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Walk 65 [7 miles] - Whitton & Pentre

OS201 OS137 garmin

A sunny start to walk 65 saw 10 of us set off for Whitton and head westwards towards Llan Fawr and across the brand new road bridge in Whitton. At Bridge End we turned off the road and followed the Lugg to Upper Litton then started to climb, enjoying the unfolding views of the Lugg valley.

The first climb

We continued to Courthouse Wood where we stopped for a break,

Dropping down to Courthouse Wood

Stuffing our faces again!

resuming to drop down onto the road and heading towards Pentre when we again climbed the path to Rocky Wood.

Climbing up towards Rocky Wood

which is appropriately named!
above 2 photos courtesy Ian H-C

We admired the view down into Monaughty


Panorama of Monaughty
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Monaughty from Llan Fawr
photo courtesy Ian H-C


Panorama of Pilleth and the Lugg valley
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and headed up the side of Llan Fawr where we eventually stopped for lunch, taking shelter behind some convenient gorse bushes.

Lunch and what a view

After that it was downhill all the way,
crossing our outbound track to Litton Court and back to our cars, at which point it started to rain. 7 very enjoyable miles, and many thanks to Margaret & Ian for leading us.


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P1010128

Walk 64A (#9) [8ΒΌ miles] - Lake Vyrnwy

OS201 OS137 garmin

Another fine mess I got us into. Geri & I decided it would be nice to do a walk on or near Lake Vyrnwy and look for the missing vowels - in the event we failed on that count. Four brave but misguided volunteers came along and we set off from the car park below the dam on what was to be a mini adventure.

We passed through the wood sculptures and crossed the river and headed up to the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel

A view of the lake from above the hotel

and then to Carreg y tair Eglwys where we paused for coffee. Along the way we kept coming across signs (at the few way-marks we spotted) about Pererindod Melangell - more information about her can be found here
We then entered the wood and dropped down eventually to the farm at Bwlch-Isych

Making friends at Bwlch-Isych


after which we climbed steadily and skirted Foel Fawr


Panorama of Afon Barog from Foel Fawr
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eventually reaching our turning point and the return to the lake. It was at this point that things got a little tricky - not least because any pretence at a path completely vanished, However the GPS was a great help and we eventually stopped for lunch

View east from our lunch stop

and that's where we want to go

during which I tried to figure out our way down to the small lake on the Afon y Dolau Gwynion. After a bit of faffing about we plunged down from Cairn

Looking back towards Cairn

and started the nightmarish scramble alongside the river.

Just past the lake and full of optimism

Lunch and a view

After a while we were forced to cross from the east to the west bank and made it without too much trouble, although Di was heard to say "I do hope we won't have to cross back" -

Di - out of her comfort zone (weren't we all!!)

prophetic words, for after a short walk we were indeed compelled to recross a much trickier piece of the river - I contrived to completely immerse my right boot.

Backwards and forwards looking for a sense of humour!

We continued further along the east bank and found that once again we should be on the other bank. At that point we had a collective sense of humour failure and opted to climb out of the valley towards Croes y Forwyn where, after a fair bit of tussock and heather hopping, we regained our outbound track quite close to our morning coffee stop.

A gentle and welcome descent back to the road skirting the lake and across the dam to our cars. 8¼ miles of interesting terrain.

Walk profile


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P1010103

Walk 64 [12.3 miles] - Great Rhos & Black Mixen

OS201 OS137 garmin

Having seen and heard about Black Mixen over the last 2 years, Mike decided that it was high time we went and 'did' it. So 7 of us left for New Radnor and parked in the car park at Pont y Nantau.

Not the most flattering of views
photo courtesy Ian H-C

A better view from the car park looking towards the Whimble

We headed off north west along the Black Brook valley and diverted to view the Water-break-its-neck waterfall. Having had no real rain for several weeks the water was a bit on the thin side, but still worth the diversion.

Water-break-its-neck

and here it is with a bit more water
© Copyright Hugh Chevallier and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

We continued climbing up the aptly named Lluestau'r Haul - and quite a haul it was too. Once we emerged from the forest we sat down for a well deserved cup of coffee.

A view of Black Mixen from Great Rhos

Ian, Di & John 'enjoying' the terrain
'tussock hopping'

Our next objective was the trig point at Great Rhos 2166ft (660m) which we reached after an interesting negotiation of a barbed wire fence and a scramble through heather and bog. Three of us created a bit of alarm by jumping in unison and feeling the ground move. Mike then pointed over to the east and the summit of Black Mixen - advising "That's where we stop for lunch". No sooner said that we set of at a good lick, enjoying a proper path for a change.

We entered a wooded area called the Ringles - very peaceful and pleasantly sheltered from the rather cold wind.

The Ringles

Looking south along Harley Dingle from Cross Dyke

Then emerging to cross to Black Mixen 2132 ft (650m) where we took our lunch sheltered by one of the buildings next to the communications mast.

Geri & Mike approaching the trig point on Black Mixen

Our lunchtime shelter

Of course we didn't believe Mike when he said it was nearly all downhill from that point, though to be fair it actually was.

Great Rhos from Black Mixen


We were now dropping down alongside the deep gully of Ystol Back Brook with the Whimble ahead of us.

Ystol Back Brook with the Whimble ahead

Ystol Back Brook just before turning east to Whinyard Rocks
photo courtesy Ian H-C

At it's base we turned east and skirted Whinyard Rocks

Whinyard Rocks

and then into the Forestry Commission woodland area

Looking towards Kinnerton
photo courtesy Ian H-C


Panorama looking east from The Whimble
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Heather Burning

emerging at Jack's Green Farm and continuing our descent around Knowle Hill to Mutton Dingle and New Radnor.

The distant hill on the right is where our cars are parked!

Through New Radnor we paused at the monument erected to the memory of Sir George Cornewall Lewis, (1806-1863) MP for Herefordshire who also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for War.
We crossed the A44 and climbed to The Smatcher heading west back to our start point.

Looking down into New Radnor from the Smatcher

Walk profile

12.3 miles in about 6 hours 20 minutes. Many thanks go to Mike who managed to remember the route after 2 years. Here's to the next one.


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P1010067

Walk 63A (#8) [9 miles] - Hopton Castle, Purslow & Clunbury

OS201 OS137 garmin

Have you ever had that deja vu moment? The lady forecaster said yesterday (Friday) "Gin clear skies over Wales tomorrow..." Right! Another right royal porky pie - I wouldn't like to have a gin and tonic at her house!!

Still, Geri & I set off from Hopton Castle full of optimism, and I have to say, we did have a bit of sunshine on the way.

A good start - a field of cows with their calves

We headed off North West in the general direction of LLanbrook, then a right turn up the hill to Llan Farm then west towards Cwm Barn.

Looking down into Cwm from the road


Panorama of view above Cwm
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We left the road above Cwm and headed north east, descending to Ladye Bank, stopping en route for coffee.

Crossing the fields we passed the Hall at Purslow then, after a short trip along the B4368, took the footpath to Clunbury where we stopped on the footbridge over the Clun and caught a sight of a dipper.


Panoramic view from Clunbury Hill
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View of Clunbury from Clunbury Hill

Then it was up Clunbury Hill, getting lost twice (see the interesting diversion on the map above) where we stopped for lunch. We then continued following the footpath track, skirting Hope Forest and descending into Twitchen. After a moments hesitation we found the overgrown style near the telephone box and crossed the fields and back to Hopton Castle.

About 9 miles and many thanks to Geri for her help in spotting hidden stiles.


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P1010042

Walk 63 [7 miles] - Clun & Sowdley Wood

OS201 OS137 garmin

8 of us set off from the car park by the river in Clun and started off by going up Church Bank and leaving the village heading south

River looking very low here

eventually climbing to the summit of Clun Hill. Although a bit overcast, visibility was very good as we paused for a breather at the top.

A good climb out of Clun


Panoramic view of Clun from Clun Hill
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We continued over the top and then descended, eventually passing through the hamlet of Hobarris before turning north east and stopping on Pen-y-wern Hill for coffee.

Looking down into Hobarris at coffee time

We dropped down to the road and then entered the area of Black Hill,

Turn right at the mast

View looking east from Black Hill

eventually turning into Sowdley Wood where we stopped for lunch in a clearing.

Our seating arrangements were a sight to behold

From Sowdley Wood looking north towards Clunton & Clunton Wood

We continued our long gentle descent following the forestry track
and emerged at Woodside then followed the road back into Clun. About 7 miles and very many thanks to Anne and Colin for leading us.


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