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Craig Rhiwarth Circuit, Llangynog

Craig Rhiwarth from the zigzags

Craig Rhiwarth from the zigzags

Damp and windy could sum up this walk.  The complete walk is one of Derek Brockways “Weatherman Walking” series.  I shortened it a bit and altered the route to cut out a steep downhill followed by a steep uphill.  We were going to do this walk last year but the weather was so foul we held it over to this year – the weather was a bit better this year, but not a lot – ocassional thin drizzle.

Starts in Llangynog and heads up the Bala Road for a mile then up a track to the back of Craig Rhiwarth.  Two ‘ups’ in that sentence and that’s most of  the climbing done for the day. From the top of  Craig Rhiwarth we headed north across some damp country to Bedd Crynddyn.  The wind was now getting up and so were the clouds, we even started to see a bit of blue sky. There is a long track heading just north of east across the tops, but whoever put in the new fencing forgot to put the stiles back: so we had a bit of clambering to do. The way is rough under foot and the track indistinct – not good in thick mist, but a bearing of around 75° will do no harm.

At the final fence we democratically decided to head back towards Llangynog. Bit more bog trotting and wet tracks brought us to the top of the zigzags down into Cwm Glan-hafon – very gently here. A walk out through the beautiful old oak wood under the cliffs that peregrines nest upon, none today but soon will be, and returned to the cars.  A damp walk but just great to be out again.

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


Programme Changes

Couple of changes on the programme.  Go to the programme and see the changes highlighted in RED.

Click on 2016 Programme on the left hand side of the page.


Trefonen – borderland in the sunshine

Image2It looked like a good day – cool and damp with the sun promising. Annie brought two friends, Delyth and Sally, to join us – welcome Sally and welcome back Delyth: hope to see you both with us again. A short drive across country brought us to park up near The Barley Mow in Trefonen and from here we made our way southish on the Offa’s Dyke Path to Moelydd to study the toposcope and all the wonderful views.

From Moelydd Peter led us down the fields and up into the woods where we stopped for a quick snack. The ground underfoot from here on can only be described (politely) as mucky. We slipped and slid around field edges, splashed across open grassland and it was a great relief to come out at last on a tarmac track: even Graham’s boots were mucky!

From here it was a walk back to Trefonen through the lanes with much evidence of spring arriving at the wrong time – daffodils etc all over the place. Thanks to Peter for leading and all who came and all who drove. minibootprint  Pics in the gallery

Christmas Detox

pigA sensible start time of 9.30 brought out a dozen hardy souls for the last walk of the year.  As Sarn Meadow was under water we started down the Arddleen Road and up the hill to the bottom entrance of Gaer Fawr.  The route up was pretty sticky at first but improved all the way to the pig.  The pig could do with a scrub with hot soapy water but the Fairy Door was in good condition. Down the back and out onto Gwreiddyn Lane and turned right and up past Pump House to the Broniarth turn. Everywhere was pretty mucky but the day was bright and mild – I for one felt distinctly over-dressed and warming up.  One or two others out either jogging or driving past.

Turned left at The Lane and across the track to Trawscoed-hen.  I was from here on that I was glad I had decided to wear my wellies – the track down to Sarn Meadow was rather sloppy. Back on the hard surface again at the Arddleen Road and along to The Oak.  From here it was down to Swn y Nant for mince pies and punch – many thanks to jean for putting on a grand spread.  We watched the 2015 picture gallery in a strange order and then the 2015 walking season closed.  The 2016 starts on 10th January with a local walk around Trefonen led by Peter – 8.00am start.

Thanks to all who have walked with us this year – all who have driven to far flung corners of our wonderful area and to all who have planned,recced and led for us. Let’s do it all again next year. minibootprint

2016 Programme

walkerHi all

Programme for 2016 is on the blog.

Some “Old ones, new ones, loved ones and neglected ones.”  New inovation this year – couple of Family Friendly walks: suitable for children of all ages, but not ‘buggy-able.’

Few missing details as yet, but watch for updates nearing the time when recces have been done.

Christmas Detox


christmasdetoxCome and walk off some of that turkey and pud with our Christmas Detox.

Sunday 27th December –  9.30 easy and short.

Starting from The Oak at 9.30 (now there’s a sensible time) a walk up the Gaer Fawr, round the lanes via Broniarth, and across the fields of Trawscoed Farms and back to Swn y Nant for warm punch and mince pies etc.  Bring a crowd of friends/visitors.


Img_2818Sunday dawned bright and cold with snow showing on the Berwyns and other high ground so we were in for another ‘Grand Day Out:’ Brian didn’t disappoint with his route. Five of us left The Oak, picked up Graham on the way and headed round to The Bog car park below the Stiperstones. A scattering of frozen snow greeted us as we set out on a south-east tack to pick up the Shropshire Way path that follows the Stiperstones ridge for quite a way. By Cranberry Rock we spotted a pair of Red Grouse only a few metres off the path having a munch, they didn’t explode into the air but just sauntered gently away into the heather and were gone. (Very poor pic in the gallery). The ridge is pretty rough along the next bit, made worse by the slowly melting snow/frost, but we halted at Manstone Rock for a breather and refreshment and on to The Devil’s Chair.  (Go here to read the legend of the evil’s Chair and his apron.) Good views to the snowy horizon all round but by now most of the snow/frost was gone from underfoot.

From The Devil’s Chair it is easy going all the way to Blakemoorflat.  From here the views down to the left open onto the Dingles – very steep – Brian led us to the top of Crowsnest Dingle: bit of a struggle in places, wet rock covered in wet leaves and mud don’t make for a sure footing.  We hit the road at the top end of Snailbeach and  walked uphill round the double bend then into the woods on the left and followd this path all the way to Stipersrones village, coming out by the pub. Here I met John and Geoff Sproson (of the shop and pub) and had a long chat as I used to teach with Geoff. This meant I was miles behind the rest of the group and had to do a bit of lung busting catching-up. Just beyond Tankerville we turned south up a mucky track which led us back to the Bog car park.

A good day birdwise – two Kites (or the same one twice) lots of Red Grouse both flying and calling, two Kestrels, lots of Meadow Pipits, plus all the usual suspects.

Thanks to Brian for leading a good day and thanks to all who came and all who drove.minibootprint

Stretton in the mist

CC View

The view of Caer Caradoc that we didn’t see because of the mist.

We parked opposite the musical loos in Church Stretton and Graham led seven of us on a real feat of route finding and navigation on a circular walk  via Chelmick, Hope Bowdler and up onto Caer Caradoc and back down to Stretton. Welcome to Steve, who joined us for his first walk with us – hope to see you on our walks again.

We went up through the smart houses of Clive Avenue and Ragleth Road then out onto the damp paths and lanes through Ragdon to the lovely village of Chelmick. Then more tracks and lanes towards Hope Bowdler, coming out near the Church.

The weather was now improving greatly: from damp and misty to blue sky and warm sunshine. East along the main road to the end of Hope Bowdler village then sharp left up towards Hope Batch. It was here that elevenses was delcared.  It was now getting warm and layers were coming off. We crossed the top of the hill and looked down towards the Plantation and the massive bulk of Caradoc with extensive views to the east. We joined the track at Cwms Cottage and headed east round the end of Caradoc then south west towards the steep path up to the bwlch between Little Caradoc and the main mass of the hill.  It was here we lunched. The views across to the Long Mynd and beyond were slowly disapearing as the mist gradually filled the valley from the south. Annie and Steve opted for the pretty walk out – over the shoulder and down to the track at Cwms Cottage – while the rest of us engaged low gear and toiled up to the summit.  As we got higher the mist rolled in and up,  so on reaching the top we only had a short window of views before the temperature plummeted as the mist enclosed us it damp greyness.

One of our number declared we were lost as we wandered across the top towards Three Fingers Rock to pick up the steeply decending path.  We reassured her that Graham did know the way and to prove it we came out right on target.  Down to the main track leading back to Church Stretton, across the damp fields then dodging the trains and through the houses back to the carpark.

As I left my camera in the van again, pics from Annie and Graham in the gallery.  Thanks to all who came and all who drove. minibootprint

Bontddu again

crop1This is a good walk because you drive up the hills a good way before you start  – about 750 ft in just under 2 miles – this would be a real drag at both ends of the walk. We parked the cars at Banc-y-Frân next to a group of rams who had all been dyed flourescent green! (See pics in gallery) Then Richard led the six of us out on good paths heading west and turned north just after the end of the forestry where the climbing starts, nothing excessive, just steady.   Down to our left we saw a gathering of vehicles and people then heard the noise of the fox hounds being given a run out on the hills.  As we climbed the hounds zoomed around below us with the followers spreading out but we didn’t see them put up fox, or anything else for that matter.

Len and I had brought our ‘bins’ along for a bit of bird spotting and we weren’t disappointed. The count for the day was: 4 chough – possible pair of merlins – kestrel –  red kite – linnet – buzzard,  plus all the usual suspects.

We reached the top at around 1900 ft where the the old coach road from Bontddu to Harlech crosses the ridge and lunch was declared. Its from this high point the the old road drops down to Pont-Scethin and then on through the lanes to Harlech. It must have been a treacherous journey in a coach at any time of the year.  The view from here was very good – all the way round the top of the bay down to Bardsey – no pedalos but two jet-skis and a yatch.  From here the path is a good downhill trog with fine views of the Mawddach Estuary and a glimpse of the Barmouth Bridge, it was here met a group of trail bikers going up.  The track became a double walled path that led us back to the cars and the flourescent rams.

A good walk – thanks to all who came and all who drove – pics in the gallery.minibootprint


Bryn Du and Bryn y Fawnog

WP_20150927_007Welcome to Steve our latest new walker making our group up to ten. We parked in Belan and walked up the lane to Alltyffynon from which the climb started. Friendly neighbours at the Observatory had kindly cleared the right of way, making the path easier to navigate, onwards to Ffrwd-wen and the Court with limited views as at this stage of the walk it was still hazy.
Reaching the ridge over Bryn Du we passed by a Roman road, hut circle and cairns, onto our second ridge, via Lluestycerrig, Ty-uchaf crossing along Waun y Llyn common from which we could see the Arans, Berwyns, Brieddens  and Cader Iris to mention only a few.
Coming off Waun y Llyn and passing Llyn Mawr and Llyn Du, we passed a standing stone before crossing the hill and walking alongside Llyn y Tarw which has a scheduled neolithic stone circle monument. Further common moorland brought us down to the Observatory with a downhill walk back to our vehicles.
A long walk with good company, albeit it was slightly longer than advertised, the weather couldn’t have been better with the mist burning off around mid-day rewarding us with outstanding views of the counties of Powys, Ceredigion and Clywd.
Report by Annie Evans
Thanks Annie for the report and the pictures in the gallery. minibootprint