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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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.

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Monday, 20 July 2020

Monday Walk - Henrhyd Waterfall (Craig-y-Nos Circular), with or without the Cribarth Limestone Plateau [Brecon Trip]

Length: 13.4 km (8.3 mi) [longer options available]
Ascent/Descent: 270m; Net Walking Time: 4 hours
Toughness: 3 out of 10

Take the 09.20 bus (line T6) from Bus Stand 5 at Brecon Bus Interchange, arrives Craig y Nos Castle/Adelina Patti Hospital at 09.55.
Return buses (from Glyntawe, before Craig-y-Nos Country Park) run at 13.38 (arrives 14.12) and at 15.55 (arrives 16.29). [There’s also an 18.08, arriving 18.42…]
Buses out of Brecon to Abergavenny leave at 14.56 and 17.00. 
The last train from Abergavenny to London leaves at 20.45.

The walk starts through the Craig y Nos Country Park, an idyllic spot on the banks of the Afon Tawe (River Tawe) with its Victorian Gothic building (now a hotel), which was home to the world-renowned opera singer Adelina Patti from 1878 to 1919. The route then follows quiet bridleways and country lanes with excellent views across the valley to the Cribarth mountain, to a steep cliff edge above the Tawe River which it then follows for an extended stretch, with the river running below in rapids.
You then leave the Tawe to walk up a spectacular wooded ravine, formed by the Nant Llech. The river’s name (‘Rock Slab Stream’ in English) derives from the rock strata that tilt or dip to create small waterfalls along its course, several of which can be observed from close quarters. The wooded gorge (owned and managed by the National Trust) is an Ancient Woodland, meaning many of the trees (especially on the southern bank) have never been felled. It is also a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for its humid habitat, supporting a wide range of damp-loving species.
You ascend through the scenic gorge to a natural amphitheatre, carved out over millennia by the highest waterfall in South Wales, the Sgwd Henrhyd (Henrhyd Waterfall), which drops down a rocky ledge forming a water curtain you can walk behind. From there country lanes and paths across pastures get you a prized lunch pub in Pen y Cae and then back along the bridleways and lanes of the outward route to finish with a riverside loop through the Craig y Nos Country Park to its tea rooms.

Walk Options: Alternative Start, further north in Glyntawe (same bus), for a slightly longer and tougher walk (14.3 km/8.9 mi); or even longer, by exploring a variation of the morning route by climbing up to the Cribarth plateau from Craig y Nos first to pick up the route in Ynyswen (with or w/o the longer start from Glyntawe).

Lunch: Pen y Cae Inn Restaurant, Gallery & Zoo! (10.5 km/6.4 mi). This may be open again by then…
Tea: Changing Seasons Tea Rooms & Restaurant in Craig y Nos or The Gwyn Arms in Glyntawe. These may be open again by then…

For walk directions and options, route map, height profile, photos or gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.280


Thomas G said...

There will be some walkers with cars on the Brecon Trip, so there is a chance that lifts back to Brecon inbetween the rare buses can be arranged.

Thomas G said...

1 car driver left last night, another one did not walk so as to meet nearby relatives, so n=10 with just 2 cars, ie some of us bused it to Craig-y-Nos. The group split into 4 for the tougher route via the Cribarth plateau and 6 doing the norm route.
The zigzag path descent into the Country Park was closed due a fallen tree, but the diversion was short and obvious. We got to the Henrhyd waterfall just after noon and the other group arrived just b4 we were ready to depart, after much photo-taking.
The Pen y Cae Inn had already closed for the afternoon and its mini-zoo is closed anyway just now due to Covid. Which left us about an hour at the end for tea and cakes and ice cream at the café in the Country Park, before the bus back to Brecon. Currently on the platform in Abergavenny, awaiting the 18.15 to Newport.

Thomas G said...

One swam. In the plunge pool of the main waterfall.