Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Beacons Way - Walk 4

Walk 4: Garreg Las

[map] [photos]

Monday, 8th May 2017

I arrived at the Llyn y Fan Fach car park at 11:30am. The car park itself is 1km beyond the end of the road leaving the village of Llanddeusant to the east, along a rough track that passes two farms.

Today's walk would be more like a "normal" walk up a hill. Starting from a car park in the valley, I was going to ascend a 635m hill, and then return. Simple.

The car park is quite popular with people walking up to Llyn y Fan Fach, but the walk up Garreg Las is much less well travelled. The car park itself is about 1km off the route of The Beacons Way, so I crossed the river (there's no bridge, but there are plenty of stones in it to aid crossing), and picked up a track that crosses Brest y Fedw and joins on to The Beacons Way route, which I then followed back down to the road. The official route follows the road into the village of Llanddeusant, but on the way out to collect my stone I followed the track to Gorsddu and then a footpath to Blaensawdde (which may be muddy after a wet spell), to emerge on the road below Gellygron. If you don't have pressing business in Llanddeusant you could use this short cut to avoid some road walking (although the views of Picws Du from the road are worth the extra walk). From here I was able to follow the official route back to the summit of Carreg yr Ogof and then to Garreg Las to retrieve my journey-stone...

From the twin Bronze Age cairns on the summit of Garreg Las the route continues along the ridge northwards over greener terrain, until you reach the rocky pavements and quarried outcrops on the summit plateau of Carreg Yr Ogof. There is a trig point here (585m - but not quite at the highest point). If you look at the aerial photos of the summit on Google Maps [link] the jaggies are not digital artifacts, the summit is actually like that.

Picking your way down through the remains of quarrying on the northern slopes of the summit (the entrance to the cave the peak is named for is at the base of a quarry about 100m north of the summit), you join a bridleway that leads down the grassy northern spur of the mountain towards the village of Llanddeusant. You leave the open hillside at a gate onto a green lane, and here is the first Beacons Way waymark we have seen in 17 km.

The green lane descends into the valley, and becomes a rocky track, and then a tarmac road. We cross the river by a bridge (with a commemorative stone marking its opening on 15th April 1929), and then the road climbs to the graveyard and church at Llanddeusant.

Follow the road leaving the village to the east, and after about 2km of quiet road walking the route branches right, back over the river (by a bridge opened on 11th February 1913, but recently refurbished), and then follow a stoney track by the river, which then begins to climb out of the valley up Brest y Fedw. At this point I returned to the car park.

Walk Distance: 15.1 km (9.4 miles), 4.4 hours.
Total: 4 walks, 71.9 km (44.7 miles), 19.2 hours
Beacons Way completed: 34.7 km (21.6 miles), 22.1%.

The next walk will also start from Llyn y Fan Fach Parking.


Caroline said...

Are you going to add any of your wonderful photos?

Jim said...

@Caroline: I've put some photos up on Facebook. This link should work [ ]