Oxwich and Port Eynon Trigs

Length: 10.7 milesGrade: Moderate
Weather: Clear, chilly, light rain

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Moderate 11 mile ramble, outward through countryside fields, to Oxwich Trig (OSBM S2389TP5272) returning along coastal path, via Port Eynon Trig (OSBM S2385TP5500) with excellent views across Port-Eynon Bay throughout. Continue reading “Oxwich and Port Eynon Trigs”

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Cimla “Three Peaks”

Length: 10 milesGrade: Moderate
Weather: Clear, dry, chilly

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Moderate 10 mile circular walk, wryly called the Cimla “Three Peaks Challenge,” because of the incorporated ascents of Foel Fynyddau, Myndd Pen-rhys and Cefn Morfydd—although in fact it circulates the latter peak. Continue reading “Cimla “Three Peaks””

Maen Ceti, Cefn Bryn, Park Woods

Length: 7.5 milesGrade: Moderate
Date: 10, 14 January — Weather: Clear, dry, chilly

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Moderate 8 mile circular ramble, crossing moorland, encountering Maen Ceti / Arthur’s Stone, incorporating several miles of the Gower Way, along Cefn Bryn — “the spine of Gower” — with wonderful views to both the north and south of the Peninsula, before turning back and passing through Park Woods and returning across the open moorland. Continue reading “Maen Ceti, Cefn Bryn, Park Woods”

Waterfall Country

Grade B. 10 miles.

Route. 9.7 miles. OS Explorer
Date: Saturday 11 December 2015. Weather: High winds, heavy rain.
Elevation. Total climb 1145ft. Elapsed time 5:22 h:m.
Moving time 4:03 h:m. Average pace 24:52/mi.

Nestled into the southern slopes of the Fforest Fawr massif, west of Merthyr Tydfil, Waterfall Country is one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Fforest Fawr Geopark, with steep, tree-lined gorges and an abundance of tumbling water. Known in Welsh as Coed-y-Rhaeadr (Wood of the Water), Waterfall Country lies within the triangle formed by the villages of Hirwaun, Ystradfellte, and Pontneddfechan. Old red sandstone and a long belt of outcrop limestone have created a highly distinctive environment of wooded gorges, caves, swallow holes and waterfalls. The Rivers Mellte, Hepste, Pyrddin and Nedd-Fechan, tributaries of the Afon Nedd (River Neath), their headwaters in the Fans, wind their way south through Waterfall Country via steep-sided, tree-lined gorges. The most famous waterfall is Sgwd-y-Eira, the Snow Waterfall, on the River Hepste, where a natural path leads right behind the curtain of water.

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Mumbles

Grade C. 8 miles.

Route. 8.3 miles. 1:25k OS Explorer.
Date: Wednesday 9 December 2015. Weather: Gusty winds, mild, cloudy
Elevation. Total climb 452ft. Elapsed time 4:41. Moving time 3:05. Average pace 22:17 /mi.

Mwmbwls (Mumbles) today refers to a district covering the electoral wards of Oystermouth, Newton, West Cross and Mayals. The headland is possibly named by French sailors, after the shape of the two anthropomorphic islands comprising the headland. Another possible origin is the Celtic word Mamucium, meaning breast-shaped hill. Mwmbwls lighthouse was built during the 1790s and converted to solar powered operation in 1995. The pier was opened in 1898 at the terminus of the Mwmbwls Railway. At that time one of the oldest passenger railways in the world, it closed in 1960.

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Brechfa

Grade C+. 4 miles.

GPX route overlain on 1:25k OS map
Date: Wednesday, 25 November 2015. 
Weather: Squally winds, light rain.
Route elevation. Total climb: 842 ft.

This relatively short ramble is a perennial addition to the Llanelli Ramblers calendar for good reason. It provides a variety of topography and some pleasant views. The walk is essentially a circular route, following the contours of Banc-y-Daren—a hill within the Cwm Cothi (Cothi Valley), overlooking the Carmarthenshire village of Brechfa, which has existed since the 6th century. Brechfa was home to one William Thomas (1834–1879), better known by his bardic name of Gwilym Marles, a Welsh minister, poet and great-uncle to Dylan Thomas. Dylan received his middle name, “Marlais”, in honour of William Thomas, who is believed to have inspired the character of Rev. Eli Jenkins in the play Under Milk Wood.

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Myndd Drumau

Grade C+. 7 miles.

GPX route overlain on 1:25k OS map. (Click to zoom).
Date: Wednesday 18 November 2015. Weather: Heavy rain, high winds.
Route elevation

Under normal conditions, this medium-level walk could be expected to exercise but not enervate keen walkers. It could also be expected to provide a stunning view over the Cwm Nedd (Neath Valley), Afon Nedd (River Neath), Sgiwen (Skewen) and Neath Abbey.  In the event, this wasn’t quite our experience! Abigail, the fierce storm blustering its way across the Northern Britain, during recent days, dictated otherwise. Atop the Myndd Drumau (Drummau Mountain) rain and wind combined to form a stinging, lashing force, propelling us forward in the hope of relief!

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Reynoldston

Grade B. 9 miles.

GPX route overlain on 1:25k OS map. Click to zoom.
Date: Sunday 15 November 2015. Weather: Cloudy, light rain, high winds.
Route elevation

Taking into account the autumnal weather, our company of 12 people (7 men, 5 women) seemed to represent a fair turnout, since both 45+ mph winds and rain towards the end of the day were keenly anticipated at the onset. In the event, much of our walk was spent significantly sheltered from the high winds by woodland and trackside hedges. The temperature continued to be unseasonably mild and the rain pretty-much held off altogether.

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