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Walk Reports (scroll down for photos)

Sunday, 10th December
On Sunday 10th December, Carolyn & Dennis Hills led the Carmarthen Ramblers on an eight mile circular walk in the Llanarthne area.  This low level route was chosen that morning to replace the programmed walk at Llanfynydd, as there were weather warnings in place for heavy snow and icy roads that day.  The walk started from the Botanic Gardens as snow was falling and beginning to accumulate on the ground. Leaving the Garden’s car park, and walking back along the approach road, they picked up the cycle track 47/footpath that follows the perimeter of the gardens. They followed it to the northern access gate to the gardens, and then walked the access road just beyond to meet a country road.  Turning left along the road past Brynhawddgar, they turned into the lane that took them into and through the farmyard of Wern, then through a couple of fields to reach another country road near Glascoed Isaf. At this point they turned to a north easterly direction for about half a mile of easy road walking until they reached Greenhill Farm and made their way through the fields beyond for a snowy view from the hill (about a hundred metres high) up the Towy Valley below them. The route descended the hill through fields to pass through the private grounds of the five star B&B Llwynhelyg, along its drive, and past the empty site of the old school to reach the village of Llanarthne near the emporium.  

They walked through the village past the old smithy, then looped around through fields to meet the B4300 road on the eastern side of Llanarthne, and walked towards Ffairfach for about a quarter of a mile, and then just after Pistyll-Dewi they met a lane and started a hundred and twenty five metre climb up a track through Allt Pistyll-Dewi to reach the field in which Paxton’s Tower stands.  Here they should have enjoyed a snowy view overlooking the Towy valley, but the cloud and falling snow obscured much of it.  From this point they were just able to pick out the castle at Dryslwyn. They continued up through the field to the highest point of the day – one hundred and sixty metres, and entered Paxton Tower where the steps to the upper levels were locked.  Leaving the hilltop they met a country road and followed it westward for about a mile, dropping down into the valley to reach Cwm Felin Gȃt.  Taking a path off the road to a convenient set of picnic tables they sat and enjoyed lunch, supervised by the local robin.  Next they walked up a path along side Afon Gwynon to view the five metre high waterfall.  The group then retraced their steps back to the road and walked up the road, past the lodge, to the northern gate entrance to the Gardens where they watched two men training a huge bird of prey.  They then followed the footpath back to the start. 
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The forecast for today did indeed promise us a winter wonderland.We crossed snowy fields with snowy views in the near distance.
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Snow was settling on the trees as we climbed through the woods.The white dusting completely changed the usual scenery.
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The clouds and falling snow took away the distant views.Paxton's Tower stood boldly and starkly at the top of the hill.
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Fortunately, there was no wind to blow the snowy coating off the trees.After lunch we walked upstream to see this waterfall.
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 Botanic Gardens 8m.gpx

Saturday, 2nd December
On Saturday 2nd December, Pat & David Bush led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a six and a half mile walk in the Pwll area.  The walk went through the Stradey Park estate and covered several well-used paths and cycle tracks in the Sandy and Furnace area, Parc Howard, and also a section that took them across Sandy Water Park. The weather for the day promised light cloud cover for the day with the possibility of a light shower.  The walk started from the car park near the site of the 2000 Eisteddfod, from where they walked down the coast path towards Burry Port until they reached a turning that turned inland to bring them onto the A484 near the college between Sandy and Pwll.  Crossing the main road, they walked through the beautiful Stradey Woodland of the Stradey Park estate by kind permission of Patrick and Claire Mansel Lewis. Their route took them past Stradey Home Farm to emerge onto the B4308 Llanelli-Furnace road at Cwm Bach.  From there they walked uphill across the fields to reach the top of Penyfai Lane, and then followed the road downhill towards Furnace for about a quarter of a mile to meet a footpath that crossed countryside to give good views over Llanelli, the Burry Estuary and the Gower Peninsula before meeting the B4309 Pontyates road.  This is where they briefly overlapped St. Illtyd’s Way long distance trail, and turning left here they walked uphill to meet the lane that led them up to Furnace pond, and then after crossing the new flood overflow shute picked up a footpath that passed in front of Graig wen. Continuing in the same direction their route then passed above The Dingle - the ravine in which Raby’s furnace is sited, then behind the Stradey Park Hotel down into Pentre-Poeth. Here they crossed the road and route of the disused Cynheidre to Llanelli railway line and took a footpath uphill into the beautiful Parc Howard where they stopped for lunch.

In the afternoon, they started the return journey by leaving the park, heading downhill along a footpath that passed the paddling pool to reach Lake View.  At this point they met the Llanelli - Crosshands cycle track and turned to follow it through Sandy to Pond Twym, the old steel works cooling pond on the edge of Peoples Park. Still following the cycle/footpath track they crossed Pont Agen Bridge over the busy B4304 coast road link, into to Sandy Water Park to meet the coastal path and the first shower of rain of the walk as they continued westward towards Burry Port until they reached the eisteddfod site again to complete the walk.
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From Pwll we followed a good track through the Stradey Park estate.As we climbed across farm fields the coastal view opened up behind us.
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The rains of the past week meant we had to do a bit of mud dodging.At the top of our climb we were looking across at the Gower Peninsula.
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A bridge at the edge of Furnace Pond was a good spot for a group photo.When we reached lovely Parc Howard we took our lunch break.
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The old railway line has been converted into a cycle and footpath.We saw some sporting drama above the lake at Sandy Water Park.
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 Pwll_6,5m.gpx  

Sunday, 19th November
On Sunday 19th November, Pat & David Bush led the Ramblers on a nine mile walk in the Alltwalis area. The walk incorporated a couple of steep ascents and descents – one of which took them down a valley into Skanda Vale. Following a few days of heavy rain they were blessed with brilliant sunshine throughout the morning and light cloud cover in the afternoon. The walk started from the community centre car park in Alltwalis on the A485, from where they headed up a lane past the chapel out of the village then up a footpath with a stiff climb for about half a mile through woodland on Troed-rhiw-groes.  At the top of the hill their route took them through the garden of a private property at Gwarcwm where they met a quiet country road on the crest of a hill. Here they turned left to pick up a lane that led through the farmyard of Cefn-maes, then cut across some fields to meet a country road that they followed about a quarter of a mile to reach the coach park of Skanda Vale.  This was a convenient place to stop for a coffee break whilst Dave read out some information about Skanda Vale. Suitably refreshed, they located a footpath that led into Pengraigygigfran woods and followed a footpath down the valley, noting the signs of an elephant as they walked and passed the Sri Raganathan temple - one of the three temples in Skanda Vale.  On reaching the road they walked southwards towards Llanpumsaint for almost a mile to a road junction, where they turned left and headed uphill past Llwyncrychyddod, and continued to the end of the road and into a field on top of a hill to one of the highest points on the walk, at a height of two hundred and forty metres for some scenic views. At this point they were able to see across the valley the development of the Brechfa wind Farm and shortly after this point they stopped for lunch.

In the afternoon, they followed the north-easterly route and entered a lane that took them through the farmyard of Pant-y-llyn, then on along road to the cottages at Gwarcwm that they had passed earlier in the day. Continuing along the quiet country road for about a mile, with views over the valley, the group passed Maeslan to meet the main road at a cross roads near Windy Hill garage. Striding on in the same general direction, they followed another quiet road along a ridge for just over a mile towards the wind farm until they reached a gate just before Pen-llwydcoed.  This gave access to a stony lane that led down the valley for about half a mile to pass Alltwalis farm, and continued around the hill to then cross a field as they descended onto the valley floor to cross a bridge over the Nant Alltwallis. Soon afterwards they reached the footpath that led around the farmyard through the garden of Clyngoch, and onto a quiet lane that led downhill to meet the main road in Alltwalis.  At this point it was a right turn for the last couple of hundred metres back to the starting point.
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Some mist lingered in the valley below as we climbed away from Alltwalis.The morning sunshine caught the colours of the fallen autumn leaves.
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We climbed through woodland, across fields, and on up on a quiet lane.This high open farm field was a great spot for a group photo.
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Dave, our leader, gave us some interesting information about Skanda Vale.Passing through Skanda Vale we saw this unique (in Wales) road sign.
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The soft, wet ground made the walking harder than it appears.We enjoyed walking on a firm track as we dropped back down to Alltwalis.
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 Alltwalis 9 mile.gpx  

Saturday, 18th November
On Saturday 18th November, Jenny & Eric Anscombe led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a five mile walk in the Llandybie area.  Heavy rain was forecast for the day, but the walk went ahead as planned and they were fortunate to get away with just one shower about three quarters of the way through the walk.  The walk started from the site of the 1944 (wartime) National Eisteddfod near the village hall in Llandybie from where they walked through the village square, then followed a footpath around the school and into fields beyond. They met a bridleway that led them over the hill into the village of Pentre Gwenlais. The group passed through a picnic area before accessing the magnificent quarry that is now part of a Carmel National Nature Reserve where Jenny gave a brief talk on the Geology of the exposed rock formations and some of the related history of the area. The walk continued on a footpath that climbed up and around to the top of the quarry, the highest point of the day at two and hundred and twenty metres, for some good views of the surrounding area before descending through the woodland to reach Pant-y-llyn Turlough, an ephemeral lake, the only known turlough outside Ireland. Here they stopped for lunch whilst Eric explained that a turlough is a unique type of disappearing lake found mostly in limestone areas of Ireland, most of which flood in the autumn and then dry up between April and July. There are no visible streams that fill or empty the lake and the water rises into the lake through a hollow or swallow hole at the bottom of the lake when the water table in the limestone below rises.

In the afternoon they followed footpaths in the Pant y llyn area from where there were misty views across to the cloud-covered Black Mountain and Carreg Cennen castle, and then followed the path above Cilyrychen Quarry and back along a track and crossed the Nant Gwenlais on the way back to Pentre Gwenlais. Here they completed a circuit as they linked with a bridle way for about half a mile back to Llandybie to complete a loop at the square.
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Our walk began in Llandybie, once busy with coal mining & lime production.We walked out of town and climbed uphill across farm fields.
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This friendly fellow was interested in making our acquaintance.We reached an old limestone quarry, now part of Carmel Nature Reserve.
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From the hilltop we had misty views of the countryside below.Our lunch stop was at this "Turlough" - the only one in Britain.
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After lunch we continued on as some rain began to fall. The streams are full these days, but pretty with autumn colours.
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 Llandybie 5 mile.gpx  

Sunday, 12th November
On Sunday 12th November, Remembrance Day, Carolyn and Dennis Hills led the Carmarthen Ramblers on a nine and a half mile walk in the Kidwelly area. This walk was loosely based on parish boundaries and passed many important landmarks along the way, and also incorporated some high points for some good views over the area. The weather forecast for the day predicted heavy showers but there were also some pleasant sunny spells.  The Group assembled in Glan yr Afon car park and before the start of the walk, Carolyn related some of the history of the area and pointed out the Old Slaughterhouse. Crossing the Gwendraeth Fach, they walked up the main street as far as St Mary’s Church before turning right into Station Road, then into Hillfield Villas as they headed down over the railway onto Quay road. There was an incoming tide and as they looked from the Quay out across the marshland of the estuary the next heavy shower was seen to be on the way. They followed Kymer’s canal as far as possible, then crossed over the railway line to reach the B4304 road near Parc Pendre. On the other side of the road they located a footpath that ran along the route of a dismantled railway for about half a mile passing Holloway and Gwendraeth Town to reach the A484 bypass. They crossed the road, still following the dismantled railway line, and at eleven o’clock stopped to observe the two minutes silence.

This old railway section continued a further half-mile to reach the Four Roads road at Mynyddygarreg and then uphill a couple of hundred metres to take a fork in the road that took them up to the park and around the perimeter of the school to reach a quarry. From this point, on top of the hill, there were good views over Kidwelly and the castle and the marshland and the firing range to the tip of Cefn Sidan sands, as well as the airport runway in the lowland towards Pembrey and Burry Port.  They made their way down off the hillside to reach Horeb Chapel and located a lane that led down to Maes Gwenllian where Carolyn related the history around Gwenllian. Their route continued across a field to reach the banks of the Gwendraeth Fach where they stopped for lunch overlooking the river in bright sunshine with hardly a breath of wind.

In the afternoon they crossed the river at the Old Forge before ascending the opposite bank on a lane that took them up to meet the A484 Carmarthen to Kidwelly road and crossed it to enter into King’s Wood. They made their way uphill across fields to reach a track at Llwyn-y-barcud where they turned southwards along a lane that took them past the highest point of the day at one hundred and sixty six metres, and this brought them past the farm of Allt-Cunedda. Continuing onwards they reached Penlan Uchaf before crossing the fields to Penlan Isaf where they were able to view the “glamping units“ beside the track.  Once again there were good views over the estuary with the surrounding marshlands and Pembrey Forest beyond.  From Penlan Isaf they accessed a bridleway that led them down off the hillside back into Kidwelly to reach the Ferryside road. At this point they turned right up the hill to meet the turning for St. Ishmael and followed that road about a quarter of a mile to reach the coastpath/cycletrack 4, and then followed that upriver beside the Gwendraeth back to the carpark to finish the walk at Glan yr Afon. This whole area was once a municipal tip but now completely regenerated it is a thriving and fertile wildlife habitat.
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We began beside the remains of the old slaughterhouse in Kidwelly.From Kidwelly Quay we followed a good path alongside the old coal canal.
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At 11:00 on Remembrance Sunday we observed a two minute silence.On the hill above Mynyddygarreg we had a great view of Kidwelly Castle.
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A new member joined us for this photo at Mike's Donkey Farm. We enjoyed more far-reaching views throughout today's walk.
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From Penlan Isaf we followed this streamside path back to the coast.As we were nearing the car park we were treated to a pair of rainbows.
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 Kidwelly 9,5m.gpx  

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