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Saturday, 17th March
On Saturday 17th March, Peter Loughran led the Carmarthen Ramblers on an interesting seven mile walk in the Ferryside area. The weather forecast was cloudy but dry with temperatures just above freezing with a bitterly cold wind.  The walk started from the village car park in the middle of the Ferryside where they walked southwards through the village along Brigstocke Terrace for about half a mile turning sharp right at the junction at the bottom of the road that leads up to Broadlay. A hundred metres along that coast road they met a footpath that led up a set of stairs into a field on The Graig. They had a steady climb head on into the biting wind, through fields onto the National Trust property of Tregonning Hill and continued about half a mile through farmland, to stop for a coffee break in a field at a height of one hundred and thirty metres - the highest point of the day.  This spot, which is on the opposite side of the Towy to Wharley Point, quite clearly visible from here, was also a good point to view the estuaries of the Gwendraeth and the Taf and the end of Cefn Sidan Sands and Pendine Sands. Looking down to the end of Cefn Sidan through binoculars the shipwreck of the S.V. “Paul” could be seen. There were terrific views with good visibility looking back over the Towy estuary to Llansteffan, the sweep of Carmarthen Bay around to Caldey Island, and southwards to Gower with Worm’s Head clearly visible.

One field further on they arrived at Pengay Farm where Peter related the story associated with the distinctive ship’s bell that had been recovered from a Dutch ship in 1760, now suspended from a barn wall near the archway to the farmyard. Walking down the road from the farm about two hundred metres they accessed a field that led downhill into Allt y fran where a slippery path zigzagged down through the snowdrop covered banks in the woodland to meet a country road in the valley. Another set of steps led them up the opposite side of the valley across a field to approach Llansaint where they stopped for Peter to relate some local history and take advantage of the good views.  Next, they turned in a southwesterly direction,
leaving the Wales Coast Path, and followed a bridleway downhill past Bryn-y-mor to cross the coast road from Kidwelly to Ferryside into the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Centre. The group walked through the holiday centre then onto the foreshore where they found a sheltered spot in brilliant sunshine out of the wind to stop for lunch. From this point they had a view up the Taf estuary, with Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’s boathouse clearly visible in the distance, and also the remains of ship wreck "M.V. Paul” just a few hundred metres away across the Gwendraeth estuary.

In the afternoon, they started the return journey in a light snow flurry along the beach with the tide fully out, now walking in a westerly direction on the sea side of the railway line just below the hamlet of St. Ishmael. They rounded the headland crunching their way through loads and loads of cockle shells at St. Ishmael’s Scar, and turned into the Towy estuary to complete the final two miles all along the beach to the yacht club Ferryside, where they crossed over the railway back into the village to finish.
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Everyone was still smiling after a steep climb away from Ferryside.We enjoyed good views and good conversation as we crossed farm fields.
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At Pengay Farm we learned about the 1760 ship's bell on a farm building.There are still lots of snowdrops in bloom in Carmarthenshire.
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Near Llansaint we made our way back down to the coast.Then we enjoyed an easy stroll along the sands of the Towy Estuary.
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Some sections were more rocky and/or covered in sea shells.Another group photo with Llansteffan Castle in the background.
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 Ferryside 7m.gpx  

Sunday, 11th March
On Sunday 11th March, Auriol and Huw Llewelyn led the Carmarthen Ramblers on the eleven mile “Miners’ Walk” around Saundersfoot. There was also a six-mile walk for the walkers who preferred a shorter version. The walk followed in part the line of the old Saundersfoot light railway that was built to service the collieries and ironworks linking them to Saundersfoot harbour. All that remains of these collieries now are some derelict buildings that are becoming rapidly overgrown. This once busy industrial area is now renowned for its peaceful and quiet countryside, its beaches, wild life, and good walking through some relics from the industrial days visible on this walk.  Huw advised the walkers in advance that the walk comprised five different stages and each stage became clear as the walk progressed.  The weather forecast for the day promised a fine morning with showers arriving in the afternoon, and temperatures were up to about eight degrees C with just a light breeze.

The group set off from the car park near the Regency Hall in Saundersfoot with clear blue skies as they made their way through the village heading northwards along the Strand - once called Railway Street - out of the shopping area through a more residential area onto a footpath, following the route of the old railway line as it passed through a tunnel to reach Coppett Hall.  Crossing this car park and passing the “Coast Café” they passed through the second tunnel under Coppett Hall Point to reach Wiseman’s Bridge and crossed the coast road. They now turned inland to follow the route of the old railway and continued up into the woods above a stream, up the aptly named “Pleasant Valley” for about a mile, passing the Iron Works heritage site and continued until they reached Stepaside.  Up to this point the terrain had been flat but was soon to change as they crossed the stream via a footbridge near the Miners Arms Cottage and started the first uphill section of the walk and soon reached a crossroads of quiet back roads where they stopped for a brief coffee break.

It was at this point that those who decided to do the shorter walk turned eastwards and followed the road back to Saundersfoot via Sardis and Churchton. The remainder of the group pushed on along the road heading towards Kilgetty, crossing the bridge high above the busy A477, and when they reached the old chapel on the outskirts of Kilgetty took a gravelled lane that led into a field.  The terrain changed once again as they now made their way along a footpath for about a mile overlooking the Kilgetty Wood in the valley below until they connected with the Landsker Borderlands trail which led through the farmyard of Trewern to meet Ryelands Lane, where they crossed the Carmarthen–Tenby railway line at a height of just one hundred metres – the highest point of the day. Half a mile along this lane they met the A478 Begelly to Templeton road and crossed it into the fields beyond. This half-mile section passed through Bramblehill farm to reach a country road where they stopped for lunch, and within minutes the heavens opened to give a heavy short sharp shower.

In the afternoon they entered fields and snowdrop-filled woodland that hide the remains of Thomas Chapel Colliery, and turned southwards circling around Mountain farm to reach Thomas Chapel where they left the Landsker Borderlands trail.
This was the start of a remarkably flat section of the walk that was the old rail bed and this enabled them to stride out through the countryside over the next two miles, passing the remains of Broom Colliery to reach the Begelly Arms Hotel.
The next stage of the walk was quite dangerous, as they had to walk along the verge of the busy A478 Tenby road for about a quarter of a mile from the roundabout on King’s Moor towards Pentlepoir, and near a bend in the road they turned into a lane that took them across the Tenby railway line just before Saundersfoot station. The group followed the country road down into Churchton where they stopped to admire the church before cutting across the valley on a track that led up onto Ridgeway.  From here they located the old winding house where they stopped whilst Huw explained the workings of the tramway, and then the rain came again as they descended the “incline” for almost a mile as it dropped down into Saundersfoot back to the Regency Hall car park to complete the walk.
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Leaving Saundersfoot we went through two interesting old railway tunnels.Along the rest of the coast path we enjoyed lovely seaside views .
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In Pleasant Valley we paused for our group photo in the sunshine.Our day was brightened by the sight of lots of snowdrops in bloom.
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We took care to avoid getting muddy where there was a dry option.Climbing over stiles helps to keep us supple.
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The best idea is to keep to the side of the path at this point.We saw several interesting reminders of the slate mining industry.
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 Miner's Walk 11m.gpx  

Sunday, 25th February
On Sunday 25th February, Carolyn and Dennis Hills led a ten and a half-mile walk in the Llangyndeyrn area in brilliant sunshine with clear blue skies but a bitterly cold northeasterly wind. The route followed bridleways, quiet country roads and crossed farmland to enjoy some pleasant views up and down the Gwendraeth fach Valley. There were several beautiful banks of snowdrops – lily wen fach - along the way and several new season lambs were spotted as they passed through some of the fields. This walk started from the carpark of the church hall from where they took a lane northward into a bridleway and followed it uphill for about half a mile stopping halfway up to look back over the village whilst Carolyn recalled the threat to build a dam to flood the valley to supply Swansea with water.  They continued up the hill to examine a standing stone in the middle of a field on the top of the hill at a height of one hundred and thirty metres, the highest point of the walk. Just past Clos-teg the group reached a minor road and walked it for about a quarter of a mile, passing Penplwyf to reach Llwynpiod Farm, then followed the right of way across the fields in a southwesterly direction carefully negotiating a couple of barbed wire fences across the stiles on the route to reach Rhydw Fach. Along this section they admired the views westward as they walked onward along its lane to Rhydw on the B4306 Llangyndeyrn to Cwmffrwd road.  At this point they had to walk the main road for about a quarter of a mile towards Cwmffrwd to reach a lane that led them down towards Ffos-Walter then turned off to cross some fields to meet a minor road at Bancycapel and then crossed the B4309 Carmarthen to Pontyates road. A half mile further on they took the access lane to Fforest-isaf, then walked through the farmyard and garden into the fields beyond to Pen-y-maes Farm.  They stopped at a sunny bank just before then Crugan Fach for a lunch break with views over the Gwendraeth Fach valley and the sun reflecting off the sea to highlight Worms’ Head in the distance.

In the afternoon they passed through the farmyard of Crugan Fach passing under the two rows of electricity pylons and Cwmafael to meet a minor road, then walked southward downhill through Llandyfaelog down to Pont Rhydyronnen on the fast flowing river Gwendraeth Fach on the valley floor.  This was the start of the return journey as they turned eastwards to walk up the Gwendraeth fach valley with about a mile of road, passing Coed Gwempa before turning off the road to pass through Gwempa farm to contour around a hillside through the fields to reach Pontanwn on the B4309. They crossed the river and then continued up the valley for the last mile of road walking into Llangyndeyrn and walked through its churchyard back to the start.
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From Llangyndeyrn we walked up a bridleway to this viewpoint.We had some difficult fence climbing where stiles were missing.
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It was much easier romping along quiet lanes in the sunshine.At Pen-y-maes we passed these contented ducks.
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Here is the countryside view from our lunch stop.We enjoyed seeing lots of snowdrops on today's walk.
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From Gwempa we followed the Gwendraeth Fach back to our start.This stone commemorates the fight against a reservoir in the valley.
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 Llangyndeyrn 11m.gpx  

Saturday, 24th February
On Saturday 24th February, representatives of all three Carmarthenshire Rambling groups, Llanelli, Dinefwr and Carmarthen District met to walk “The Directors Walk” and followed it up with a cawl lunch at the Black Ox in Abergwili. The aim of the leisurely four and a half mile circular walk - which was led by Cyril Phillips - was to bring together representatives from each group to meet regional officials and enhance and improve the Ramblers area organisation. Angela Charlton – Director of Ramblers Cymru, and Catherine Morgan an Area Support Officer for Ramblers Cymru – both based at regional office in Cardiff mingled with the walkers as they progressed around the circuit.  The oldest walker was eighty seven year old Geoffrey Williams from the Llandeilo area and the youngest walkers were twelve-year-old Ffion and eleven year old Eiros Morgan who recorded on his technical gadgetry - thirteen thousand two hundred and seventy nine steps on the walk and a loss of one thousand nine hundred and ninety six calories.

The walkers assembled in the museum car park in Abergwili where Angela introduced herself to the gathering and welcomed everyone before they headed out of the museum grounds to meet the A40. Here they headed eastwards along the road about half a mile before turning right onto the country road that leads down to the concrete works and followed that for about three quarters of a mile to cross over the A40 to link up with the old road adjacent to Allt Ty-llwyd at Whitemill.
Turning northwards the terrain changed now as they walked up a stony track to reach a country road, then shortly afterwards reach Alltyfyrddin farm where they stopped to get permission to pass through the fields to Merlin’s Hill. As they climbed the hill they passed some new lambs in the field.  They made their way up to the fort on top of Merlin’s Hill, the highest point of the day at a height of one hundred and fifty metres, a good spot for a group photograph with clear blue skies and excellent visibility for good views up and down the Towy Valley.  They retraced their footsteps back to the road and headed downhill to a bend in the road near Pen-y-gadair, where they crossed a couple of fields to reach the access lane to Cwm farm and followed it down Pen-y-banc to meet the road at Bishops Mill. From here it was a half-mile stroll along Castell Pigyn Road, then over the footbridge across the A40 back through Abergwili to complete the circuit at the museum.
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Angela Charlton explained today's walk before we set out.We began by walking alongside the A40 from Abergwili to Whitemill.
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From Alltyfyrddin farm we began our ascent of Merlin's Hill.As we climbed we enjoyed good views of the Towy Valley.
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Here we are in February sunshine on the top of Merlin's Hill.Cyril enjoys a chat with Catherine and Angela of Ramblers Cymru.
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Then it was an easy descent back down from the hilltop.We crossed this open field down Pen-y-banc.

Sunday, 18th February
On Sunday 18th February, Cyril Phillips led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a twelve and a half-mile walk that took in Abergorlech, Llansawel and Rhydcymerau. He described it as a triangular walk with three quite different aspects. The first leg passed through a section of forestry, the second over a hilltop with good views, and the third section followed the River Cothi on a flat broad track. The weather forecast was for a possible shower in the morning with light rain in the afternoon. There was a light breeze and a mild temperature of about eight degrees.  The walk started off at a brisk pace from the forest car park in Abergorlech from where they walked into the forestry, following a forestry track that ran steeply uphill through a valley for about two and a half miles. Down in the valley, fifty metres down a steep bank from the track, was the Afon Gorlech. The track passed around Banc Llywelau as it headed in a generally northwards direction, following the river until they reached the junction of several forestry tracks at Trawscoed Uchaf where they stopped for a coffee break.  Turning to a northeasterly direction they skirted around Coed Pwllcymbyd, then out of the forestry onto a farm track that led them into the hamlet of Rhydcymerau where they identified a collection of vintage cars, notably a 1963 A35, a Riley and a Triumph all sadly in need of some care.  Crossing the B4337 Llansawel to Llanybydder road they located what is shown on an Ordnance Survey map as a BOAT (Byway Open to All Traffic). This took the form of an old sunken lane that may well have been a drovers’ path in years gone by, and this took them up onto Banc Cwm-coed-Ifor to reach the highest point of the day at a height of 290 metres where they stopped for lunch with a wonderful vista of the surrounding countryside including views of the Brecon Beacons and the Carmarthen Fans.

In the afternoon they followed the BOAT down the hillside of Banc Cwm-Hywel through fields initially, then a green lane for about three miles, to reach the B4337 again at Sunny Bank then had a half mile march along the road into the village of Llansawel where they stopped whilst Cyril related some of the history of the Sawel Academy.  They continued with a brisk walk along the B4337 towards Talley for about a mile, passing around Pen y Dinas until they reached a track that led down to Garn-wen, then over a shoulder of Banc Beili-Tew with a view of the river and ruins of Edwinsford House nestling in a bend of the Cothi, before dropping down onto a track in the Cothi Valley. This particular stretch of the Cothi is completely unspoilt and the track (another BOAT) ran alongside the river for about three miles below the woodland of Coed Brynabon-uchaf, passing Lledr llwyd, Allt Blaencwm, Allt Cwm Cwtta and Allt Ffosgotta before reaching the road at Pont Gorlech and the car park in Abergorlech where they finished the circuit.
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We set off from Abergorlech on good tracks through the forestry.A morning pause for a group photo in the forest.
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Gerwyn demonstrates the advantages of wearing welly boots.We had fun negotiating this muddy gateway.
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 We followed an ancient track with the Black Mountain in the distance.More mud!  Cyril may earn the 2018 Mud Cup award for this walk.
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We passed the ruins of Edwinsford Mansion in the valley below.A person could be run down by a determined group of ramblers.
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 Abergorlech 12,5m.gpx 

Saturday, 17th February
On Saturday 17th February, Maud Jones and Angela Pennel led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a six and a half mile walk in the Crosshands and Tumble area of Carmarthenshire.  The walk started from the car park at the Recreation Park in Crosshands, from where they accessed what used to be the original A48 before the dual carriage way was built, and walked the road briefly, turning onto a track just before Crosshands cinema.  Here they picked up the Cycle Track (Route 47) and headed westwards along it towards Tumble. This track runs along the route of the industrial tramway/railway line that once connected Crosshands with Tumble, Cynheidre and Llanelli.  After about three quarters of a mile they left the cycle track and took a footpath through some woodlands along a boardwalk then some fields, which eventually led to the A476 – the Tumble to Crosshands road. Here they followed the road through Upper Tumble to a junction just passed the Brodyr Williams garage where they turned left onto to Gors Road - a quiet country road.

They followed this road uphill passing Llwyncwta to a spot at a height of two hundred and fifty five metres – just below the Reservoir – the highest point of the day, and stopped for lunch enjoying the lovely views northwards and westwards, including the distant Preseli mountains in good visibility, and all bathed in sunshine except for a grey cloud approaching them rapidly from the west. Just as they finished lunch the first drops of rain fell which spurred them on to continue the walk in a short sharp heavy rain shower.  In a few minutes the rain passed over and the sky cleared again as they reached a crossroads where they took the left turn then paused near the Trig point for a group photograph. The group continued in a northeasterly direction for about a mile towards Pentwyn where they left the country road, and picked up a footpath which took them downhill through fields past Blaenau-isaf to reach the old A48 Pontardulais Road.  Turning right for a few metres, and then left onto a Bridleway, they walked through an area of the Crosshands Food Park, and joined a footpath running parallel with the A48 dual carriageway. This path brought the walkers into the village of Crosshands where they crossed the A476 onto the new road passing the newly opened retail outlets, and they turned left onto a footpath at the rear of Maes y Gwendraeth School, then turned left again to enter the Recreation Park back to the starting point.
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At the start Maud told us some interesting facts about the local area.We then set out on a well-maintained cycling & walking track.
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A footpath led us uphill and onto a quiet coutry lane.At lunchtime the clouds rolled in and it began to rain.
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We paused for a group photo as the rain became more persistent.We passed this interesting tree as we made our way along the lane.
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Before long, the sun was shining once more as we romped downhill.A friendly Welsh dragon greeted us as we returned to Crosshands.
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 Cross hands 6,5m.gpx  

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