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1 February 2015
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Llanllugan to Caersws

What you do here depends on your interests - Roman roads, grange sites or medieval churches. One possible route south from Llanllugan follows the Roman road known locally as the Sarn Sws and cuts across two grange sites. From the church at Llanllugan, walk down the hill and turn left to cross the river. Walk up a steep sunken road on the other side to join the B4390, then fork left almost immediately. In about ½ mile the road goes through a small plantation of pine trees. Take the second track to the right and climb up Mynydd Clogau. This is an ancient trackway, marked by Bronze Age burial cairns and, at its south-western end, a standing stone.

Turn left after about a mile and walk down a surfaced farm track. The track goes through a gate and meets another track leading to the right to Heath Farm. A footpath is marked on the map running south-west from the junction of the two tracks, past Heath Farm and over the Bechan brook. Unfortunately, this has been blocked by a new barbed wire fence near the brook. It is easier to walk along the track to the left, away from Heath Farm, then to turn right and follow another roughly surfaced track across another smaller brook just below Heath Farm.

Turn left just after the brook and follow the lane down the line of the hedge to meet the public footpath at the Court. This farm was the centre of Whitland’s huge Celynog Grange. Follow the track past the Court, passing to the right of a plantation of firs, then bear left to go past Ffrwd-wen and follow the track until it becomes a metalled road.

From this point you can follow the road, turning right at the T junction then left along the drive to the Observatory. (Just before the entrance to the drive, the Pathfinder map marks an embankment - this may be the line of the Roman road) The footpath goes down some steps through the garden and orchard of the Observatory - the owners seem quite happy about this and even showed us the way.

Cross the stile at the bottom and follow the waymarks to cross a new footbridge where the path has been diverted around the farmyard at Alltyffynnon. The Montgomeryshire footpaths officer has been doing some excellent work here, waymarking paths and negotiating alternative routes so that they do not go through gardens and farm yards. It can be done, even with limited resources, if there is good will on both sides. The footpath then goes down the drive of Alltyffynnon to join the metalled road leading to Caersws.

Alternatively, where the lane from Ffrwd-wen becomes a metalled road, take the faint footpath to the left and skirt to the north of the hill to join the lane to Ty’n-y-graig. Turn left along the lane then right to go through the farmyard and through a gate. The gates have been waymarked with yellow insulating tape - a cheap and effective technique which we saw again later in the walk. Once you are on the open hillside the track bears right then left along a field boundary. Follow the boundary, which becomes a bank and ditch.

This is the ‘Abbot’s Ditch’, the dyke which was constructed by the monks to mark the boundary of their grange. At this point it is followed by the parish boundary. The track bears away to the right of the track, across the fields. When the track joins a metalled lane, turn right and follow the road down to Caersws.

We walked this route in 1998 in the company of a local farmer. He was worried about the way we crossed farmland and went through farm yards and gardens. He suggested as an alternative that we should continue on the old trackway over Mynydd Clogau, coming down to the metalled road west of Llyn y Tarw then using roads or footpaths to cut across to Llanwnnog and so to Caersws.

Start as for the route through the grange sites. From the church at Llanllugan, walk down the hill and turn left to cross the river. Walk up a steep sunken road on the other side to join the B4390, then fork left almost immediately. In about ½ mile the road goes through a small plantation of pine trees. Take the second track to the right and climb up Mynydd Clogau.

The track over Mynydd Clogau is now a roughly-metalled road to (yet another) wind farm. After the turbines it becomes a stony track with magnificent views east to the Kerry ridge and west as far as Pumlumon and Carair Idris. In about 3 miles the track becomes a metalled road above Llyn Mawr (a Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust reserve). At the fork in the road, turn right then left at the telephone box in Bwlchygarreg.

A green lane should go right in about 3/4 mile, at 016 953, but it is fenced off. About 1/4 mile further on, a hollow lane (not a right of way) goes right along the edge of the field and through a gate. At 015 949 the green lane, track and bridleway meet. Walk along the stone wall and through a gate to the open moor. The well-worn track goes round to the left but this meets a forest road used for extreme downhill biking. Instead, continue on the same line down the slope and pick up a track along the bottom of the forest. This eventually goes into the forest and meets the main forest road. A faint track goes straight on to a stile out of the forest. Continue on the same line over a series of well waymarked stiles to Llanwnnog.

Walk through Llanwnnog and turn left on the B4568. A minor road goes left to the vicarage. Pass two houses and a hollow lane then go through a waymarked gate on the right and follow the hedge to the left. Go through a gate and bear slightly left to a stile in the far hedge, then bear slightly right to the next stile. Cross the stile and a footbridge and bear slightly right to the far right corner of the field. Cross a stile, follow the hedge to your right and go through a gate just before a bend in the hedge.

Walk diagonally across the field and through a gate then continue on the same line to cut across the corner of the next field. Go through another gate and bear right across the field to a stile in the far hedge. Continue on the same line to a footbridge in the far corner of the next field. Over the footbridge, walk up the hedge to your right, over a stile, along the hedge to the right and over another stile and footbridge. Bear right across the next field, over a stile, and bear left to the road. Turn left and walk into Caersws.

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Scotch cattle on Mynydd Clogau Looking west from Mynydd Clogau | Home | Back |
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