Llandrindod Wells - A Centre for Walking
In 1896, when "The Ramblers Illustrated Guide to Llandrindod Wells" was written by W J. Bufton, he began the section on walks and footpaths as follows: "For an enjoyable walk the visitor to Llandrindod Wells has not to go far out of the town. He is no sooner out of his lodgings than he finds himself in the midst of charming and varied scenery, and he can take no road or footpath without catching a glimpse of beauty in the surrounding countryside, which makes walking a real pleasure".
One hundred years have passed since the publication of that guide, but the sentiments expressed still apply. Llandrindod Wells is blessed by being in the centre of some of the most beautiful, peaceful and unspoilt countryside in Britain. Armed with 0S Pathfinder maps numbers 970 and 992, and suitable walking shoes and clothing (just in case it rains), walkers, experienced or casual, can spend many happy hours following the footpaths radiating from the town, many of which are now waymarked. A short journey by car, rail or bus takes the walker into the remoter regions of West Radnorshire, from where many footpaths lead to the 'Green Desert of Wales'.
The many and varied routes cater for a wide diversity of interests - photography or sketching; geography or history; bird watching or botany - the scope is endless, with much easy walking and superb long distance views when the weather is right.
Although many footpaths are now waymarked, the walker must ensure that unmarked routes use public rights of way. Providing the farmers' property is respected, gates are closed, animals left undisturbed and litter taken home, an enjoyable day is guaranteed. However, remember the weather can change very quickly in all seasons and the correct clothing and footwear for wet weather and rough terrain is recommended.
From Llandrindod Lake a path is signposted through the woods which rise above the lake. This leads out onto an open hillside with a stony cairn, 1,165ft above sea-level, visible on the horizon. It is well worth a visit and affords spectacular views of the Brecon Beacons to the south and Plynlimon to the north west. Further on the walker soon joins the old drovers' road across Pawl-hir which overlooks Llandegley Rocks and, beyond that, the sensuous undulations of the Radnor Forest. An alternative route leads down to Carregwiber Farm, with a road off to the right just before the dip into the farm leading to Howey, a small village which can boast two country inns offering good food and drink. A signposted path back to Llandrindod via the Old Parish Church completes an enjoyable circular walk.
An alternative circular walk from the town can be made by following the road around the lake and up to the golf links, passing the Hall Farm and Llandrindod Old Parish Church on the right. About half a mile beyond the clubhouse a road turns off to the left and drops down into the quaintly named 'Happy Valley', which in the spring is bedecked with a carpet of bluebells. This lovely walk leads to Shakey Bridge, a local beauty spot with a picnic site available for public use. From the road next to the picnic site, cross the river Ithon by the footbridge known locally as Shakey Bridge (fortunately it is no longer shaky) and follow a path to the isolated Cefnllys Church, still used for regular worship. Perhaps you will have a few moments to rest awhile in this haven of peace and tranquillity, before attempting the stiff climb up Castle Bank directly opposite the church. This leads to the site of Cefnllys Castle, now little more than a pile of rubble. The views offered from this vantage point are breathtaking, with the meandering River Ithon far below, surrounding the hill on three sides and proving the worth of the site in earlier days for fortifications. Returning to Shakey Bridge, follow the road up the steep hill and past Bailey Einon farm back to Llandrindod Wells.
These are but a couple of the many choices available to visitors, whether they be experienced walkers or just out for a couple of hours in the beautiful surroundings on offer. Details of these and other walks are available in the Information Centre located in the Town Hall in Temple Street. Given the weather, the visitor who wishes to get away from the stresses of living and working today could do no better than make use of Llandrindod Wells as an ideal centre for a walking holiday.
Reproduced with kind permission
from the booklet 'Llandrindod Wells Town Guide'
copyright Llandrindod Wells & District Chamber of Trade Visit http://www.llandrindod.co.uk
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