The Begwns and River Wye

After yesterday’s walk to the top of Hay Buff Lynnie has requested something less strenuous.  I check the map and propose a walk along the banks of the River Wye which sounds perfect to Lynnie.  As ever I am cautious to keep the map out of sight so there is no debate about the route we will take.

We leave Tirmynach Farm CL by picking up the footpath that runs through the site and heads towards Clyro, after crossing the A438 we turn left through the village and then take the right hand road just past the church.  This is the route we took a couple of days ago, but this time we stay on the road ignoring the footpath on our right.

The road climbs steadily uphill and at a junction we take the left fork to continue climbing and pass the Borders Hideaway Holiday Home Park, this is a quiet road and we only meet two cars in just over two miles from Clyro to the cattle grid on the edge of the Begwns.

The Begwns is large area of common land gifted to the National Trust by Major GWF De Winton in 1992.  We turn left off the road and follow a path that leads across the common land.  Immediately we are struck by the views across the valley to the Black Mountains with the Brecon Beacons in the distance.

On our left there soon appears a large pond, the Monks Pond; apparently this was enlarged during the 1960’s to provide a year round supply of water to a local farm.

In the distance we can see The Roundabout, the De Winton’s built this in 1887 to protect the trees that had been planted to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Over the years the trees disappeared and the wall fell into disrepair.  The trees were replaced in 1977 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee and the wall was rebuilt to commemorate the Millennium.

After looking at the Roundabout we wander over to the nearby triangulation point, as ever the dogs are eager to have their picture taken.  They have a large and impressive collection of these!

Our route continues towards the west and soon picks up a path heading down to Fedwlydan Farm.  Here we go through a gate (after a struggle to untie all the bailer twine) that leads to the public access route along the farm drive.  This is one of those routes where you get a sense that walkers are not entirely welcome despite the footpaths.  We are looking for a public route on our left but it is not immediately obvious, unlike the signs which tell us where there is no access!  Perhaps I lost concentration mithering about the gate, but I am not sure there is signage of the public route.

We reach the minor single-track road at the top of the farm drive and turn left following it down to the small hamlet of FFynnon Gynydd.  Here there is an elaborate shelter, which on closer inspection we discover is covering a well.  Inside the shelter there is a memorial inscription “Erected in loving memory of Walter Fenwick de Winton Aged 27 who died in Central Africa March 28 1892 serving God his Country and his fellow men.  Draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

After the shelter we turn left and follow the road out of the village and then take the second footpath on our left that leads across a field into Cilcenni Dingle, we follow the path across this attractive wooded valley and then through fields to Gaer.  We are climbing again and get views of the Black Mountains as we near the farm.

On leaving the field we reach a very narrow lane and turn right.  Soon we reach Bryn yr Hydd common and take the footpath leading down through woodland to Pen-yr-heol.  There is a very small cottage here awaiting renovation.

Now we turn right and follow the lane down to Llowes and join the A438 turning left and following besides the road for just over half a mile before taking the Wye Valley Walk signs on the right leading down to the River Wye.

This is just what I promised Lynnie, a walk besides the river, however, she had not bargained for the ten and a half miles to reach it!

The river flows very slowly and is a tranquil places, but the erosion of the bank demonstrates there are times when this must be a raging torrent.

Strolling along the riverbank we watch the wildlife, there is a Heron looking for its evening meal.

Then around the corner cracking scenes of the sunset reflecting on the still water.

We follow the Wye Valley Walk signs that lead above the river and then away across fields to reach the B4351, here we turn left and within a few hundred yards take the right turn back to Tirmynach Farm CL.  Our walk has covered close to thirteen miles, further than Lynnie anticipated, she has acquired a painful knee on route, so I might have to look for an easier trek tomorrow.

24th April 2017

[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map OL13 – Brecon Beacons National Park Eastern Area]

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)



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