SIMON WHALEY

Radnor Ramble

The November 2019 issue of Country Walking contains a route I did around Radnor Forest and the quaint hamlet of Bleddfa, in Powys. If you’re looking for a route where you’d be hard push to meet another soul, this is it. (I met one man walking his dog and that was it.)

It begins at the Radnor Forest Fishpools car park and takes a wide, stone forest track into the woods. If you look carefully, you’ll pass the remains of a sighting tower, built by the Birmingham Water Corporation, to help monitor the construction of the 73-mile long pipeline linking Elan Valley with the second city.

Sighting Tower

The route continues through the forest, on wide tracks …

Wide forest tracks

But there are plenty of opportunities to glimpse some of the wonderful countryside that can be seen here.

Escaping the trees.

There’s some lane walking, although they’re extremely quiet.

Quiet country lanes.

Eventually, I reached the small hamlet of Bleddfa. The name Bleddfa is derived from Blaiddfau, which means ‘Place of Wolves’. You’d best keep an eye open at all times. The hamlet is also home to the Bleddfa Centre – a creative space, often running courses, exhibitions and events. There’s also a nice cafe there, if you’re in need of sustenance.

Just around the corner is St Mary Magdalene Church – just as tranquil as the village, and home to a fascinating display about the local area.

St Mary Magdalene Church – Bleddfa

This is one of the routes low points. I don’t mean a lack of interest, but altitude-wise. There now begins a gentle, but steady climb through the countryside.

Wales’s green and pleasant land

But, of course, as any walker knows, when you climb there is usually the reward of a great view … such as this one, which appears to stretch across most of Mid-Wales.

Mid-Wales Vista

It’s not long from here, until the route returns to the forest from whence it began. Definitely a quiet walk, in one of the quietest areas of Wales, I think.

The lower slopes of Black Mixen – the surprise of a Welsh Mountain (yes, it’s over 2,000 feet!)

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