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Walk Reports (scroll down for photos)

Sunday, 23rd July
On Sunday 23rd July, Jenny and Eric Anscombe led the Carmarthen ramblers on a seven and a half mile walk in the Aberdare area. The walk incorporated the Penrhiwllech Trail - one of the three way-marked routes around Aberdare Country Park.  There was some light rain during the morning but the weather improved as the day went on, and towards the end of the walk visibility had improved tremendously to allow viewing of some grand scenery including the Beacons on the distant skyline.  The walk started from the Visitor Centre in the wonderful Aberdare Country Park from where they walked along the park road to a narrow bridge where they took a footpath that ran alongside a stream for about a quarter of a mile, then onwards to pass a pond. Changing direction, the path led uphill to a terrace of houses - a reminder of the day when the village thrived around the coal mining industry.  This was the start of a mile-long, one hundred and sixty metre ascent of Craig y Bwllfa, in some places walking chest high through ferns that are taking over the path, before reaching the open moorland on Panwaun Bryn-y-March.  Following little more than sheep tracks, they reached the highest point of the day at three hundred and ninety nine metres and shortly afterwards met the route of the Coed Morgannwg Way - a track that led across the moor into a wind turbine farm with at least thirty turbines and then into a valley to meet a forestry road.  Following this road uphill for about half a mile they arrived at Lluest-wen Reservoir where they stopped for lunch and a chat with some cross-country motorcyclists who had also stopped for a lunch break at this beauty spot.

In the afternoon they retraced their steps for about a mile, passing the stone hump-backed bridge of Pont-Lluest-wen and crossing the moor again to reach Tarren y Bwllfa where they started their descent of the hillside - still on the Coed Morgannwg Way - dropping gently as they descended Craig Pen-rhiw-llech with good views across the cwm to Craig y Bwllfa, the hillside that they had climbed earlier that day. There was some uncertainty about the whereabouts of Penyfan still in low cloud in the distance.  When their route reached Coed Pen-rhiw-llech at a height of two hundred and fifty five metres, the cloud base had risen and the peaks of Penyfan and Corn Ddu in the Brecon Beacons were clearly visible.  At this point they left the Coed Morgannwg way and followed a footpath back into the country park to reach a park roadway for the last easy half-mile saunter back to the start.
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We began today's walk at the well-managed Dare Valley Country Park.A short climb past some miners' cottages took us to a good coffee stop.
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We had to push our way through tall & thick bracken on the next section.On top of the hill we came to the reservoir and over 30 large wind turbines.
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We made our way on a path across open moorland to find a lunch spot.This attractive hump-backed bridge was a good place for a group photo.
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Returning on the Coed Morgannwg Way, the views were excellent.We discussed what we could see at a short stop on our way back down.
Right Click here and select Save Link/Target AS (with a Left Click) to download a GPX track of this walk to your computer as Aberdare 7m.gpx  

Sunday, 16th July
On Sunday 16th July, Carolyn & Dennis Hills led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a ten mile walk that started near Lydstep on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.  The weather had improved a little from the day before but there was still sea mist about with hardly a breeze.  This walk started from the cliff top car park at Lydstep from where they followed the coast path westward for about three miles past the fantastic Church Doors rock formation, Skrinkle Haven, Manorbier Training Camp and Priest’s Nose. As they rounded the headland they passed King’s Quoit Burial chamber before they reached the beach at Manorbier where the weather took a turn for the better.  Leaving the coastal path, they turned inland and touched the village before turning back towards the castle to locate a footpath that they traced through countryside to cross the A4139 Penally to Lamphey road then headed past Buttyland to cross the railway line near Manorbier station. They followed the road for about half a mile before crossing the Penally to Lamphey Ridgeway road into the fields beyond where they stopped for their lunch break overlooking the village of St. Florence now bathed in sunshine.

In the afternoon, they walked downhill through woodland and continued on along a lane to reach the village where they stopped briefly at the ruins of St. Florence Mill on the River Ritec, once navigable to the sea. Turning eastward they followed the Ritec Walk for about two miles down the valley towards Tenby passing through East Tarr Farm and Roberts Wall Farm where they were careful to keep out of the way of the holiday makers racing around the fields on their quad bike circuits. Their route brought them out onto the road at Penhoyle Farm where they turned to the southwest, passing Trefloyne Golf Course and Trefloyne Wood, then recrossed the two main roads and passed under the railway to skirt Lower Bubbleton as they entered the Lydstep Haven caravan park and joined the coastal path to pass through the park for the last quarter of a mile back to the start.
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To begin, we followed the Pembrokeshire Coast Path toward Manorbier.Despite the overcast skies we enjoyed good coastal views.
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The path along this section is generally good underfoot.Upon reaching Manorbier Castle we headed inland toward St. Florence.
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We enjoyed some splendid floral displays along our route.From St. Florence we followed the Ritec Way toward the coast.
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We descended back to the coast at Lydstep Haven.A final stroll along the beach front led us back toward our start point.
Right Click here and select Save Link/Target AS (with a Left Click) to download a GPX track of this walk to your computer as Lydstep 10m.gpx  

Saturday, 15th July
On Saturday, 15th July, Andrew Padfield led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a seven mile walk in the Bethlehem area of the Brecon Beacons.  Poor weather conditions partially spoilt the ramble as fine rain fell throughout the walk and all anticipated aerial views of the Towy valley were greyed out by mist or low cloud.  Undeterred by the weather conditions, the group started the walk from the Carn Goch ancient monument visitors’ car park from where they followed a path to ascend Carn Goch common on which are the Iron Age hill forts of Y Gaer Fach and Y Gaer Fawr, that occupy two separate summits on the same long ridge, and which together make up the largest Iron Age Hill fort in Wales dating from the first millennium BC to the invasion of the Romans.  

Initially their route took them uphill along a pleasant footpath past the standing stone commemorating Gwynfor Evans, the first Plaid Cymru MP, over Y Gaer Fach and then into a dip before ascending Y Gaer Fawr and entering the remains of the hill fort. There are usually excellent views of the Towy valley from this point. Here Andrew gave a little history of the hill fort and drew attention to the massive stonewalls or ramparts which were built following the contours of the hill, giving it its distinctive and unique shape.  The massive stone rampart, with which the inhabitants of Garn Goch surrounded themselves, was enormous - in places there is evidence it was about thirty feet high.  The footpath led through the fort’s defences onto the twenty-three acre plateau of the impressive Stone Age site and then continued over the eastern end to drop back downhill to leave the fort via one of the breaks in the eastern wall to join a metalled road below them.  They followed it briefly before taking a footpath into Tan y Lan woodland on Y Garn.  The path followed the perimeter of the woods for about half a mile before reaching a ladder style that took them over a stone wall and into the fields beyond to come out onto a lane that led downhill to Llysbrychan near the site of a Roman Villa, then met a country road from Bethlehem.

Turning right there was about a quarter of a mile of easy road walking in a generally easterly direction away from Bethlehem until they met Brynteg and turned southward along a lane as they started the mile and a half long ascent stopping for lunch at Carreg-foel-gam.  In the afternoon they continued to climb gradually until they reached Bwlch-y-gors at a height of 315 metres – the highest point of the walk just below the cloud base.  Here they linked with a footpath that took them around the edge of Carreglwyd forestry then began the downhill journey, climbing a series of styles as they passed through fields and crossed Nant Cwm-du stream, before reaching a country road at Cwm Du and following it downhill northwards towards Bethlehem for the last quarter of a mile back to the starting point.
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We started today's walk from the car park below Carn Goch.We climbed toward the iron age forts under grey & drizzly skies.
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A final rocky climb took us onto the site of Gaer Fawr, the larger fort.This attractive woodland path led us toward the Roman Villa.
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After lunch we climbed once more into the mist on the hills.A sturdy stone wall marked one side of this footpath.
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We crossed several farm fields on our way back.A final saunter down this quiet lane took us back to our starting point.
Right Click here and select Save Link/Target AS (with a Left Click) to download a GPX track of this walk to your computer as Bethlehem 7m.gpx  

Sunday, 9th July
On Sunday 9th July, Pat & David Bush led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a nine mile walk on the Gower peninsula. The walk included some shady woodland sections, open parkland, a secret beach and a section of cliff top walking with some good coastal scenery to finish. The weather forecast for the day was dry with light cloud and temperatures reaching the low twenties.  The walk started from the National Trust car park near West Cliff, Southgate, from where they followed the village road to the end of a cul-de sac to reach a stile that gave access to a footpath that led for about three quarters of a mile through a series of fields that brought them alongside Southgate school.  They skirted around the edge of Pennard Golf Course, then down a lane to cross the A4118 near the Gower Inn at Parkmill.  Their route took them into Carey’s Wood in Ilston Cwm along a footpath running beside a river that feeds into Pennard Pill. The river sometimes disappeared leaving just a wide stony riverbed.  Near the start of the woodland they reached the remains of the first Baptist chapel in Wales where they stopped to examine the information board.  The next mile took them through woods along a footpath that crossed the dried-up riverbed several times as they walked up the valley to reach the end of the footpath at the church in the hamlet of Ilston.  Following a country road for just under a mile they reached the village of Lunnon from where they made their way down a wooded valley into Park Woods where they stopped for their lunch break near the ancient burial mound in Parc-le-Breos.

In the afternoon they continued for a mile on a track through Park Woods meeting “The Gower Way” at a crossroads, then circled around Parc-le-Breos Farm until they reached the moorland at the foot of Cefn Bryn at Penmaen - the highest point of the day at a modest one hundred and thirty metres for the first view of Three Cliffs Bay.  Over the next mile they slowly descended to sea level as they headed southward, crossing the A4116 down a stony footpath on Notthill, to cross Pennard Pill via a set of stepping-stones into Pennard Burrows. From here the remains of Pennard Castle atop the Burrows stood out clearly against the sky line.  With the low spring tide fully out, the river meandered across Three Cliffs beach so the group paddled through the water and through a knee-deep pool to reach a small natural archway in the cliff face that is only accessible at certain stages of the tide. Passing through the archway they reached the beautiful Pobbles Beach beyond. After a brief spell to reboot, they crossed the beach to a footpath in the sand dunes  to reach the cliff top above Pobbles Beach in Three Cliffs Bay where they stopped to appreciate the superb views across Oxwich Bay.  The last half-mile was an easy stroll along the cliff tops of West Cliff back to the start.
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We walked through attractive Gower woodlands toward Ilston.This ancient burial mound was a good place to enjoy lunch in the sunshine.
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Above Penmaen we had our first glimpse of Three Cliffs Bay.We posed for a photo on the stepping stones crossing Pennard Pill.
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On the horizon we could see the remains of Pennard Castle.Crossing the sands we headed toward the archway in the cliffs ahead.
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Carrying our boots to keep them dry, we went through the archway.We climbed up the Wales Coast Path and looked back at Oxwich Bay.
Right Click here and select Save Link/Target AS (with a Left Click) to download a GPX track of this walk to your computer as Three Cliffs 9,5m.gpx  

Saturday, 1st July
On Saturday, 1st July, Jenny and Eric Anscombe led a group of eighteen Carmarthen & District Ramblers on a six-mile walk along some of the woollen trails of Drefach, Felindre - an area rich in history of the woollen industry. There were several information boards along the route and this was supplemented by information related by the leaders. At one stage along the route the group were invited into a thatched cottage where spinning wheels are made and enjoyed an interesting discussion with the proprietor. The weather was dry and sunny but there was welcoming shade along some woodland stretches on the way.  The walk started from the woollen museum in Drefach from where they took the track alongside the museum that crossed over Nant Bargoed to reach a road and Cilwendeg Leisure Centre where Eric gave some history on the building that once was the site of a medieval corn mill.  They continued along the track towards Cryngae and at the top of a rise they turned back sharply to the left and along a footpath and soon reached the main road through Waungilwen.  Crossing it onto a track opposite they made their way through Dandinas Farm to a white house beyond. Their route passed through woodland on the hillside below the settlement on Dinas Brān following the Nant Brān then dropped down onto a foot-bridge to an overgrown pond that once was the header reservoir for five mills that were powered by the stream that they had just followed. Crossing another footbridge they passed by Dinas Bach to meet a road near Clun-glas where they turned right at a T-junction for a quarter of a mile of road walking that took them into the hamlet of Cwmhiraeth. Just before the bridge in Cwmhiraeth, they left the road and turned southwards onto a track sign posted to Troed-y-rhiw and this led them on a steady climb up the hillside to the highest point of the day on top of Bryn, at a height of one hundred and eighty one metres, before descending the hillside into the next valley to reach the hamlet of Cwm-pen-graig. The group stopped at Soar chapel for lunch break seeking a little shade from the harsh midday sun.

In the afternoon they walked down the valley along the Felindre road to the next footpath link where they had an unexpected invitation into a gentleman’s thatched cottage to see the spinning wheels that he had made.  The next footpath link took them uphill through woodland before descending into another valley where they crossed the bridge over the Nant Bargoed into Drefelin.  The last mile was an easy one-mile stroll on a riverside track and the road following the Nant Bargoed into Drefach back to the start.
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We began our walk from the Woolen Museum in Drefach Velindre.Our group of eighteen enjoyed walking beneath sunny skies.
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At this handsome chapel in Cwmpengraig we stopped for our lunch.We noticed a spinning wheel outside of this thatched dwelling.
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The friendly owner, who makes the wheels, invited us in for a look.Much of today's ramble was on footpaths through woodland.
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We crossed this open farm field beneath a big open sky.Here we are, strolling along a quiet lane on our return journey.
Right Click here and select Save Link/Target AS (with a Left Click) to download a GPX track of this walk to your computer as Drefach Felindre 6m(b).gpx

Sunday, 25th June
On Sunday 25th June, Richard Leggett led twenty-one members of the Carmarthen & District Ramblers on an eleven-mile walk, mainly along the Saundersfoot Bay section of the Pembrokeshire coast path. The walk coincided with one of the lowest tides of the year (0.56 metres) in the early afternoon that allowed them to walk on stretches of beach not normally accessible.  The skies were overcast and showery as they started the walk from the main car park in Amroth. The group walked out of the village a few hundred metres uphill along the road towards Summerhill and then turned sharp left to follow the cycle track signs.  Shortly after passing through a gate, the cycle track and coast path merged into a very pleasant trail for about a mile over the headland with a great view over Saundersfoot Bay until they passed through another gate back onto the country road leading down to Wiseman’s Bridge. The level path along the seafront led them through an old railway tunnel under the headland of Coppet Hall Point into a car park on the sea front where they stopped for a brief refreshment break near the new “coast” establishment.  Following the coast path through another tunnel, they emerged into Saundersfoot where they accessed the beach and walked its length to the harbour.  Passing around the harbour, they left the coast path briefly as they accessed the beach beyond the harbour only to meet up with the coast path again in Rhode Wood.  The path now became quite rugged and muddy as it went through woodland on top of the cliffs for about three quarters of a mile to the tip of Monkstone Point.  Making the most of the viewing point they then dropped down onto Monkstone beach where they stopped for a lunch break in a light wind with a lovely view over to Tenby and Caldey.

In the afternoon, the weather became hot and humid as they started their return journey with quite a difficult climb back up to the coastal path before heading back for about a quarter of a mile into Rhode Wood to drop down onto the exposed beach for a half-mile stroll into Saundersfoot Harbour. With the tide now fully out, the group walked the beach for about a mile passing Coppett Hall and returned to meet the road at Wiseman’s Bridge.  Now with ice creams in hand, they set off inland up shady Pleasant Valley.  At one stage up the valley they met another walker who warned that the intended route was very muddy after recent rain and suggested taking a path uphill to join a small road to Summerhill.  It was hot work climbing here, but there were good views over to sea and back to Monkstone Point.  At a road junction they turned left for a few hundred yards before turning right down a bridleway to Colby. Here, several walkers stopped for cream teas, while the remainder of the group continued back to Amroth car park on a pleasant stroll taken at moderate pace along the mile-long Colby Woodland Garden stretch of the Knight’s Way.
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From Amroth we followed the Wales coast path toward Saundersfoot.We cautiously passed through this dark old railway tunnel on our way.
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As the tide went out we were able to walk along the sandy shore.The yachts at Saundersfoot Harbour have to wait for the tide to return.
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We stopped for our lunch on the beautiful beach at Monkstone Point.The low tide allowed us to follow the beach back past Coppett Hall Point.
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At Wiseman's Bridge we looped inland to visit Colby Woodland.On our way from Colby back to Amroth we passed this "money tree".
Right Click here and select Save Link/Target AS (with a Left Click) to download a GPX track of this walk to your computer as Amroth coastal 11m.gpx

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