Had to check the dates on my photo files to recall when I did this walk such was the time that passed (17th April if you’re interested). A good forecast and time for a change of scene. Last few good days in the locality I’ve spent in the crowded Brecons or the slightly less crowded Black Mountains. This time I wanted solitude so it was the Radnor Hills, little known clutch of hills tucked between nowhere in particular and the back of beyond. The sort of hills you are surprised to actually find there, like you were expecting an expanse of flat arable farmland or a suburban sprawl. Anyway they are very fine indeed as you can see.
The start of the walk is a little brutal, a mile up a very steep road before the open hillside. Under blue skies and the air filled with the sound of birdsong it was barely a chore
What was a chore was trying to use the panorama function on my camera. It didn’t seem to like the contrasting colours in this wonderful scene and after around twenty attempts and a fair number of expletives I gave up. The normal photos came out rather well though
Onwards and upwards into these grassy hills. Whimble is the crowning glory seen here peeking through the trees.
Its not actually on access land or a right of way and last time I came up here there were no stiles or gates. looks like the landowner has relented a little and stile was now in place. Arriving breathless on the summit (for it is a very steep climb) I took in the fabulous sunny views across pastoral farmland to the distant hills of Cambria, the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains
I even managed to get the panoramas working although still struggling to get the light balance right as you can see
There isn’t an obvious accessible onward route from Whimble so I just retraced my steps and headed up the gorgeous grassy path up the valley towards the highest point of Black Mixen
On the top I met the only people I saw that day. A very nice couple with their bouncy dogs and we had a pleasant chat about their proposed route and mine and the ever increasing plague of ticks in the hills, Lymes Disease, that sort of thing
The blue skies were replaced with more grey as I pressed on around to Great Rhos and then downwards, stopping for lunch a few hundred yards from the very centre of the back of beyond.
I’d had a plan for a very long walk taking in the beautifully named Water-Breaks-Its-Neck waterfall and the hills to the south of the main road. However as is my style I couldn’t be ar5ed and just walked down the edge of Harley Dingle
As on my previous walk I felt sad that this beautiful valley, full of treasures, small streams and picnic sites is completely despoiled by its use as weapons firing range for a private contractor – its obviously a complete no-go area unless you like to shoot things in a lavish manner
All that was left was a very pleasant stroll back through the fields to New Radnor where I’d parked the car
A day of quiet austere hills, fabulous views, strange and evocative names and landscapes that are out of bounds.