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Walk Reports (scroll down for photos)

Sunday, 13th May
On Sunday, 13th May, Pat and David Bush led the Carmarthen Ramblers on an eight mile circular ramble on the Gower peninsula with some fabulous scenery. This was a walk that had been postponed on the winter programme due to bad weather. The weather on this occasion was just right for rambling and paragliding - fine and sunny but with a fresh breeze blowing, keeping the temperatures down. There were dazzling displays of blue bells and wild garlic in full bloom in the banks and hedgerows along the way, and a beautiful aroma from the gorse on the headlands.

The walk started from the car park from the Kings Head car park in Llangennith, from where they headed down to the church to locate a stile that led into a field and the start of a climb out of the village through the fields heading in a southeasterly direction through Upper Hardings Down. This led onto Hardings Down where they stopped briefly to examine the two Iron Age forts near its highest point at 152 metres, and to appreciate the scenery with excellent visibility allowing views of the surrounding countryside and as far inland as the Carmarthen Fans and the Pembrokeshire coast in the opposite direction, as well as several paragliders floating effortlessly along the ridge on top of Rhossili Down.  They left this hill aiming for the derelict farm of West Cathan, where they located the route that was to lead them in a southerly direction through fields and footpaths for about two miles to reach the derelict farm of Kingshall where they connected with a farm track.  They took a ninety-degree turn here and after a quarter of a mile along the track they emerged onto the edge of the moor on Rhossili Down.

Their route continued southwards on the farm track for about a half-mile as it skirted around the edge of the moor to reach Fernhill Farm on the brow of a hill, where they met a footpath that led downhill for about a quarter of a mile to reach the B4247 road that links Rhossili to Swansea at Pitton. On the other side of the road they picked up a footpath that led down to Mew Slade, through woodland heaving with wild garlic in full bloom, and then met the coast path. The route turned westwards as they now followed the coast path along the cliff tops high above Mewslade Bay for about a mile until the next bay – Fall Bay - came into sight, and then turned inland along a permissive path that led them into the newly revamped National Trust carpark in Rhossili where they had the view of the full stretch of the beach below.  They walked past the Worm’s Head Hotel to meet a footpath and pass behind the church, then out of the village onto Rhossili Down with a steep climb, now heading northwards stopping halfway up the hillside for a lunch break under the flight path of the paragliders, with a view over Rhossili Bay with Worms Head and its causeway uncovered by the tide.

In the afternoon the group continued northwards uphill on the southern end of the moor on a footpath, and continued to climb until they reached the trig point at the Beacon at a height of one hundred and ninety three metres, the highest point of the day, from where there were stunning scenic views of the three-mile sweep of Rhossili Bay, and way out at sea the outline of Lundy Island could be seen. There were also the most magnificent panoramic views across Carmarthen Bay of the Pembrokeshire coastline with the Preseli mountain range just in view.  Heading northward along the ridge for about a mile they passed the remains of the wartime observation post before they descended the hill, crossing the moor at Bessie’s Meadow, and following a path that dropped gently to reach a stony lane that led off the hill into Coety Green. From here there was a half-mile walk along a quiet country road uphill to Llangennith to complete the walk.   A debriefing was held at the Kings Head.
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From Llangennith we climbed up onto Harding Down.It was a glorious day for a walk with lots of wild flowers on display.
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Mewslade Bay was down below us as we walked along the coast path.When we reached Fall Bay we turned inland toward Rhossili.
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As we climbed away from Rhossili the Worm's Head was far behind us.We were treated to a close up view of several paragliders as we climbed.
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Splendid views continued as we followed the path across Rhossili Down.We could now see Burry Holms at the end of Rhossili Beach.
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 Rhossili Down 8m.gpx  

Saturday 5th May
On Saturday 5th May, Andrew Padfield started off the Carmarthen Ramblers’ summer programme with an eight-mile walk that incorporated Dolau Cothi and Caio. The walk used a country road and forestry paths and tracks in Allt Cwmgerwyn – part of Caio Forest. The weather for the day was dry and sunny with temperatures just tipping the twenty-degree mark.

The walk started from the car park opposite the Roman Gold Mines in Pumsaint and from here they followed the road past the entrance to the Gold Mines up a road that climbed steeply uphill around the perimeter of the mine, gaining a free aerial view of the yard. There was about a mile of road walking before they reached the church in Caio where they stopped whilst Andrew related some history of the church and the area.  They continued along the road a further quarter of a mile before the road ended and became a track that led them into a woodland car park on the edge of Allt Cwm Gerwyn, before descending into the valley to cross a footbridge near a ford on the Afon Annell. There were three recommended walks way-marked from here and Andrew’s walk incorporated all three as he set off on an uphill track to complete a pleasant one mile circuit through the forestry to return to a picnic area near the ford for lunch.

In the afternoon they set off on another circuit in a north easterly direction on a gently ascending track, as they followed the Afon Annell up the valley for about a mile to cross it via a footbridge, before starting the return journey back down the valley, now on the opposite side, where the pace picked up a little until they reached the Brunant Arms in Caio. This was the perfect spot for a refreshment stop before retracing their steps back along the road to the car park.
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We began from a car park near the Roman Gold Mines.As we walked up the lane we could see the mining exhibition down below.
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The weather was perfect for walking and the views were excellent.At Caio we passed beneath an arch of blossoms to visit the church.
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We stopped for lunch at a junction of paths in the forestry area.After lunch we took another circuit through the forest.
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On our way back from Caio we enjoyed more countryside views.A final romp downhill brought us back to our starting point.
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 Caio 7m.gpx  

Sunday, 29th April
On Sunday 29th April, Frances and Gerwyn Probert led the Carmarthen Ramblers on an eleven-mile figure of eight walk in the Cellan area near Lampeter. The route covered several footpaths through countryside and woodlands, country lanes and roads, and a hillfort and some tremendous scenic views. The weather forecast for the day was for light cloud cover all day with a cool breeze – just right for walking, but the temperature failed to reach double figures.  The walk started from the Memorial Hall car park in the village of Cellan, about two miles east of Lampeter on the B4343, from where they walked into the village to the War Memorial and turned off the main road southwards along a country road after the monument for a short while, before turning left to follow the footpath and then restricted byway passing Ty’n y coed to meet a road that led up to Caer Cadwgan.  They walked through the yard of Caer Cadwgan house and then into Coed Tangaer forestry beyond for just a quarter of a mile before accessing the surrounding open land where they stopped to admire the views of the Teifi Valley. They pressed on via a permissive path to reach the top of a hill and visit Caer Cadwgan fort at a height of 298 metres. The visibility on the day was excellent for viewing the surrounding countryside, and those with good eyesight were able to spot the Derry Ormond tower in the distance and the Falcondale Hotel tucked away in the woods just behind Lampeter.  

They then retraced their steps on the permissive path back into Coed Tangaer and wound their way on a path through the forestry then out into the open on a lane as they descended the hillside to pass Gelli-gaer. They continued onwards through the Esgair-las plantation then over a stile to meet a country road at Pant-y-pistyll on the edge of Pant-teg Plantation.  Turning southwards and walked along the road for a while, sweeping around Pantygwin, to reach a fork in the road at Blaen Waun. Here they changed direction and with a sharp turn changed to a north easterly direction for about a mile contouring around the side of the hill on the road until they arrived at the cattle grid just before Bwlch Blaen-corn. At this point they left the road again and turned southwards once more as they walked on a grassy footpath about another mile to Esgair-crwys to meet a track going up to a road crossing a hilltop at a height of three hundred and nine metres and just beyond stopped for lunch with fine views southwards, with the Carmarthen Fans and the Black Mountain standing out clearly in the distance. To the east was Mynydd Epynt and northwards – the lower reaches of the Cambrian Mountain range.

In the afternoon - following a bridleway - they descended the hillside passing Blaenant to meet a road near Penlan. At this point the group turned northwards to start the return journey along a byway, steadily climbing for a mile to reach Blaen Waun again where they completed a loop and took the left turning at a fork in the road and they retraced their steps along the road by to Pant y Pistyll where they returned to the first loop, and after passing their original exit onto the road they turned left through a gate at a bend in the road walking on a path down through bracken and along a sometimes boggy footpath in the valley of Ffrwd Cynon.  They climbed up out of the valley through a field to reach the road opposite Pistyll Eynon where they were able to view the hill fort they had climbed earlier in the day. From this point it was all downhill along the road for just over a mile into the charming little hamlet of Pentrefelin that comprised a few well-maintained cottages and an old mill with a stream running around it.  They crossed the bridge over a tributary of the Teifi and located a short footpath that led through a couple of fields to come out onto the Lampeter to Tregaron B4343 road, and turned left to walk back along the road back to the start. 
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We encountered a short section of muddy path early in today's walk.Soon we were crossing stiles and open fields in the sunshine.
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A group photo on the hilltop site of ancient Caer Cadwgan Fort.Much of today's walk was on high ground with great views.
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Our route also took us through some pretty dales like this one.Sometimes we had the feeling we were being watched ...
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We enjoyed lots of extensive views on today's walk.We also appreciated using the new footpath gates in this area.
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 Cellan 11m.gpx  

Walking the Wysis Way in April 2018
In April, Andrew Graham led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a four day walk along the Wysis Way, which links the beginning of the Thames Path National Trail in Gloucestershire to Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail at Monmouth. The route had been divided into four convenient stretches ranging from ten and a half miles to thirteen and a half mile linear stages.  The Wysis Way runs for 88 km through the lovely, but very distinctive areas of the Forest of Dean, Severn Vale and the Cotswolds. Connecting the two great National Trails - it provides a link that provides continuous walking for 400 miles from the North Wales coast to Greenwich.  This walk is not marked very well along the way and indeed most of the “Wysis Way“ footpath signs were no help at all because they all pointed the opposite way to the direction the group walked. However, armed with a selection of maps and GPS equipment the group negotiated the route very well.

The Wysis Way route crosses other national trails namely the Cotswold Way, the Gloucester Way and the Three Choirs Way and other long distance paths.  This 4 day section of the walk finished in the Forest of Dean but the group intends to continue the walk in the autumn, taking in Monmouth going southwards generally following the Wye down to Chepstow over a period of three days.  Members of the group arranged their own overnight accommodation staying at B & Bs, hotels and campsites in the area and met each morning at the finishing location of that day’s walk then were transported by bus on about a half hour’s journey to the start of the walk.

The weather forecast for the duration was set fair but with strong winds, and as it turned out they had the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures topping 25 degrees C on the first day, getting gradually cooler on the following days, and there was only one light ten minute shower during the whole walk and that was on the third day. Fortunately there was lots protection from the sun in the shady woodlands.  The walk passed through several woodland sites, open fields and footpaths with lots of good views from the hill top sites.  It was noted on the first day of the walk that in one of the woodlands the bluebells were just starting to open but as they progressed through the walks they encountered banks in full bloom. Garlic in flower, wood anemones, celandine and hedgerows of hawthorn and cherry blossom all brought lots of colour to the countryside.  Each day of the walk is described briefly below, along with some photos provided by group members.

Thursday 19th April - Wysis Way Day 1
On Thursday the group met just four miles from Stroud, at Bisley sports ground car park (the end of this day's walk) and from here they travelled by bus to Kemble railway station which is southwest of Cirencester. After briefly noting the graded railway water tower, they made their way out of the village into the fields and soon picked up the uppermost reaches of the River Thames, and after a mile arrived at its source which was marked with a large stone and a not very impressive small sink hole.  The walk continued, following the route of a disused canal that disappeared into the two-mile long Sapperton tunnel while the group had to cut through Hailey Wood above it to meet it again in Sapperton where they Andrew related the history and future of the canal (and the nearby public houses). A lunch stop was taken in the shade of the well-groomed Yew trees of St Kenelm’s Church in Sapperton.  The afternoon section took them through about two miles of woodland down the river Frome to Chalford, where they turned northwards to finish the thirteen and a half mile section in Bisley (about four miles east of Stroud) with the temperature still a sizzling twenty two degrees.
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A group photo in dazzling sunshine in front of an old railway water tower.We first enjoyed some easy walking across watery meadows.
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Before long we reached the source of the River Thames.As well as a marker there is a small sinkhole in the ground.
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We passed beneath this slanted bridge along the disused canal.This tower was once accommodation for workers on the canal.
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The well-managed canal path was one of the easier sections of our walk.We saw some interesting stone work on some of the canal bridges.
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 Wysis Way Day 1.gpx  


Saturday 21st April - Wysis Way Day 3
On Saturday the group met at Glasshouse near May Hill, and were transported to Robins Wood Country Park from where they pounded the pavements for an hour or so as they walked through Gloucester down to the Quays. This area has been developed over recent years, and what were once quayside warehouses are now a very fashionable shopping area.  They left the city behind as they followed the footpath onto Alney Island in the river Severn, and arrived at a spot at the confluence where a notice board advertised this as a recommended viewing point for the Severn bore.  They left the Island via a footpath/cycle track that crossed the Severn on what was once a road bridge (designed by Telford) and then under the new bridge that carries the A40 traffic into Gloucester. They left the busy main road headed in a northerly direction overlapping “The Three Choirs Way” that led through lanes lined with beautiful cherry blossom in full bloom as they passed through Lassington, then their route swung to a westerly direction crossing several rich green fields to pass through Tibberton and Taynton to finish the day at Glass house, near May Hill Village, where they were impressed with the full size topiary of a thatched cottage.
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We met near this "cottage" at Glasshouse to catch take our coach trip.Andrew took a detour so we could see the quay area at Gloucester.
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We followed the River Severn away from the busy city.The woodland bluebell displays were lovely in places.
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We enjoyed blossoms overhead and blossoms in the fields as well.This handsome old church tower dates from the 11th century.
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Our walks were not entirely without a touch of mud here and there.But most of our route was on good footpaths through quiet countryside.
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 Wysis Day 3.gpx  

Sunday 22nd April - Wysis Way Day 4
The meeting point on Sunday morning was the Speculation Forest car park in the Forest of Dean. From here they travelled to Glasshouse which is between Ross-On-Wye and Gloucester. This walk started with quite a long climb up a wide path through Newent Woods to May Hill Village, then onto May Hill at a height of two hundred and ninety six metres where they stopped to take in some great scenery.  Turning to a southwesterly direction they descended the hill and once again passed through some lush green fields as the approached the village of Mitcheldean in a valley – once the home of the Rank Xerox factory - a major establishment in the area – and now an industrial park.  The group climbed out of the valley into “The Wilderness” on Harrow Hill where they stopped for lunch looking back over Mitcheldean.  The afternoon was a little like an obstacle course as they navigated their way through some of the overgrown and muddy footpaths the Forest of Dean in an area once heavily mined. They kept a lookout for wild boar, and although the damage they make to the land whilst feeding was quite obvious, there were no sightings of these shy creatures.   The walk finished at the Old Speculation mine car park with temperatures again still in the twenties.
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We began walking today's section from the Glasshouse Inn.We enjoyed our morning coffee break on beautiful May Hill.
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After coffee it was an easy romp back down May Hill.Before long May Hill was far in the distance behind us.
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In the Forest of Dean we saw lots of evidence of wild boars.But even in the rough sections we were unable to spot any of them.
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Here we are at the end of Day 4 in the Old Speculation mine car park.We can now look forward to completing the Wysis Way in September!
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 Wysis Day 4.gpx  

Saturday, 21st April
On Saturday, 21st April, the members of the Carmarthen Ramblers who did not walk the Wysis way were led by Bob Millington on a five-mile walk in the Llansteffan area. This walk started from the Green from where they walked along the footpath down to the car park, then up the fenced footpath to Church road where they turned left.  Walking towards the beach they turned right at a fork in the road and made their way up to the castle. Here they took a short break to explore the castle and enjoyed the good views across the Tywi Estuary.  They retraced their steps to the access road and continued ahead, passing Castle Hill Cottage, until a gate on the left led them down to Saint Anthony's Well, behind a wooden door in the stonewall. It was once a 'Holy Well' but later got used solely as a wishing well.  From here they continued a short distance down towards the beach in Scott’s Bay and turned right, to follow the coast path uphill for about half a mile through trees and scrubland until they reached Wharley Point where the views eventually opened out. This is where they stopped for lunch with fabulous views out of the ebbing tide in the estuaries of the Towy, Taf and Gwendraeth.

After lunch they continued along the coast path to reach a country road near Lord's Park and turned left to pass a small National Trust carpark, and eventually come to a staggered cross road and continued across to the next crossroads where they turned right.  This road took them over the hill past Down Farm to reach the Llanybri road at a T junction where they turned right, back towards Llansteffan, for about a quarter of a mile until they reached the access drive for 'Llanfach'. Here they turned left and followed the lane until just before the farm buildings the path swung right onto a grassy bank to a farm gate with a pedestrian gate at the side of it.  Their route continued down through three fields to reach a stone wall and then dropped quite steeply to emerge in the village at the side of The Castle. Turning left they walked through the village back to the start.
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Our group enjoyed walking in warm sunshine beneath blue skies.Early in the walk we visited the impressive ruins of Llansteffan Castle.
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A secretive doorway led us down to see St. Anthony's Well.We enjoyed lunch on this lovely hillside along the Coast Path.
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 Llansteffan 5.5m.gpx  

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