the summit.

Thanks to all who came and all who drove.minibootprint

 


Windchill

Having read last week in the press about a young man helicoptered off Snowdon with hypothermia, I thought a bit of info about windchill would not go amiss.  Just follow the Windchill information link on the left under ‘Pages’ to see the charts etc. The young man concerned was wearing jeans, pumps and a short leather jacket.

 

Frosty Detox

Mulled wine and mince pies at Swn y Nant

Mulled wine and mince pies at Swn y Nant

Seemed very odd to be walking out of The Oak carpark to start a walk, but it worked. Ten of us had a scamper round the hills and lanes of Guilsfield finishing at Swn y Nant for mulled wine and mince pies. Welcome to Anne and Ian who joined us for the first time.

We crossed diagonally across Cae Felin field and headed to the western end of the woods then turned sharply up hill and along the ridge.  Much evidence of new forest tracks and timber extraction following the February Gales – must have been a bit noisy with that lot coming down.  We scrambled down the end over and under trees and back to the footbridge then along the Brook to Sarn Bridge – very wet through here.  More climbing now: up Gwreiddyn Lane and up to the Summit of Gaer Fawr to rest at the Pig.  Down the other side and out at the quarry, turning right and on very icy lanes to Pump House.  Turned left after this and on to Trawscoed Farm, and following Len’s fine suggestion we headed across to Trawscoed-hen Farm and on down splashy tracks back to Sarn Bridge.  Then returned to Swn y Nant where Jean was waiting to welcome us with glasses of mulled wine and mince pies.  a good end to a good walk and a good year.  Lets do another good year in 2015.  Pics in the gallery and programme for 2015 on the left.

Thanks to all who came and to Jean for great tuck.  minibootprint

Aberystwyth

Report by Annie and pics by Annie.

Five of us braved the Welsh rain and winds. We parked at the harbour, not too near as there was a high tide and the sea was in a hurry to meet the shore. We started by walking up Pen Dinas, Yve’s local historical knowledge gave us a greater insight to the lumps and bumps of the landscape and Len pointed out Choughs. We took shelter on Constitution Hill, then taking the coastal path to Clarach, turning up to the woods, over the top and down by Aberyswyth golf course (not one golfer in sight). Lunch was in the newly restored shelter where we attracted pigeons and gulls.
The walk took approx. 4 hrs, breaks were short due to being ‘damp’!
Img_1728Img_1732 Img_1730  Img_1733

Roundton and Corndon

Image1Brian led us on a good local walk on a day that didn’t hold much promise, but ‘turned out nice again’ as the morning wore on. Welcome back to Jamie and Peter and Moira – long time no see – and thanks to Jamie for the pictures.  (Left my camera in the van AGAIN!)

We started with a good pull up to the summit of Roundton in improving weather and saw much of the area opening up with good views across to Corndon and the famous Bromlow Callow. Thanks to Julie and her electronic gizzmo we found that Callow could refer to ‘bald’ – maybe it was a bald hill before the trees were planted. (Link here)

Then across the gap and up to the summit of Corndon.  Bit of history etc here. We came down the steep fence by the edge of the now cleared plantation, which used to be an eycatching feature, and made the lane that headed north to Mitchell’s Fold.  We stopped here and sat on the stones for elevenses/lunch.  One or two kites about and a raven or two but that was about all.

It was then lanes and tracks back to the cars at The Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trusts’ nature reserve car park. (Link here)  Thanks to Brian for leading and all who came and all who drove. Pics in the gallery.  minibootprint

 

 

Christmas Detox

The Christmas DETOX walk will be on

SUNDAY 28th DECEMBER @ 9.30 from The Oak

not Monday 29th December

Sorry for this – a bit of diary dither on my part.

Next Walk

NEXT WALK

Sunday 23rd November – Brian Flowers – Local Walk – Corndon Hill circuit to include Mitchells Fold standing stones and Roundton Hill.
Seven miles max and easy/moderate with a few steepish bits.
Depart from The Oak 08.30