News July 2016 

30th August - Beacons Way Part 4 Cwmdu - Llangynidr

Another half-day walk, we used bikes to make this a lovely circular trip. Leaving the village of Cwmdu, nestling in the Rhiangoll valley, we discovered a new hidden "cwm" before emerging on the ridge of Mynydd Llangors and great views up and down the Usk valley. A bit of road walking and then the narrow Llangynidr Bridge took us to the Mon & Brec canal and the ever-welcoming Coach & Horses pub!

27th July - A Brecon Beacons Tour

Merthyr Tydfil is branding itself as the Gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park and it is from here that Jason, currently working in Hong Kong, and his father started exploring the park. Rob picked them up from their premium B&B "Studios at Glenthorne" and first explored the Taf Fechan valley before having one of Rob's famous packed lunches. We explored the serene Mon & Brec Canal at Talybont and the Llangynidr locks before heading over to Llangors Lake, the largest natural lake in southern Wales. Having enjoyed the tranquility from the Llangasty side we ventured to the popular side and considered the ingenuity of the ninth century crannog builders. Over a mountain pass to enjoy a stunning view of the Brecon Beacons and down to the Mynydd Ddu tearooms and the award winning bara brith, bread pudding and quiche. Duly replete we headed back over the hills to Cyfarthfa Castle and Merthyr Tydfil. Remember each day's tour is unique and tailored to the individual interests and needs of the clients.

26th July - Freedom in the hills!

So many of us take for granted mobility and the freedom to walk where we please. But for Maurice, suffering from a degenerative disease of the leg muscles, who has been unable to walk for over ten years, this day was a special one. Using the Boma 7, "Boswell", owned by the ecotravelnetwork, was brought by Rob up to the Black Mountains and Begwn hills. Along with Hanika, Maurice's wife, we had a great day. For Maurice it was the simple joy of being able to go for a walk in the mountains with his wife. If you suffer from mobility issues and would like to get out into the countryside with Boswell, then contact us and we'll arrange a day specially for you.

23rd July - Black Mountains hillwalking

A group of four intrepid walkers set out from London to spend a relaxing weekend at The Gliffaes Hotel, near Crickhowell. They joined Rob for a day's hillwalking on the beautiful Black Mountains. We started at Pengenffordd, happily over a thousand feet above sea level, and followed the ridge of Y Grib, or The Dragon's Back, onto the plateau with extraordinary views northwards towards Snowdonia and the Shropshire hills. A fair wind kept the humidity down as we climbed Waunfach, the highest of the "Blacks" at 2,660'. As the runners of the Waun Fach fell race passed us, we witnessed South Wales spread out before us with the distant Exmoor and Cotswolds in view. A gentle, if lengthy, descent brought us down to the verdant Rhiangoll valley and the welcoming village of Cwmdu, whose excellent tearooms had sadly shut up shop for the day. This was Carla's first serious mountain day and with over 10 miles and 2,000' of climbing, she was justifiably proud.

Belen, Daniel, Carla & Hossam enjoying a well-earned "elevenses".

18th July - Wild Wye swimming

With temperatures approaching 30 Celsius, the beautiful Rectory Pool on the Wye at Boughrood is the place to be. And not a soul to be seen.

River Wye - The Rectory Pool, Boughrood

16th & 17th July - Kilimanjaro training in Mid Wales.

Shenshen and Kalika, from London, took a weekend break at "Swnygwy - The Sound of The Wye" and had two days out in the hills with Rob. Saturday was spent in the Brecon Beacons where we climbed the three highest Beacons in weather that might best be described as "disappointing for July!" Sunday saw us on Aberedw Rocks, above the upper Wye Valley and then on Mynydd Troed in The Black Mountains.

14th July - Elan Valley cycle round

Just a quick loop of the Elan Valley of 17miles on my road bike. I was rather pleased with a time of 73 minutes until I was told that 45 minutes was the record and anything under an hour was "respectable"! Anyway The valley is well worth a cycle (or drive or walk) be it on road or off road. I didn't have time to take photos but here are some taken earlier. Amazingly the lowest dam, Caban Coch was over-topping creating an amazing display!

 

10th July - Beacons Way Part 3 Crickhowell - Cwmdu

Just a half day, and not a great one, to be honest. We climbed up from the thriving little market town of Crickhowell, up an overgrown lane until we escaped to the field paths to climb the iconic Table Mountain, the site of a British hillfort. On rejoining our last walk we headed around the bulk of Pen Cerrig Calch, following the boundary between the "in-bye" land and the "ffridd" i.e. the open common land. All of the Black Mountains are common land which means that registered commoners have the right to graze their animals, reap fern and collect firewood from their designated common. For the rest of us, it means that we have a right to roam on foot, which is a wonderful part of the Welsh mountain experience.

With steady rain and bracken, or fern, growing over our heads in places, this was not one of our best days out. We were relieved to drop down to the beautiful Rhiangoll valley and the tiny village of Cwmdu, replete with its excellent Mynydd Ddu Tearooms.

8th July 2016 - New Llandeilo Station hub opens.

Today the Heart of Wales Line Development Company opened the new station hub at Llandeilo. It is planned that the new building will provide a meeting place for local groups and enterprises. Liz Hills of Rural-Concierge will be producing a series of tours and short breaks based along the scenic line that runs between Swansea and Shrewsbury through the Heart of Wales.

6th July - In the sea of Pembrokeshire.

Newgale beach was the scene of a kayak, surf and swim in the beautiful St. Bride's Bay, Pembrokeshire today. No photos, sorry - too busy getting wet!

5th July 2016 - An afternoon in heaven (Lane cycling in Breconshire)

Where else could you cycle on public roads for two hours and not be passed by a single car in all that time? In July? On a sunny afternoon? Mid Wales is the answer! We've just had a lovely cycle along the lanes of Breconshire with great views over the Brecon Beacons National Park. Hearing the skylark on the wing and seeing the red kite soaring above us, we then returned to the Wye Valley at Boughrood via a few "dingly dells" and along one public road that heasn't seen a car for years! If you fancy an escape from urban living, why not join us exploring Mid Wales!

4th July Prime Cymru Green Awards

Please click here for videos of finalists.

3rd July Herefordshire Triathlon

I finished 100th / 185 so not too bad! A lovely day in and around Leominster. If you fancy a try at tri then a sprint event like this is ideal - 400m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run. It's fun - honest!

1st July The Beacons Way Part 2 The Priory to St Peter's (Llanthony - Llanbedr)

Our second instalment of the bewautiful Beacons Way saw us dump our car in the picturesque village of Llanbedr as we cycled 10 miles through the silent green lanes that fringe the Black Mountains to arrive in the verdant Vale of Ewyas (named after the ancient British kingdom). A few more miles up the vale brought us back to Llanthony and the Augustine priory.

Here we left our bikes and struck first up to Bal Bach on the FFawyddog (beeches) ridge. This long ridge is the second of the Black Mountains' four main ridges that run south from the main escarpment. Next we descended into the deep forested valley of the Gwyrne Fawr and a lovely baptist chapel beside the stream. Climbing again we reached Patrishow church, which is an absolute gem and includes original wall paintings and an intricate rood screen.

More climbing took us to 1,800 foot Crug Mawr at the foot of the Gader Fawr ridge, from where we were blessed with lovely views of the Sugar loaf, one of wales' most shapely hills.

Down again past many "D of E" students to the Gwyrne Fechan stream before a final climb to Table Mountain (the slightly less famous one) which overlooks Crickhowell. 

12 mile walk, 3,000 ascent and a ten mile cycle meant that we fully deserved a great meal at The Half Moon Inn, Llanthony. A proper pub - darts, local cider and well cooked food!

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