Overlooked – Llandeilo Hill and Aberedw   10 comments

Time to play blog catch-up again! This one is from several weeks back. Sitting in the current heat wave planning a sunny afternoon around the BBQ its kind of hard to recall that this walk was in the middle of the spell of horrendous wet weather in April. I had the day to myself while Jane took the kids to a party and although it was sunny when I got up by the time I was ready to go the storm clouds were gathering.

I was heading for a large group of hills tucked away to the north of the Brecons and Black Mountains. I’d noticed them on the map and seen a few references to them on the blogs I read but as they are all less than 2000 feet they get little attention in guidebooks and the like. It looks like there are several days worth of walking but for today I’d chosen a walk around Aberedw onto Llandeilo Hill and back along the river.

10.7 Miles, 2,000 feet of ascent

As I drove west the weather was appalling, dark clouds and heavy rain and little sign of an improvement. I figured if didn’t change I could just do a short explore of crags of Aberedw Rocks and head down early. As I reached Aberedw and parked up the rain stopped and there was some semblance of brightness. As it turned out my general good luck with the weather of late stayed with me and I only had one light shower all day with all the dark stormy stuff hugging the higher mountains.

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Looking NE from Aberedw Rocks

The walk up to the crags is supposed to take you past Llewellyns cave but I never found it. Once up on the top its a wide open common heathland landscape with several tiers of slate edges and small tarns, really quite charming and a great place for a summer evening stroll.

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Aberedw Rocks

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Llandeilo Hill

Today it was cold and windy with masses of dark brooding storm clouds all around but I was in a clear spot. There didn’t seem to anyone about so it felt as if I had the whole area to myself which is always nice.

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Stormy Weather

The walk along Llandeilo Hill was on a green path at a steady angle that makes for superb easy strolling and I could just eat up the miles taking in the expansive views of these hills. There seemed to be hills and valleys everywhere and more routes than you could shake a stick at. It’s my favourite past-time while out walking, looking at possible routes, dragging the map out, checking the possible paths and access.

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Tarn on Llandeilo Hill

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Across the Aberedw Valley

The time just flew by as I strode onwards to Cradle Rocks. It was tempting just to carry on but I needed some lunch and whilst it was still bright it was cold and windy. I decided to head on the long traversing, gently downhill, path towards the road.

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Traversing descent path

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Looking towards Gilwern and Gwaunceste Hills

I eventually found a sheltered spot for a brew of tea and some lunch which unfortunately coincided with the only heavy shower of the day – with a bit of hail mixed in. I hurried to pack up and get moving and as I’m sure you’ve guessed, within seconds the rain/hail stopped and the sun came out!

My map showed a right of way pretty much all along the valley floor on the north bank. It wasn’t signed from the road and true to form there was no sign of a path or any stiles to cross the many fences although the few hundred sheep that followed me across the first field seemed confident in my route finding abilities. It was a pleasant amble across the fields and barbed wire but I always felt I was one wrong move from an angry farmers gun.

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Aberedw valley

I reached the small chapel at road junction and decided to use the road for the next section. As I wandered down the road (not much of a hardship as there wasn’t any traffic) I could see the path on the other side well-marked and with stiles over all the walls and fences. Frustrated I noted a bridge over the river a couple of miles along where I could cross and pick up the last stretch of path back to Aberedw. En-route the road passes through a broad grassy area by the river which is perfect for a summer picnic.

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Picnic spot by the river

When I reached the spot where the bridge was supposed to be some kind person had built a rather nice house over the access road and demolished it! I had no choice but to finish the rest of walk along the road back into Aberedw. Just my luck to walk the section with no trace of a path and miss out the section that was well-marked.

Still it was a great day and a fine first visit to these little known hills and ultimately quite a long walk. A little care is required in picking a route but well worth the effort, the views are expansive the walking on the tops at least is easy and rewarding. Enjoy my usual musical photo extravaganza

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10 responses to “Overlooked – Llandeilo Hill and Aberedw

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  1. Thinking that Llandeilo Hill might be near Lllandeilo, I went looking for a map – but it isn’t really is it? Interesting to look at that area though – there seems to be a lot of little hills there to explore. I imagine it’s quiet – did you meet many other walkers?
    JJ Cale is perfect for a slideshow.

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    beatingthebounds
    • Saw a couple of groups of people up on the top but apart from that had the place to myself. I’ve often wondered what was in that area. Access lower down could be a problem but once on the open ground you could wander for miles. Geoff over at V-G Backapcking has explored loads of these mid-Wales areas so check out his walks for some more tempters. That picnic site would be a great place to visit when you come to stay although we’ve been enjoying the nice weather in the garden this weekend, paddling pools and waterslides!

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  2. Dark and moody can be very pleasant for a wander, especially if you actually manage to keep dry as well. Looked very pleasant going – liked the little tarn on the top!

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  3. A fine choice for exploration!. I’m quite surprised you saw groups of people up there, maybe it’s one of those cases where the hills are generally little known but well walked by locals. Problems with lack of stiles or signs is often a fact of life in parts of mid Wales isn’t it?. The local authority themselves admit it.
    Your photo captioned ‘Llandeilo Hill’ shows our pitch spot from a route we did in 2004 I think.

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    • I guess the access problems will get worse over time. Public Rights of Way Officers have been heavily cut back as part of the austerity moves. At least here it wasn’t in any way unwelcoming, I got cheery waves from most of the farmers I saw, just unmaintained.

      It was your blog reports that finally drove me to explore these hills and well worth the effort they are. I have to focus on day walks in the main – having a young family and a full-time job to clothe and feed them doesn’t lend itself to me disappearing for a night away 🙂

      Your long walk around these hills looked an understated classic so I need to keep heading back.

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  4. I have been meaning to have a backpack around these hills for years now, been saving it for a busy bank holiday so I can escape from the hoards! That picnic spot looks like a perfect place to park the Bongo for a night or two!

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    backpackingbongos
    • Quality hills these and well suited to man like yourself who hankers after the quiet unspolit corners. That picnic spot is on a road between the middle of nowhere and the back of beyond so I reckon you’d get a quiet stay. Mind you on a summer weekend afternoon you might have to share it with my family as we picnic and play in the river – my young daughter would probably try to smuggle Reuben off you as well and take him home 🙂

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