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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Saturday Walk - Offa's Dyke Path along Hatterrall Ridge, Vale of Ewyas, Llanthony Priory, Crooked Church in Cwmyoy: Pandy Inn to Llanvihangel Crucorney [Black Mountains Trip]

Length: 24.7 km (15.4 mi)  [shorter and longer walks possible]
Ascent/Descent: 833/798 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours
Toughness: 10 out of 10

09.27 Bus Line X3 from Abergavenny Bus Station Stand 2, arrives Penbidwal before Pandy Inn 09.51. From Crickhowell take the 08.11 to Abergavenny (leaves time for breakfast in Abergavenny). Return buses from Llanvihangel Crucorney, opp. Skirrid Inn: 17.10, 18.07, connecting to Crickhowell at 17.50, 18.50.

From/To London:
Daytrip not possible this weekend due to trackworks.

This route at the south easterly end of the Black Mountains area in the Brecon Beacons National Park starts with a steep ascent onto an Iron Age hillfort site and on to Hatterrall Hill, and then follows Offa’s Dyke Path and the Beacons Way across Hatterrall Hill and the largely heathery – but in parts boggy – open moorland of the dramatic Hatterrall Ridge with fine panoramic views from this natural boundary of a ridge up along the wild, lonely and beautiful Vale of Ewyas (the valley of the River Honddu and the easternmost valley of The Black Mountains) and across the South Wales mountain ranges to the west, and over the plains of the Welsh/English borderlands to the east, on a good day all the way to The Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills.
A dramatic descent at the start of the return leads down into the Vale of Ewyas with a bird’s eye view of the fascinating ruins of Llanthony Priory, the remnants of one of Wales’s great medieval buildings, and to lunch at its cellar bar or a nearby pub.
The return down the glacial valley between steep ridges offers fantastic views to the Sugar Loaf and Skirrid mountains near Abergavenny, some old oak woodlands, river meadows and plenty of waterways streaming down the hillsides. A memorable highlight is Cwmyoy village, both for the ascent of the superb viewpoint of a crag above the village and for the renowned crooked church, bent and twisted due to the still active landslide on which it was built.

A Shortcut just before lunch cuts 3.2 km/2.0 mi and 121m ascent.
Another Shortcut cuts the climb up the hill looming over Cwmyoy village, cutting 740m and 43m ascent.
A Shortcut mid-afternoon cuts 360m and 63m ascent.
An Extension over the superb viewpoint of Twyn-y-Gaer (hillfort) adds 2.0 km/1.2 mi and 196m ascent.

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.

Lunch in Llanthony: Llanthony Priory Hotel Cellar Bar (open all day, food to 14.30, 12.5 km/7.8 mi into the walk); The Half Moon Inn (13.0 km/8.1 mi into the walk); Llanthony Treats (13.1 km/8.1 mi into the walk).
Tea: The Queen’s Head in Cwmyoy, (2.4 km/1.5 mi from the end of the walk); The Skirrid Mountain Inn in Llanvihangel Crucorney, opposite the bus stop. Open all day. Wales’s oldest Inn. T=swc.335

1 comment:

Thomas G said...

20 off the bus, 1 other had mailed she would drop her car at the pub 30 minutes from the end and walk from there onto the route, so - although we never saw her - let's say n=21 in w=warm-and-sunny weather, with a nice breeze on the ridge. Up on the ridge, the heather was disappointing, as it has been everywhere this year, the whimberries had been picked, wild ponies were in abundance though and the views were brilliant, although there was some haze on the English side, so that the Malvern were only just identifiable.
The descent from Hatterall Ridge is amongst the most glorious in the SWC portfolio and afterwards everyone seemed to enjoy lunch at the Cellar Bar, amongst the Priory ruins.
Onwards through the Vale back to the road and bus, with grand vistas up to the ridges and back along the Vale towards Haye. At least 10 went up the crag above Cwmyoy, at least 1 went over Twyn-y-Gaer hillfort as well.
18.07 bus for all non drivers.