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Walk Reports (scroll down for photos)

Sunday, 15th April
On Sunday 15th April, Richard Leggett led the Carmarthen Ramblers on an eleven-mile walk that incorporated part of the Pilgrim Trail and part of the coast path in the Llanybri area. The weatherman was correct with his forecast of light rain and strong winds for the duration of the walk. The flowers of the day were the primrose and wood anemones seen in profusion in hedgerows and woodland.  The walkers assembled at the Victorian church of St Michael’s in Llanybri where Richard pointed out the headstone of the poet Lynette Roberts who lived in Llanybri during the 1940’s and related some of the associated history.  He read out her  “Poem from Llanybri”- probably her most famous poem.

From the church they walked out of the village in the rain, following the road in a southeasterly direction down Hatchy Hill for about a mile - with views in front of them out across the marsh to Laugharne - to reach a road junction at marsh level at Mwche. Here they met the coast path and changed direction heading northwards around the edge of the marsh for about a quarter of a mile to reach the end of a country road at Cwm-celyn, and continued along the bank of the river Taf estuary with the tide now rapidly ebbing - to pass through a farmyard to reach Pilgrims’ Rest at the remains of St Teilo’s church at Llandeilo–abercowin. The next point of call was St. Michael’s church on the opposite bank of the Afon Cywyn, less than half a mile away as the crow flies, but as they were unable to cross the river it took a two and a half mile hike.  Passing back through the farmyard, their route now followed the access lane a few hundred metres to reach a footpath where they left the coast path route and followed a path that led around the edge of a field on the Pilgrim Trail, still heading northwards along a track that passed under the electricity grid pylons to reach a country road at Pont Ddu – the bridge over the Afon Cywyn which runs southwards from Talog through Bancyfelin to join the Taf estuary near St. Teilo’s church.  At this point the party turned westwards along an unexpectedly busy country road for about a mile to reach a road junction where they turned southwards now along a quiet road that led into the farmyard of Trefenty. The group passed through the farmyard and a field beyond to reach the remains of St. Michael Church where Richard related more information about the Pilgrims' Trail and pointed out the graves of some Pilgrims. They took advantage of this spot to shelter from the strong wind and had a lunch break.

In the afternoon they retraced their steps for about a mile to Pont-ddu and continued along the road passing under the electricity lines again to reach a road junction at Ty-rhos.  At this point the terrain changed quite dramatically as they left the road here and followed a footpath still on the Pilgrim’s Trail - through the woodland of Allt y Gelli - that had recently been cleared of fallen trees by the Rights of Way footpaths team - for about a mile as they gradually climbed the hillside to Gelli to meet a country road.  From here back to Llanybri was about two and a half miles of country road walking, but stopping off at Castell Cogan - a hillfort at a height of one hundred and twenty metres in a position for panoramic views. Although visibility was down because of mist and cloud, there were views across the marshland of the lower reaches of the Taf, Laugharne at a bend in the estuary, and the start of Pendine Sands just beyond.  Back on the road they descended down a one in eight hill, crossing a stream at the bottom near Pendegy Mill, and then came the sting in the tail.  The one in eight hill had to be climbed again along the road on the opposite side of the valley in a heavy shower that passed over, preventing them from opening jackets to cool off as they marched the last half-mile to reach the ruined church in Llanybri.  This was a convenient place to stop and regroup whilst they caught up on the history of the  “Hen Gapel".  A few minutes down the road they completed the walk at St Michael’s Church.
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Today's walk featured wonderful wildflower displays, like these Primulas.We also visited the sites of several ancient churches, including St. Teilo's.
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Some of Richard's route followed the "Pilgrim Trail".Richard told us about the ancient graves at St. Michael's Church.
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We also posed for a group photo after lunch at St. Michael's.The remains of the old church are well adorned with ivy.
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Despite the cloud and some showers we enjoyed good countryside views.On the hilltop at Castell Cogan we also had a view of the estuary below.
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 Llanybri 11m.gpx  

Saturday, 7th April
On Saturday 7th April, Lorraine Squire led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a six mile walk that incorporated about four miles of the “Beacons Way” along a country road, bridleways, footpaths, and forestry tracks in the Garn Goch area.  Poor weather conditions spoilt the possibility of good views 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 quiet country road southwards on an uphill climb of a hundred and twenty five metres over about two miles to reach a crossroads, and the only vehicle to pass along the way at the time was the local post lady.  At the crossroads they left the road and joined the Beacons Way as it turned to a northeasterly direction, following a track that led across the hillside. Along this section there were limited views over the Towy Valley between Llangadog and Llandeilo below them, with clouds billowing down the valley, but these views soon disappeared as the group entered the forestry on Carreglwyd and the mist came down.  As they walked through the forestry they continued climbing until they reached the highest point of the day at a height of three hundred and sixteen meters at Bwlch y Gors. This is where they stopped for lunch – just below the cloud line.  

In the afternoon they started the return journey as they made their way down the hillside on a bridleway for about a mile to reach a country road at Garn-wen. A short way down the road the Beacons Way led them onto a path to ascend Carn Goch common, on which are the Iron Age hill forts of Y Gaer Fach and Y Gaer Fawr. These occupy two separate summits on the same long ridge that together make up the largest Iron Age Hill fort in Wales, dating from the first millennium BC to the invasion of the Romans.  The group stopped on top of Y Gaer fawr whilst Loraine related some of the history of Carn Goch; then, after viewing the hamlet of Bethlehem across the valley below them and the flooded Towy Valley, they continued to follow the line of the ridge across Y Gaer fach to stop at the stone commemorating Gwynfor Evans - the first Plaid Cymru MP, before returning to the car park.
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As we climbed away from the car park the views opened up behind us.We enjoyed our morning coffe stop on this convenient rocky table.
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Our clever photographer perched on a tall stile to take this one.We approached the remains of the massive stone ramparts on Garn Goch.
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Once inside the walls of one of the largest (11.2 hectares) ancient hill forts in Wales, we enjoyed splendid views over the river valley below.
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We examined some new seats that were inscribed with a message.Then we looked at the memorial stone to Welsh MP Gwynfor Evans.
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 Garn Goch 6m.gpx  

Sunday, 1st April
On Easter Sunday, Sarah Rees led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a ten-mile walk in the Aberaeron area. The route included a four-mile section of the Coast Path with excellent views out across Cardigan Bay and Little Quay Bay, and some waterfalls issuing from valleys that were crossed on their way southwards. The Pumlumon Hills in the distance to the north east were still covered in snow. The weather for the day was dry and bright to start with but the skies clouded over in the afternoon. Temperatures hung around seven degrees C and there was a chilly breeze blowing.  

The walk started from the harbour car park that was already nearly full at ten thirty in the morning. The high tide had just turned and a weak sun trying to shine through a light cloud created a pleasant atmosphere in the area. The group crossed the footbridge over the Afon Aeron to pick up the coast path, and headed southward with a gentle breeze behind them for about four miles along the footpath towards Newquay. On the way they passed the waterfall at Pen-y-Gloyn and continued along the sometimes slippery path for about a mile, before dropping steeply into Cwm Cilfforch where they crossed Ceri Brook just above a waterfall that discharged into the sea. Climbing back up onto the cliff tops for excellent seascape views, they rounded the headland to meet a country road that took them across Pont y Gilfach and around the holiday park at Gilfach-yr-halen.  Around the next headland they crossed the mouth of the Afon Drywi just below a series of natural cascades that also discharge into the sea via a waterfall over the cliffs into Little Quay Bay.  Just before Cei-bach they left the coast path as they cut inland steeply uphill to reach a caravan park off the country lane at Penlanymor. Here the road was lined with hundreds and hundreds of daffodils in full bloom. Following a lane they turned into a bridleway at Blaen Bedw as their route turned northwards down into Cwm-bedw and through the countryside to cross a footbridge over the upper reaches of the Afon Drywi, and they stopped for lunch on the opposite bank for lunch.

In the afternoon the group crossed the A487 between Llwyncelyn and Ffos-y-ffin at Penrhiw- drych and headed eastwards walking across a couple of fields, passing the highest point of the day at one hundreds and forty metres, to access a bridleway for about half a mile to reach a country lane near Henfynyw that led around to Sychpant. Here on the edge of Allt Dolgwartheg they cut across an open field on a bridleway before dropping down the hillside through Panteg on a wide lane for almost a mile to reach the Craft Centre on the edge of Aberaeron.  At this point they passed around the centre and continued down through Panteg Woods to meet the River Aeron on a firm path just below Lovers’ Bridge, where there was a spectacle as the river swollen by the recent rain descended a series of weirs.  Just a little way further down they arrived at the town and made their way back to the harbour car park
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We set out across this interesting footbridge over the River Aeron.We admired the colourful harbour area of Aberaeron.
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A pause for a group photo as we made our way south on the coast path.After a short climb we could see the mountains further north.
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The coast path has its ups and downs, but is well maintained.Our morning coffee stop featured some soft ledges on which to perch.
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Today's walk featured some muddy sections, and more muddy sections ...Despite some mud, the views and the scenery were excellent all day.
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 Aberaeron 10m.gpx  

Sunday, 25th March
On Sunday 25th March, Carolyn and Dennis Hills led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a ten and a half mile circular walk in the Burry Port area. The walk was undertaken mainly on firm paths and lanes that took in two sections of the St. Illtyd’s Long Distance trail (LDT), Pembrey Mountain, and finished with a section of coast path. There were stunning views along the walk enhanced by clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. The temperature at the start of the walk was about 5 degrees C in the morning but rose to a very pleasant 15 degrees C as the day went on.  

The walk started from the car park at Burry Port Harbour marina from where they made their way inland, passing the Amelia Earhart memorial stone on their way up to a footpath that led across a footbridge over the railway line into Station Road. They continued past the town park, following a footpath beside the Nant Dyfatty upstream to the A484 - Colby Road at Achddu.  The path continued up beside the Pemberton Arms along the route of the Old Tramway, past the old water mill into Cwm Capel for about half a mile before they crossed Nant Dyfatty onto the road and joined the route of Saint lltyd’s long distance trail for about a quarter of a mile.  The group stopped at the old colliery where Carolyn related some of the history of mining in the area before they moved on to pick a lane up to a footpath that led out into the countryside as they climbed through woodland and farmland for over a mile along the “Coffin Trail” to reach the Pembrey Mountain road at a height of one hundred and sixty nine metres, the highest point of the day.  Here they turned westwards and walked along the road about a half mile to reach a footpath that led downhill into Waun Baglan Wood where they negotiated a series of footpaths past Waun Baglan to meet the road in Waun y Clun.  Here they turned to climb back up the hillside to reach the picnic area on the mountain road – a convenient spot for lunch.  There were excellent views from the viewing platform looking over the racecourse at Ffoslas and Carway, and super views over the marsh at the mouth of the Gwendraeth Valley and the estuaries of the Taf and Towy and the Kidwelly area all bathed in spring sunshine. The only bad point about this beautiful spot was the dreaded fly tipping of rubbish over the boundary fence.

In the afternoon they crossed the mountain road southwards into a lane from where there were now views southwards over the Burry Estuary to Gower and the headlands of Burry Holms and Worm’s Head beyond. The group crossed fields passing Caer Defaid farm, and when they reached Ty-gwyn turned to a southwesterly direction for about half a mile to reach the route of St. Illtyd’s walk again near Hill Crest farm and changed direction again now on a north easterly direction. They followed the LDT though a boggy section before locating a footbridge over a tributary of the Nant Dyfatty then stopped to view the Motte at Waun Twmpath.  A quarter of a mile further on, they reached a country road and at this point left the LDT as they turned southwards through Gwraeth Farm then into a bridleway that snaked its way downhill through the countryside passing the view of Cilymaenllwyd to reach the main A484 road in Pwll.  Once across the busy road the terrain changed completely to become firmer under foot as they joined the Millennium coast path for a mile and a half long march back past the Ashpits Pond & Pwll Lagoon Nature Reserve to Burry Port harbour.
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We began today's walk under clear skies at Burry Port Harbour.A path converted from an old railway line led us toward Cwm Capel.
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On the flanks of Pembrey Mountain we enjoyed excellent views.A picnic site on the mountain was a great spot to stop for lunch.
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One of the ponies watching us eat lunch had an unusual hairy mustache.After lunch we followed footpaths going east and south.
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You can see the medieval motte of Waun Twmpath on the hill behind us.A stroll along the coastal path led us back to Burry Port Harbour.
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 Burry Port 10,5m.gpx  

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  

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