Archive for the ‘hatterrall Hill’ Tag

Vale of Ewyas Round   13 comments

The weekend when the scale of risk of the COVID-19 crisis was really beginning to hit home was also when winter ended and spring arrived. Back on March 21st, amidst closing pubs and restaurants and the first signs that the word “Lockdown” would become our new watchword, me and TBF went out for a couple of walks. The long, wet and miserable winter had us yearning for a walk in the sunshine.

We debated long and hard as to whether we should or not but with extensive local knowledge of the The Black Mountains we felt we could find a route that was easy, quiet and avoid any “crowds” or indeed any more than a handful of people. Having said that I’ve walked the Black Mountains extensively over the past 16 years and have never seen them “crowded” at any point. That is normally reserved for Pen y Fan and the popular routes to South Wales highest summit.

I even debated wether I should post about these walks, such was was my self-conscious worry as to whether I should have gone out in the first place. Two months later and I now feel that we were ok based on the circumstances at the time (it was the weekend before lockdown was formally put in place) and what we knew and practised diligently about Social Distancing.

We planned a route around the bottom end of the Vale of Ewyas, taking in the hill fort of Twyn y Gaer, Llanthony and back via Hatterrall Hill.

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It was a gorgeous day, warm in the sunshine but with a very brisk and very cold wind. A day for stretching the legs rather than stopping.

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Its a long plod up the road the the slopes of the hill fort but on top the views were wonderful. As per my plan to keep things low profile there was, as expected no-one up there as its a long way of what passes for the beaten track in the range.

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On a calmer day it would make a wonderful spot for a long lazy lunch but the biting wind forced us to push on.

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Its a long steady walk along the ridge to Bal Mawr where we planned to drop down into the valley before returning on the ridge on the other side.

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We managed to find a sheltered spot beside a small woodland for a short rest.

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The cairn and remains of some sort of burial mound on Garn Wen

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Its a lovely walk down to Llanthony via Cwm Bwchel with views to the priory.

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The priory itself was deserted as it was late in the day by the time we passed through. The path we followed avoids the car park and the main priory itself, heading around the back as it were.

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We followed the Beacons Way back up to the ridge, a splendid gently rising traverse that I’ve not walked before turning this into a new favourite route.

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This was before the clocks went back and this late in the day the light was starting to fade. We were also under pressure of time as TJF had informed us she’d gone out for the day to work without her keys and would likely be waiting outside on the doorstep before we got home!

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It was a very brisk walk back down to the car on that basis. A really enjoyable walk albeit with a constant nagging doubt as to whether we’d done the right thing. In the event we’d seen less than 10 people across the whole six hour walk and we were diligent in making sure we stepped well away, well more than the stated 2m, on the couple of occasions we passed people on the path.

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Windy   11 comments

Between the last walk up Ysgyryd Fawr and this one we did a short walk on the Begwyns just north of Hay on Wye. The weather was so grey and dreary that I didn’t take a single picture so this is the next on the list.

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The circuit of Hatterrall Hill from Cwmyoy is default walk when we have an afternoon to spare. Long enough for a decent stretch but short enough to fill a half day.

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We’ve walked it many times but always in the same direction – clockwise – so tried it the other way round for a change including parking outside the wonky church at Cwmyoy rather than the village hall to shave off some time (the forecast was very uncertain)

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The forecast showers didn’t seem to materialise and it was in fact a very sunny and pin sharp day. The low winter sun creating some stunning vistas.

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What the photos don’t show is how extraordinarily windy it was. The forecast was for windy weather but not like this.

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I could barely stand up and was blown across the slopes a number of times even braced by my poles. TBF was actually blown off here feet a couple of times.

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Despite the cracking views we’d both had enough battling against the wind and abandoned the idea of the usual high level circuit.

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We pitched down into the corrie losing the wind and picked up what turned out to be a very fine traversing path we’ve never walked before.

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The photo below looking almost calm and spring-like – it wasn’t!

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We had a brief stop for lunch between these two walls. It was calm when sat down but peering over the wall was like looking into a wind tunnel.

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We climbed to the top of the small summit created by an ancient landslip where the wind was incredible. I’ve no idea how I managed to take this photo but the blurred background is indicative of just how hard it was to stand even remotely still.

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TBF has ben forced to remove a tight fitting hat to save from losing it!

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I’m a fan of the bare look of winter trees framing mountain views so here some good ones from the descent back to the car.

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Short, sweet and very, very windy!

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Slow Return to Outdoor Life   18 comments

That nasty bout of flu stuck with me for three weeks and really hit me for six (I still have a nagging cough four weeks on). Last weekend I tentatively ventured out for a day outdoors for the first time since I got back from my ski trip. A short trip that I’ve done may times before but one of my favourite local walks

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A decent weather forecast and the cold weather had been replaced by almost spring-like conditions

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Through Cwmyoy village and my favourite wonky church

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Ysgyryd Fawr as always dominates the view to the south

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Wild ponies on the summit

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And the beautiful Vale of Ewyas to the north

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We found a relatively sheltered spot on the summit for a bite to eat and a chat about TJS impending choice of University. When we set off the fickle British weather delivered a punch. The skies had gone very dark and within minutes it was raining, a cold slanting rain that replaced the spring conditions of earlier with a taste of winter. After a soaking, the skies cleared and all was sunny again

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The late afternoon views were rather fine

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The Sugar Loaf

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And a dark looking Ysgyryd Fawr

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I particularly like the light in this shot

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Only 6 miles but I was completely wiped out when I got back to the car. Hopefully I can recover some of my lost fitness over the coming weeks now I seem to be over the bug. Always good to use an old favourite to start over

An Olde Favourite   10 comments

A very unusual experience to be posting about a walk only a couple of hours after getting home. Normally it’s weeks or even months delay.

Been a quiet couple of weeks since my last post. A weekend of truly dreary weather last week and a drab an grey one this week. Yesterday I indulged my new “passion” for cycling with a 35km ride around the Forest of Dean but today the weather seemed a little brighter (I could actually see the Black Mountains from the bedroom). Forecast said east and not too high so the classic circuit of Hatterall Hill from Cwmyoy fitted the bill.

I’ve been up here many times as its short and satisfying for a half day or after work.

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I’ve enhanced the walk of late with a sneaky way up the back of the small un-named top created by a landslip – I think anyway. The cloudy views were enhanced by some beams of sunlight and scant patches of blue sky

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It was a very mild day but there was a keen wind so finding a lunch stop was a challenge as was not getting ourselves shot. For the second time recently we had to share the hills with several people driving around the summits in 4WDs and armed with shotguns. I have to say I find it intimidating. I have no idea what today’s sport was but in the few hours we were out I never heard a single shot so they can’t have been very successful

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We did find a spot out of the cold wind with a fine view over the Marches countryside

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Nice to get out but I’m starting to reach that point in the year when I want the weather to make up its mind. Either winter needs to re-assert itself or it needs to bugger off for the year and warm up so I can start walking in T-shirts and shorts again. I hate this cold gloom, not sunny but not cold enough for clear skies, frost and snow

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Posted February 19, 2017 by surfnslide in Black Mountains, Wales

Tagged with , ,

Evening (and Weekend) Rambling   4 comments

Finally managed to get in some evening walks as well as Sunday stroll. All routes and hills I’ve done many times so just a few photos to prove I don’t sit in front of the TV every evening, just most of them 🙂

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

Ysgyryd Fawr – iPhone photos as I forgot my camera and no summit cuppa due to a dodgy gas canister

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

Bryn Arw – another classic “small hill with disproportionately good views”

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

And a Sunday afternoon stroll around Hatterrall Hill. Complete with young foals – everyone say “aaaaahhhhh”

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

ysgyryd fawr, brecon beacons, black mountains, skirrid fawr, bryn arw, hatterrall hill

I drive past all these hills on my home from work so nice to climb them from time to time after a long day in a crappy office doing a crappy job. Equally, as they are on my way home I should do it more often. But there are so many great TV shows around I need watch though…….

Tantalising Glimpse of Summer   7 comments

One  week on from deep snow and spindrift in Scotland we were back home and treated to a glorious warm spring day. TBF was away at her sisters so I informed the kids we were going out for a walk. TJS was chuffed TJF less so.

I chose my classic Hatterrall Hill walk as it’s an easy high level stroll for such a fine day. I’ve posted about this several time , the last one over Xmas a couple of years back and a post work walk a year before that. Plenty of words on those posts so just a few words and memories from the day this time:

 

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

Past the wonky church at Cwmyoy

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Spring lambs were frolicking or in this case asleep

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The day was warm and glorious

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TJS strode out ahead

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While TJF pottered along at the rear taking photos

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

Once on the summit the walking was easy and the views superb

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

We enjoyed playing with self timed photos and remote shutter releases

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

Onto Offa’s Dyke and a visit to the Trig Pillar

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

Before starting the stroll back down

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

The green fields under  blue sky and sunshine were a good deal more pleasant than in the dark in the mud

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

hatterrall hill, cwmyoy, black mountains, offas dyke

A fabulous day out just the three of us and even TJS enjoyed it more than she’d like to admit 🙂

There is still hope….

Crug Mawr One Year On   4 comments

A repeat of a walk I did with TJS at the same time last year. This time he was off on a school trip to France and TJF was in a actting workshop. Me a TBF had a few hours to complete a walk before we picked her up. It was something of a brisk walk to make sure we got back in time to pick her up but it’s a fine walk. This year we stopped in the churchyard for lunch. There is a full write up at the link here so I’ve just included a few choice photos and slideshow for this version

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

Crug Mawr, black Mountains, patrishow,  Twyn y Gaer Hill Fort, Vale of Ewyas,

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