This walk is part of the trek The Brecon Beacons Way from Llangadog Station to Abergavenny Station.
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.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) From YHA Llangattock go down to the track and turn left heading north-east towards Laswern-fawr Farm. When you reach the lane that goes to the farm turn right and head north to go past Laswern-Isaf Farm and Ty Mawr Farm and reach a minor road. Go straight ahead and climb over the wooden style to pick up the path that goes over the canal and past Park Farm. At a meeting of a path from the right, bear left then right into the tree-lined lane that goes to the A 4077 road. Turn left, past a road junction (indicating Llangattock to the left, ½ mile), keeping straight on to a turn off on the right that goes over Crickhowell Bridge. You might notice that there are more arches on one side than the other!
(1) From the bridge, head straight up New Road past St. Edmund's Church on the right and the Secondary School on the left up to the A 40 (Brecon Road). Turn left past the Porth Mawr (Gate House) and go along the road until you find a zebra crossing with belisha beacons and a path going off to the left behind a railing. This will go up to a school next to a grassy playing field. Carry on up Oakfield Drive to a pathway next to Nº 56 that will meet Cwmbeth Close. The pathway continues next to Nº 38 and meets Darren View opposite a double metal gate. The path continues straight ahead by the side of a stream (Cumbeth Brook) going uphill until you reach a sheepfold at the end of the last field. Here, the path turns right along a dry stone wall to reach Table Mountain and the Crug Hywel.
(2) After exploring the fort and enjoying the views back to Crickhowell and the River Usk, the route heads north-east, descending gradually down to Graig-Iwyd Farm and the local road at Green Cottage. Turn left and the right through a metal gate opposite Ffawydd Farm (the furthest gate of two). The path heads east then zig-zags through the wood to go south through Llwynon Farm and join the local road a bit lower down through a metal gate (follow the path from the farm, not the entrance road). Go down the road until you find a driveway leading off to the left to Draen Farm. At the back of the farm, the path goes up to another track. Turn right then sharp left to climb be the side of a dry stone wall to open moorland, heading north-east. The path bends right to head west along the edge of the fields and eventually bears left away from the fields to climb up Crug Mawr.
(3) From the trig point, head east-north-east to gradually descend to a sheepfold and a track. At a crossroads bear right towards Ffynnon Tshow and Nant Mair. Ignore the path going off to the left via a wooden style and signpost near some farm buildings. The road bends right then left then right again to reach the entrance to the Partrishow Church St Issui's (Ty'n-y-llwyn) on St. Thomas's Way. After exploring this particular historical gem, pick up the path heading north-east past Ty'n-y-pant farm and down to the road over a wooden style. Go straight across the road and down to the Tabernacle Baptist Chapel Cwmyoy, crossing the Grwyne Fawr. Ignore the road leading off to the right by the river and head straight past the chapel. The road bends left, and eventually reaches Ty-mawr Farm and continues, heading roughly north as far as Upper House. The track bear right along the dry stone wall to reach another path at Coed Mawr. Bear left to pass Coed Ty-canol wood on the right and reach open moorland to climb steadily to a cairn at Garn Wen.
(4) From the cairn, head north then bear north-north-west to reach a pile of stones on Bâl Bach (520m). From here, turn north-north-east to go down the side of Cwm Bwchel stream to a farm of the same name. Carry on along the stream to reach Afon Honddu river. The route crosses the river over a footbridge and goes through some farm buildings to reach the road near a telephone box. Go across the road to Llantony Priory.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 307m - YHA Llangattock
1 : km 3.5 - alt. 66m - Crickhowell Bridge
2 : km 7.71 - alt. 435m - Crug Hywel
3 : km 14.32 - alt. 541m - Crug Mawr
4 : km 20.68 - alt. 469m - Garn Wen
A : km 24.29 - alt. 232m - Llantony Priory
The route is a bit up and down but the climbs are comfortable and the only danger is that the visibility is low or it's lashing down with rain. The navigation of the route can be complicated, so make sure you plan ahead and use the compass when not sure which direction to take. Accommodation at the end of the walk might be a problem but a taxi ride will take you to the option you choose.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Take time to explore the fort on Table Mountain and the church at Partrishow but also enjoy the views from the higher ground. The paths in the valleys are enchanting but the road walks are less inviting. The Llantony Priory is also worth exploring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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