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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, 18 July 2020

Saturday Walk - Bwlch Circular (via Mynydd Troed and Lllangorse Lake) [Brecon Trip]

Length: 21.6 km (13.4 mi) or 19.4 km/12.1 mi if walking the short walk
Ascent/Descent: 816/820m or 556/560m on the short walk
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 hours or 5 hours
Toughness: 9 out of 10 or 7 out of 10

Take the 09.56 bus (line X43 to Abergavenny) from Bus Stand 3 at Brecon Bus Interchange.
Arrives Bwlch, opposite All Saints at 10.11.
Return buses  are on: 16.34, 17.47 and 18.13 (journey time 14 or 23 minutes). Buy a Bwlch return.

The last time around this walk was made harder by the footpaths around the lake being impassable due to flooding, necessitating long diversions. But Britain had a very dry spring, so here's hoping…

From the pdf: “This is a varied walk from the small settlement of Bwlch (‘pass’ in Welsh), starting from a low col high above the Usk Valley onto the rolling moorlands of Cefn Moel and Mynydd Llangorse. The following long ridge walk along this outlying peak’s plateau – and the subsequent optional ascent to Mynydd Troed –command panoramic views across to many of the much higher giants of the Brecon Beacons National Park: across the Rhiangoll valley to the south-western flanks of the Black Mountains massif, west to the Central Beacons and south to Mynydd Llangynidr and Mynydd Llangattock. A road descent leads to Llangorse village for lunch and around its iconic lake, of glacial origin and the largest natural lake in South Wales, with its watersports centre – and the only crannog outside of Scotland and Ireland. This is a busy touristic site in season.
Leave the crowds behind to further circumvent the large lake to a remote bird hide and an even more remote church-with-views in Llangasty-Talyllyn and then up the Allt yr Esgair ('wooded slope of the ridge' in Welsh). It is crowned by an Iron Age hillfort and a Roman road and overlooks the valley of the River Usk to the west and south and Llangorse Lake and the Black Mountains to the northeast.
You then follow the Roman Road back down to Bwlch.

·        Cutting out the steep out-and-back up to Mynydd Troed makes this a 7/10 walk.
·        Cut out the ascent to the Allt yr Esgair Iron Age Hill Fort site near the end by contouring around the hill’s flank (yet to be walked).
·        A more easterly loop back to Bwlch from Mynydd Troed via its long plateau ridge and down into the Cwm Sorgwm and back up across Pen Tir makes it a more serious outing.” For a visual assessment of how much tougher the alternative route via Pen Tir is, have a look at the two height profiles at the bottom of the walk’s webpage linked below.
Lunch: The Castle Inn (not sure this will be open) and  The Red Lion (this has changed hands recently and been fully refurbished, but will it be open?), both in Llangors (12.0 km/7.4 mi if walking the full walk). Picnic lunch is the safe option and indeed the only option if walking the extended walk via Pen Tir!
Tea: several options en route (see the pdf for details), and The New Inn (CAMRA South Wales' 2017 Pub of the Year and its 2019 Brecknockshire POTY) right by the bus stop in Bwlch.

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


Thomas G said...

With two new arrivals last night, today we were n=12 on the walk, conveniently splitting into 4 cars of 3 and 2 groups of. It took a while to park all the cars w/o blocking driveways or pavements, but eventually we succeeded. Up onto the ridge where it became clear that ours was the only mountain not in the clouds, and so it stayed all day: w=overcast-but-dry.

8 went up Mynydd Troed, most of whom took their lunch there. I walked on into Llangors village to find The Castle Inn opening this weekend, but only for the evenings and with pre-bookings, while The Red Lion was still Covid-shut. On to the lake and that was busy with loads of car tourists. That meant the Cafe was open and was serving hot and cold meals, hot and cold drinks, with or w/o alcohol. The short cutters and I then had a look at the Crannog and then continued the walk, just as the rest of the walkers were arriving.
The footpaths around the lake were dry and passable this time (and the tendency for them to flood was explained to us as due the high ground water table). At the Allt-y-Esgair I split from the others to finally explore the lower route around the hill, which proved to be quite interesting. We had time for a drink and a half at The New Inn, before the other walkers arrived.

Thomas G said...

... 2 groups of 6...