The Long Way Around   12 comments

Last time we had a weekend day seemingly without rain. I was on my own for the day so set out early (by my standards) for a long walk in the Black Mountains. I parked up at Pont Cadwgan and headed up the forest tracks deciding to add in Crug Mawr as an extra option due to the bright morning and the fact its a fine hill.


Not quite as clear and sunny as the forecast had indicated but dry and that’s what matters especially with the appalling 2-3 weeks of rain that followed.


Crug Mawr doesn’t seem to attract many walkers and I rarely see more than a couple of people up here or on the long ridge that comes down from the high points of the Black Mountains.


I has my first sit down for the day, actually quite pleased for the breeze as it had been a bit hot and airless on the walk up.


Onwards towards those high points I mentioned. This ridge is normally a pretty wet and muddy affair but it was bone dry. Likely it’s returned to business as usual in the meantime.


A spell of brighter sunnier weather drew me onwards until I reached Pen y Gadair Fawr.


Time for another stop as its a few miles along from Crug Mawr.


Next stop Waun Fach, highest of the Black Mountains. They have worked wonders in restoring the grassland up here. The path is now much less boggy and there are huge swathes of grass where once was just black bog. The Trig Pillar on the top used to be lost in sea of peat but now stands proud next to a path through the greenery. Sadly the plague of trail bikes are still leaving their trail of damage elsewhere. The National Park really need to more to do educate and restrict them although I’m not sure how.


Onwards to the northern escarpment for a bite to eat before turning and taking the long route back down the other side of the Gwryne valley


This is looking along the ridge to Chwarel y Fan


It turned quite cloudy and cool for a while so my last stop on the top was a brief one.


I really like the ridge from here to Bal Mawr. Not narrow but airy enough to expose some grand views.


A close up shot of Llanthony and its priory.


Not sure what these trees are – flora and fauna are not my strong point – but they were all in flower all over the lower slopes and looked wonderful both from a distance and close up.


Just a matter of picking my way down to and through the forest and back to the car feeling weary and foot sore. Hardly surprising as my mapping software said 20 miles! As far as I’ve walked in a day for a very long time. I was quite pleased with myself.


12 responses to “The Long Way Around

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  1. 20 miles? Wow! Glad you had a dry day for your latest hike.


  2. That’s some distance!
    This part of Wales is completely off my radar. It’s not somewhere I’d pass through so would need to make the effort to go there. Looks like it might be worth it. Would it?


    • Not too bad was it.
      Well I am biased but I love my local hills. Compared to Lake District (and excluding Pen y Fan) they are very quiet. A really good mix of broad heathery ridges, edges and escarpments with some decent waterfalls thrown in. If you feel like a visit let me know and I’ll pick out a few choice routes for you to try 🙂


      • Well, you’re right to love those hills!
        I must add exploring the region to my ever growing “to do list”! And I will, no doubt, take you up on your kind offer when I’m planning it.
        So much to see and do, so little time.


  3. Blimey, 20 miles is a proper all dayer. I’m guessing that white flowing tree is a hawthorn, not very good at flora and fauna myself, but hawthorns usually flower white and are that sort of size


    • It was a good stretch but as per my comment above its all on good paths and very little in the way ascent once you are up there and nothing steep. Its actually a really good route if you just want top stride out all day. Took me about 7 hours I think. Hawthorn sounds about right but I’m hopeless with such things.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going for Hawthorn too. Looks like a classic route that, all big vistas and ridge walking: marvellous!


    • Doesn’t compare with your epic from last weekend but I was quite chuffed. I’ve noticed these trees before but never seen them all in such bloom at the same time


  5. Excellent looking day! I haven’t done 20 miles in a day since I was on the TGO Challenge…….. 😀


    • Thinking about it, I’m not sure I’ve ever walked 20 miles in a day. In my youth I was more a mountain man than a distance man. I’ve done big days with loads of ascent but not long distances.


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