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Walk Reports (scroll down for photos)

Saturday, 20th January
On Saturday 20th January, Bob Millington led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a six-mile walk that took in several forestry paths around the Usk Reservoir.  Weather wise, the day started rather damp and misty with some light rain during the middle of the walk that cleared towards the end of the walk.  Undeterred by the poor weather they started walking from the car park near the dam on the Usk Reservoir, from where they walked back along the access road to turn sharp right onto a forest track that led past another car park with fishing posts onto the lakeside.  Following the edge of the water they walked along the southern side of the reservoir before turning left uphill slightly to follow a narrow path through rough scrubland for almost a mile, until eventually they came out onto a proper forest road/track in Glasfynydd Forest.  They turned left here, and then shortly ahead, at a T junction, turned right following this forest road over a small metal bridge and rising slightly to see a prominent fir tree on the right (where in better weather a small path leads to a lovely spot overlooking the reservoir which would be ideal for a lunch stop).  Continuing along the forest road they soon came across a picnic bench near twin bridges, which could have made another suitable lunch stop site in better weather. Crossing the bridges they continued to the westernmost point of the reservoir below Fedw Fawr where there was a small ford at the Afon Sgio but they used the little wooden footbridge to cross it. Here they found a second picnic table where they stopped for a much deserved lunch.

In the afternoon the group continued along the forest road along the north side of the reservoir on the lower slopes of Mynydd Myddfai for about two miles, until they eventually reached the north side of the dam that on this occasion was closed to all traffic including pedestrians. A small detour led down the tarmac road to the bottom of the valley, passing the work site for the repair of the spillway, until turning right on the opposite side valley for a short climb back to the cars.
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Our group photo in the morning (note two ramblers hiding in the shed!).Todays' walk was a circuit of the Usk Reservoir.
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Looking in the other direction we see considerable forestry cutting.We chatted along the forestry road on the north side of the reservoir.
Map
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 Usk Reservoir 6m.gpx  

Sunday, 14th January
On Sunday 14th January, Richard Leggett led the Carmarthen Ramblers on an eight-mile walk on the Black Mountain, the mountain range straddling the county boundary between Carmarthenshire and Powys forming the westernmost range of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The walk involved a large anticlockwise circle around the castle at Carreg Cennen that was subject to many photographs from all angles.  There was brilliant sunshine in the morning that enhanced the beautiful Carmarthenshire scenery, especially the castle. The weather forecast for the day showed a dry and sunny morning, clouding over from the west as the day went on, with a light breeze and temperatures around about the five degrees C mark.
The walkers started from the Visitor Centre of Carreg Cennen castle in bright sunshine, from where they walked along the country road a few hundred metres towards Trapp to meet a road junction on the left and followed it downhill for about a quarter of a mile to reach Pantyffynnont. Here they entered a field that led them steeply downhill into the Cennen Valley below the castle, to reach a footbridge that led across the Afon Cennen then into a field for a steep uphill climb on the opposite side of the valley to reach the service lane for Llwyn-bedw. Looking back from this point there was a terrific view of the castle standing on top of the rock on the opposite side of the valley at a height of 253 metres against a clear blue sky background.  The group followed the lane for about a quarter of a mile to cross a brand new new footbridge near a ford on the Nant Llygad Llwchwr, then turned to a south easterly direction following the run of the river to its source and stopped here for a coffee break.

Continuing along the lane they soon reached a country road and turned right to a southerly direction and walked along it for about a mile, with farmland on one side and the open moorland of the Black Mountain on the other side to reach a crossroads, and turned left to reach the start of a footpath. There was a change of terrain as this path led eastwards up onto the open moorland where a cold wind picked up and the temperature dropped as they steadily climbed across Pyllau’r Fai to reach Tair Carn Isaf at a height of four hundred and sixty metres. The route now followed a ridge along a rugged stony path through heather to the trig point at a height of four hundred and sixty metres  - the highest point of the day near the impressive Cairns at Tair Carn Uchaf where they stopped for lunch in the shelter of one of the Cairns. There were views of the surrounding area with the Amman valley in a south-easterly direction below them and the Betws Mountain just beyond clearly identified with all its wind turbines.

In the afternoon they started the return journey as they headed northwards, beginning the descent across the rough stony terrain riddled with shake holes, out of the cold wind down onto Banc Wernwgan where they met the mountain road near Wern-Wgan farm.  Turning westward, with the castle standing out clearly in front of them, they walked along a track for about a quarter of a mile.  They then had to pass through a boggy area before picking up a farm track, then a footpath, that started the descent into the Cennen valley again, passing the farm of Hengrofft on a footpath that led to a footbridge which crossed the river Cennen. This was the start of a half mile uphill slog on a footpath that led steeply up the side of the valley through Coed Y Castell, taking their time along the ascent to appreciate the views over the valley, and reaching the access to the castle on top of the hill at a height of two hundred and thirty seven metres. With all the hard work done the last few hundred metres was downhill along a footpath that led through the farmyard back to the visitor centre.
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From the start we enjoyed great views of lovely countryside.We paused for a group photo with Carreg Cennen Castle now behind us.
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For a while we climbed steadily away from the castle.By coffee break we had reached the source of the River Loughor.
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The breeze felt colder as we climbed across open moorland.We passed both Tair Carn Isaf and Tair Carn Uchaf.
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After lunch we watched the sunshine on the other side of the valley.The castle looked magnificent on its hilltop as we returned.
Map
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 Carreg Cennen 8m.gpx  

Saturday, 6th January
On Saturday 6th January, Cyril Phillips led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a six and a half -mile walk in the Solva area of north Pembrokeshire. The route used some quiet country roads in the area and also incorporated a visit to a local church and a pleasant section of the coast path with stunning views along the coastline of St Brides Bay.  The weather forecast for the day was good and although there was brilliant sunshine for the first half of the walk the sky clouded over in the afternoon and the temperatures were kept down to about five degrees by a cold north easterly breeze.  The walk started from Middle Mill car park about a mile inland from Solva where they spotted the first snowdrops of the season. Taking a quiet country road they started off with a sharp uphill climb to reach the hamlet of Whitchurch which backs onto the wartime airfield, and here they reached the highest point of the day at a modest eighty-four metres.  In the middle of the hamlet they stopped to visit St David’s Church.  Continuing along the road towards St David’s, they passed the entrance to Llanungar-fawr and Croftufty, and with the sight of the Carneddau directly ahead of them, they rounded the western end of the wartime airfield into the hamlet of Vachelich, where they turned southwards for about a quarter of a mile to cross the A487 Haverfordwest to St David’s road.  At an elbow in the road they accessed a footpath that led down towards the sea and the coast path on Morfa Common just above Ogof Y Ffos where they stopped for their lunch break, with excellent visibility for views over St Brides Bay with the islands of Skokholm and Skomer in the distance, the most southerly tip of Ramsey Island and even Grassholm Island eight miles out at sea was clearly visible.

In the afternoon, the skies clouded over a little as they followed the coast path eastwards along the cliff tops into a light breeze for about a mile, dropping down a valley to Porth Y Rhaw and rising up again to pass Craig Friw.  A little further on at Careg Lyfn on the headland above the mouth of the river Solva and opposite Penrhyn on the little peninsula that protects the entrance to the harbour, they turned inland following the river for a beautiful picture postcard view of the harbour.  The coast path dropped down into the valley and into the sheltered Solva Harbour, passing a series of lime kilns on the opposite shore. The group walked through the village, window-shopping as they went, then turned left through Lower Solva and left the main road, following the river Solva upriver for about a mile, passing a small herd of alpacas to reach the mill again to complete the walk.
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We began at Middle Mill, the oldest working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire.We made a brief visit to Whitchurch church.
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In one place we encountered deep water across the road.We walked along a road with the hills north of St David's in front of us.
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Here's a group photograph on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path,.The beautiful coastline looking in the direction from Solva to St David's.
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We followed the Pembrokeshire Coast path toward the harbour at Solva.
Between Solva and Middle Mill we met these charming alpacas.  
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 Middle Mill 6,5m.gpx  

Monday, 1st January 2018
The Carmarthen Ramblers started their 2018 walks programme on New Year’s Day with a circular six-mile walk in the Abergwili area led by Peter Loughran. After several days of wet weather they were lucky to get away with a fine and sunny day.  The walk started at the museum in Glangwili where Peter related some of the history of the Bishop’s Palace and then led the group through the grounds and through Abergwili making their way to the footbridge that crosses the A40 into Castell Pigyn Road. A few metres up the road they turned right up a lane on Penybanc towards Cwm farm and at the top of the hill turned eastwards to pass through a couple of fields to meet a country road at Pen-y-gadair.  They continued along the road heading uphill towards Merlin’s Hill and stayed on the road for about half a mile passing Allt y Fyrddin to reach a road junction that took them off in a north westerly direction. A quarter of a mile further on the road ended and split into two lanes. Taking the right hand option they soon arrived at Gilfach-y-rhew and passed around the yard to the fields beyond where they found an old green lane that took them to woodland where they stopped for a coffee break over looking the Nant Penycnwc valley bathed in brilliant winter sunshine below.

They descended gently through fields into the valley to reach a lane at Ty’r coed then on to meet the country road where they turned left to reach Pencnwc and crossed the road bridge over Nant Pencnwc.  At a fork in the road they turned left and a hundred metres further on turned left again at a second fork in the road and this completely changed direction as they now headed westwards down the valley into a strong breeze on the return journey towards Carmarthen. There were about two miles of quiet country road walking taking the route past Ffinnant and Fachros Uchaf, before turning left to drop down into the valley to cross another stream before a long uphill climb to Tynewydd.  They turned southwards at this point and followed the road past the grounds of Castell Pigyn into Castell Pigyn Road, passing the “Garden of Eden” for the last three quarters of a mile stroll back to the museum.
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On the first day of 2018 we met outside the museum at Abergwili.We left the village and headed uphill in the sunshine across farm fields.
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We enjoyed excellent views on today's walk.The ground was soft underfoot from all the recent rainfall.
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After our morning coffee stop we posed for another group photo.Then we headed downhill into the valley.
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Down and down we went until we reached a smallholding on a lane.We then enjoyed a romp along quiet lanes back to Abergwili.
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 Abergwili 6,5m.gpx  

Sunday, 24th December
On Sunday 24th December, Christmas Eve, Sarah Rees ably assisted by her daughters Eleri and Rhian, led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a seven and a half mile walk in the Bronwydd area. There was a poor weather forecast for the day with low cloud and drizzling rain but the walkers were undeterred.  They set off from the Community Centre carpark in Bronwydd in light rain along a footpath past the playing fields, and followed the River Gwili for about half a mile upriver before turning left to cross the Gwili railway line. A footpath through the field led them past a house to meet the A484 at the village of Cwmdwyfran.  Here they turned right and followed the road for a few hundred metres towards Cwmdwyfran Chapel to cross the Nant Cwmdwyfran and meet a minor road near the old smithy. Looking back from this position, they saw the first Santa Special of the day heading up the valley on the Gwili Railway.  They continued on the road, climbing uphill until they reached Cwmdwyfran Farm, where they went through a farm gate into a green lane.  Following this lane uphill they reached the highest point of the day at a hundred and ninety seven metres where normally there are excellent views looking back toward the southeast however, they were spoilt by the low cloud and mist.  A farm track took them past Foel Fach and Foel fawr and onto a lane at Ffoslyn, not far from Carmarthen Golf Club. Turning right they followed the road taking a left fork into the hamlet of Newchurch.  Just before the church they turned left onto a bridleway which was rapidly being overtaken by brambles, trashing as they walked almost a mile southwards and manoeuvering around a couple of fallen trees down a secluded valley, to reach and cross Nant Hir. The bridleway continued uphill up the opposite side of the valley for about half a mile and finished at the driveway of Llecheigon where they turned right onto a road.  

There was about a mile of road walking along the road towards Ffynnon-ddrain from the golf course, as they passed Cwm castell and Pistyllgwion to reach a farm driveway near a bungalow.  They turned left onto the farm track that leads to Waunllanau Ucha and Waunllanau Isaf but turned off into the fields just before the second farm. This led them downhill into a valley for a half mile before turning right into a field just before Clynmelyn, which led them to the start of an ancient track along the peaceful valley above Nant Tinc lined with ancient oak trees. Looking eastward from this point they should have been able to spot the Carmarthen Fans in the distance but the low cloud still spoilt the views.  They continued along the track towards Pante, and just above the farm the track veered left onto a driveway going past the house Ffynnon Wiber to meet the A484 road to Cynwyl Elfed at the turning for Bronwydd.  They took this turning and then immediately turned right onto a minor road which dropped downhill to cross the tracks of the Gwili Railway line. They followed the road up past the old mill to a road junction then turned left for the last half mile stroll into Bronwydd, passing the old sheep wash on their left, and crossing the bridge over the river Gwili to return to the Community Centre to complete the walk.
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We set out from Bronwydd on a footpath alongside the Afon Gwili.The river was quite full and boisterous with all the recent rainfall.
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From the valley we climbed up a footpath past Cwmdwyfran Farm.The track to Foel fach was a little damp in places.
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A footpath down the Nant Hir valley led us back in a southerly direction.Above Nant Tinc we followed an attractive path toward the Gwili valley.
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The skies were brighter as we walked back toward Bronwydd.Sarah treated us to hot drinks & mince pies back in Bronwydd.
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 Bronwydd 7,5m.gpx  

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