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Waum Rydd from Cornwall Farm

Waum Rydd from Cornwall Farm


Postby Verylatestarter » Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:44 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Waun Rydd

Date walked: 04/05/2021

Time taken: 7.5

Distance: 23.3 km

Ascent: 903m

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We had a week in the Brecon Beacons in early May; the forecast was uncertain but turned out to be good. We stayed at a cottage in Cornwall farm just uphill from the village of Pencelli which is in the Usk valley, The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal runs through the village. If you are not staying at the farm you can park in the decent sized car park for the church just South out of the village (map ref SO087245) which is on the route. I have described the route from this car park not the farm.

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Approaching Pencelli church from the East

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Ancient Yew trees in the church yard

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Pencelli Church


The mediaeval church is at the end of the lane, a striking feature of the churchyard is a set of massive ancient yew trees, the footpath winds around the churchyard and turns right (West) in the driveway of a house; it drops down to a small stream in a wooded valley and then up the opposite side into open grassland. It crosses a minor road which we turned left onto; we should have turned left after about 250m but missed the gate and nearly ended up at a farm. Tracking back we found the footpath running along a very old hedge sloping uphill in a Southwesterly direction. This goes over a fence onto the open moorland picking up another footpath which passed to the right of a small hill (Bryn – 562m).

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farm lane

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Cornwall Farm from the West

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Pen y Fan in the distance

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Old trackway up the slope of Bryn

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On the flanks of Bryn

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The moor above Bryn

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View from Bryn across the Caerfanell valley showing part of the route of the next days walk

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Llangorse Lake and the Black Hills beyond



The path continues in a straightish line to a col at 736m, with great view of the main ridge to the west, the spurs of Fan y Big, Cribyn and Pen y Fan predominate. It was clear that there were many people out in the hills to enjoy the good weather; we were the only ones approaching from the North. From the col it was a short stroll over to the top of Waum Rydd at 769, more of an open moor than a hill.

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On the West flank of Waum Rydd

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The escarpment looking towards Pen y Fan



There were large numbers of walkers along the Graig Fan Las path down into the valley below. We took the more Easterly route below the Cwar y Gigfran spur, visiting the site of the Wellington Bomber crash site. Most people walked to the crash site and back but we continued across rough, pathless, ground southwards and then struck off Southeast, aiming for the corner of the forestry plantation at grid SO062182. We had lunch by the banks of the Caerfanell stream, and then proceeded downstream through thin wood and scrublands coming out onto the valley road at the river bridge.

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The crash site

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Cwar y Gigfran

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Looking back to Cwar y Gigfran

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Above the Caerfanell

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Approaching the stream

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Along the stream bank

We had two options at this point, either walk South up the road and pick up the Taff Trail/Beacons Way high up on the other side of the valley , or walk north along the road which passed along the West side of the Talybont reservoir. We chose the latter as this was easier going, along a new tarmac road. The general scenery was great, the woods banking up on either side of the valley, although the shores of the reservoir itself was pretty boring, with little bird or wildlife. After a 6Km hike we came to the dam and the hamlet of Aber, after a few houses we picked up a footpath, which led off to the right and along the bank of the Caerfanell . This was a gentle walk with the stream pleasant and cooling. We came out on the road again just before the village of Tallybont on Usk. We walked up the road to the canal bridge and over, stopped at a shop for tea and cakes which we ate near the village hall cycle hub.

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Passing canal traffic

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Local wildlife

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Canal approaching Pencelli


After the hills and the long road the canal walk was a delight, the mature trees overhanging the water, the wildlife and the views of the river valley all made the time and distance pass quickly. Approaching the village of Pencelli we passed the castle camp site where the bridge was blocked and then passed under the road bridge and crossed the canal at the next bridge which brought us out at the road back to the church and Cornwall farm.

Note: a shorter version, missing out a lot of road and a lot of stream, can be had by taking the path East from the summit of Waum Rydd, across the moor and down into the valley at the dam.
Verylatestarter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 81
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Re: Waum Rydd from Cornwall Farm

Postby Phil the Hill » Thu Jan 27, 2022 2:08 pm

Useful report, thanks. I'd been planning to do Waun Rydd from Pencelli on my next visit to the Beacons.
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Phil the Hill
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Posts: 386
Munros:266   Corbetts:27
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Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:136
Wainwrights:63   Islands:12
Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Wallington, Surrey

Re: Waum Rydd from Cornwall Farm

Postby Verylatestarter » Thu Jan 27, 2022 9:19 pm

Phil

hopefully you can miss out or bypass the miles of tarmac; it's a quiet road but seems very monotonous.

Enjoy your trip.

John
Verylatestarter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 81
Munros:26   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   
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Joined: Oct 14, 2020
Location: East Anglia

Re: Waum Rydd from Cornwall Farm

Postby Phil the Hill » Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:47 pm

Verylatestarter wrote:Phil

hopefully you can miss out or bypass the miles of tarmac; it's a quiet road but seems very monotonous.

Enjoy your trip.

John


Thanks!

I was thinking of descending the East ridge of Waun Rydd, taking the short stretch of road beneath the dam, then taking the footpath on the other side of the valley back to the Canal.

Phil
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Phil the Hill
Walker
 
Posts: 386
Munros:266   Corbetts:27
Grahams:6   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:136
Wainwrights:63   Islands:12
Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Wallington, Surrey

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