Long Distance Walks – guest post

During Lockdown it’s nice to reminisce over previous adventures. We thought you might enjoy reading this guest post from a loyal blog follower about his favourite long distance walk. On his recommendation Glyndwrs Way is on our to do list!

L & R

The UK is blessed with wonderful walks – many just the right length between incredible views and reasonable places for overnight stops.  We’ve met visitors from Australia and USA who come to the UK just because such walks are not possible with their huge distances between centres of habitation.  So which walk to do – mountains, or coastal paths or perhaps moorland?  Having done many long distance trails, the favourite so far has been the 135 mile horseshoe shaped walk “Glyndwr’s Way” which is perhaps the least known of the 15 National Trails of England and Wales.  The walk commemorates the rebellion against the English by Owain Glyndwr, proclaimed Prince of Wales in the early 15th century, and passes through much of the countryside where he fought the English.

As it is in Wales, the walk is inevitably full of hard-to-pronounce place names and comes with the continual fear of rain (although apart from one spectacular display of thunder and lightning while we were very exposed on the top of a hill, nervously holding our (conducting?) walking sticks, that fear was unfounded).  You are unlikely to see many other hikers on the route and I’m afraid there aren’t many tea shops but there are plenty of sheep (Wales has 10 million sheep and only some 3 million people)! 

It has varied, beautiful scenery between the charming mid-Wales towns. The trail is clearly signposted (we only got a bit lost once!) starting in Knighton literally on the Wales – England border, going all the way to Machynlleth which is not far from the Irish Sea coast, and then makes its way back to Welshpool. In fact, there are only four small towns on the entire route: Knighton, Llanidloes, Machynlleth and Welshpool.

With reasonable fitness it can be done in nine or ten days.  According to the guide book the total ascent is 23,556ft and one or two bits are really quite steep!

For me the highlights were probably the reservoir Llyn Clywedog and the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy (below) with its wonderful, many arched viaduct and dam but you spend much time on the walk with spectacular scenery while crossing open moorland (with sheep), working farmland (with sheep), river valleys (with sheep) and woodlands (yes, even some sheep there!).

We took a day off at Machynlleth to visit the Dyfi Osprey Project which is well run and worth visiting.

From a practical perspective, it is worth noting that some of the campsites, pubs and B&Bs in our guidebook were no longer open so careful research is vital.  However, everyone we met on the trip was friendly and helpful.

One for the Wombles

We’ve lots of followers in South West London – and in these days of restrictions on how far you can travel for exercise, I thought you might like to know about the Summerstown 182 blog .

The name relates to the 182 people on the memorial in St Mary’s church Summerstown which commemorates people who died in World War 1. However it covers lots more of the local history and has 25 self-guided local history walks you can do as your lockdown exercise.

Today I did the self-guided walk called Frankie goes to Collywood and it was very interesting. Learning about the history made my daily exercise walk in a familiar area much more fun.

Hope you’re all finding small ways to keep embracing your inner goat during lockdown.

L

What do you actually do when you go camping?

“When you’re camping, what do you actually do?”

That’s something we’re often asked.  In reality we do very little – by the time you’ve waited for the kettle to boil, had your cup of tea, trekked to the toilets, lit a fire, cooked your breakfast and eaten it, it’s about coffee time!  Then you realise you’re still in your pyjamas!!

So basically we cook, eat and poke the fire.

Occasionally we manage to fit in a little adventure between meals – usually a walk to explore the area.

Our latest stay was at Hook Farm.  We’ve been there loads of times, but we can never remember where we walked the time before.  So we’re going to start keeping a note of good things to do near West Hoathly.

We’ve also updated the Hook Farm campsite scores.

R & L