Craswall Priory & Hay Bluff circular walk

This Herefordshire walk offers some wonderful views of the Black Mountains without too much ascent. The route follows tracks and paths north of Craswall and includes the opportunity to visit the remains of Craswall Abbey. Despite the title, an ascent of Hay Bluff is not included but could easily be added to the route.

Technical sheet
No. 293056
A Craswall walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 11/04/18
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h25[?]
Distance Distance : 9.94km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 198m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 202m
Highest point Highest point : 487m
Lowest point Lowest point : 303m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Brecon Beacons
Location Location : Craswall
Starting point Starting point : N 52.01785° / W 3.0539°
Download : -


(D)There is limited parking close to the Bull's Head pub (grid ref. SO277360). The pub is currently closed (11/04/18) but you can still use the car park. From the road junction by the pub, walk north along the lane to reach St Mary's church on your right. Bear right just after the church and then almost immediately left onto a signed bridleway. Follow this to Abbey Farm (grid ref. SO273378).

(1)Turn left here, with the farm on your right, to pass the remains of Craswall Abbey on your left and walk up to the road. Turn left along the road as far as a small copse on your left. Here leave the road and follow the bridleway heading northwest at grid ref. SO270370. Stay on this bridleway (the Three Rivers Ride) as it climbs easily to reach the Welsh Border at a broad col (grid ref. SO251373).

(2)You have also entered the Brecon Beacons National Park. There are a number of paths in this area and it is important that you locate the return route to the start. Just prior to the border you will have passed a small wooded area on your right. The onward route runs parallel to the southern boundary of this wood. Having enjoyed the views from the highest point of walk with Hay Bluff easily recognised, turn around and follow the bridleway through open country along the southern side of the small wood keeping the boundary of the open country on your left. The route the enters an enclosed green lane and continues to a point where a tarmac lane appears on the left (grid ref. SO267362).

(3)Ignore the tarmac lane, instead veering right to continue following the green lane in a south-easterly direction. After about three quarters of a mile you reach a bridleway junction at grid ref. SO278357. Turn left here, and walk to the road. The start of the walk is a few yards along this road to your left.(A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 312m - Bull's Head pub
1 : km 2.35 - alt. 400m - Turn left at Abbey Farm
2 : km 5.65 - alt. 479m - Follow bridleway at Welsh border
3 : km 8.19 - alt. 374m - Veer right along green lane
D/A : km 9.94 - alt. 313m - Bull's Head pub

Useful Information

This walk explores the Herefordshire countryside close to the border with Wales and the Black Mountains (which are part of the Brecon Beacons National Park). The route uses a mixture of quiet country lanes, field paths and green lanes and it would be useful to have the correct OS 1:25000 map to help with navigation. The route also passes the remains of Craswall Abbey.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3.83/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 4/5
Routemap quality : 3/5
Walk interest : 4.5/5

on Tue 04 Feb 2020 22:02:36 CET

Global average : 3 / 5

Date of walk : 02/02/20
Description quality : Average
Easiness to follow the route : Disappointing
Walk interest : Good

This is a spring/summer walk. In February it is extremely muddy for 50% of the walk. Written directions not quite precise enough so went wrong way twice. Therefore need other map resources to ensure you do not get lost. If relying on mobile data, the start of the walk has no signal. Would do the walk again as on sunny, warm days the view will be worth it

on Wed 11 Apr 2018 19:38:22 CEST

Many thanks for your feedback We have put a note in the walk description mentioning that the pub is now closed. Please feel free to post any photos if you have any!

on Mon 09 Apr 2018 09:38:59 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 07/04/18
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Very good

The road to the start of the walk from hay-on-wye is single track for the majority but has a fair amount of passing places.

The pub is now closed but you can still park there and it does not look like be opening anytime soon either.

The walk itself is not that difficult and the route is fairly easy to follow with lots of lovely views, it is also fairly easy to extend it at a few points.

Although when we did the walk it was pretty muddy so had to divert quite a bit to avoid the mud. Well worth doing and if in area would happily do it again.

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 21.77km Vertical gain +651m Vertical drop -814m Durée 8h05 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Crucorney - Monmouthshire

The route goes south from Llantony Priory over Hatterall Hill, where it joins the Offa’s Dyke for 4.5km, down to the village of Llanvihangel Crucorney, which has an inn that dates back to the 11th century and up The Skirrid (also known as Holy Mountain), which rises to 486m. Finally, the route finds its way into Abergavenny and terminates at the station.

distance 2.5km Vertical gain +234m Vertical drop -0m Durée 1h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Llanfoist Fawr - Monmouthshire

This Monmouthshire walk offers a short and direct ascent of the Sugar Loaf, which lies a few miles west of Abergavenny. The route is generally easy to follow and should be saved for a fine day as the views from the summit are excellent in fine weather.

distance 4.52km Vertical gain +283m Vertical drop -282m Durée 2h05 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Llantilio Pertholey - Monmouthshire

The Skirrid (Ysgyryd Fawr) is a solitary hill rising from the countryside to the east of Abergavenny. This walk takes the most direct route to the summit and includes a steep ascent. The return route takes through pleasat woodland on the western flank of the hill.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 24.29km Vertical gain +1012m Vertical drop -1094m Durée 9h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Llangattock - Powys

This route takes us across the River Usk and through Crickhowell, up Table Mountain to visit Crug Hywel (fort), over the Grwyne Fechan valley, up to Crug Mawr and down into Grwyne Fawr valley. It passes Partrishow Church, parts of which date from before 1065. Then it's a climb up Garn Wen and Bâl Bach before dropping down to Llantony and the Prior.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 28.41km Vertical gain +1035m Vertical drop -903m Durée 11h05 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Talybont-on-Usk - Powys

The route goes from YHA to YHA but essentially follows the Brecon Beacons Way going west-to-east. This section goes through a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it passes Llangorse Lake (Lyn Syfaddan). Formed in the Ice Age, it is one of the few naturally eutrophic lakes in Wales and is of national if not international importance.

distance 8.8km Vertical gain +198m Vertical drop -193m Durée 3h05 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Mitchel Troy - Monmouthshire

Enjoy spectacular views towards the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, keep your eyes peeled for lots of wonderful wildlife, and discover hidden heritage along the way.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.