These guided hikes are not ordinary guided hikes. They are Scenery Explained interpretative hikes and are packed with information about why the scenery looks the way it does. They are led by geologist and Mountain Leader, James Cresswell, who uses his polar guiding experience to help you imagine how Wales would have looked like in the last Ice Age.
The hikes listed might take longer than listed time depending on the length of our discussions. If the hike ends up taking longer than advertised there will be no increase in price.
2015 Dates: June 27th until August 25th
Brecon Beacons: Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays only
Start: Either hike start point, your accommodation in the Brecon Beacons N.P. area, Abergavenny train station, Brecon bus interchange or Hay-on-Wye bus stop (depending on times)
Gower: Wednesday mornings only
Start: hike start point, or your accommodation in the Brecon Beacons N.P. area
£35 per person (Group size 4 -7)
Minimum spend £140. Please make contact to discuss larger group price
£25 per person (Group size 4-7)
Minimum spend £100. Please make contact to discuss larger group prices
£20 per person (Group size 4 -7)
Minimum spend £80. Please make contact to discuss larger group price
(EASTERN BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK)
RIDGE OF THE BLACK MOUNTAINS WALKING FROM THE DOOR OF TARA B&B
Start and End: Tara B&B, Felindre. We walk from the door.
Length: 10 miles (16.5 km)
Height Ascended: 680 metres
Description: We walk from Tara B&B through Hay Forest, where a wonderful waterfall flowing over the Bishop Frome limestone can be seen, and on to the common below Lord Hereford’s Knob. We then ascend Rhiw y Fan checking out the strata of the Old Red Sandstone. We then walk right along the ridge of Black Mountains (Rhos Dirion) all the way to Cwm y Nant. We admire this glacial Cwm pictured above and descend the Dragon’s back making our way back to Felindre.
LORD HEREFORD’S KNOB (TWMPA) AND HAY BLUFF
Start and End: The Stone Circle grid ref: SO239 373
Length: 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Description: Starting at the Stone Circle we first climb to the summit of Hay Bluff learning about the Old Red Sandstone and harder calcrete layers. From here there are wonderful views of the Wye Valley. We then head along the mountain top, and descend to Gospel Pass the highest road in the National Park. Here we lead that a vein of lead ore was worked out from here and discuss if glaciers ever spilled through this gap. We then climb to the top of Lord Hereford’s Knob with more great views. Then we descend Rhiw Wen and study the excellent outcrops of Old Red Sandstone. We then return to the Stone Circle via the country lane at the bottom of the mountain.
THE FFOREST FAWR GEOPARK
(WESTERN BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK)
PEN-Y-FAN AND THE BRECON BEACONS HORSESHOE
Start and End: Cwm Gwdi (SO 024 428)
Length: 9.5 miles / 15.3 km
Height Ascended: 736 metres
Description: This walk takes in the 3 highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons and is arguably the finest mountain walk in South Wales. We start by climbing up to the foot of Cribyn. There is then an exhasting steep climb to the top of Cribyn. Here we discuss glacial features and the Old Red Sandstone. We then descend to a gap on the mountain ridge, and start to climb to the summit of Pen-y-Fan (886m) the highest peak in southern Britain. Next is the lower summit of Corn Du and then we continue down to Lly Cwm Llwch this the best example of cirque, glacial lake and moraine in the National Park, an an excellent place to discuss glaciology. We then further descend back to the starting place.
Start and End: Car park at Porth yr Ogof (Grid ref: SN 928 123)
Length: 9.5 miles (15.3 km)
Description: This area has the highest concentration of waterfalls in Wales. We start at Porth yr Ogof, the largest cave opening in Wales and make our way past several waterfalls to the magnificent Sgwd yr Eira waterfall that you can walk behind. We then continue through the forest to Dinas Rock and Bwa Maen which is an impressive fold from the Variscan Orogeny. When then pass the Farewell rock and fossil plant remains continuing to Sgwd Gwladus the ‘Lady Waterfall’ which is considered by many to be the most beautiful. We then continue along the side of the Nedd Fechan past several more waterfalls to eventually return to our starting place.
CRIBARTH AND HENRHYD WATERFALL
Photo ©Alan Bowring
Start and End: Craig-y-nos Country Park (SO 840 154)
Length: 8.5 miles (13.7 km)
Description: We start my climbing to the summit of Cribarth a mountain also known as the Sleeping Giant. This maountain is made of limestone and as we climb it is possible to find fossil corals. On the moutnain we admire the view and learn about the quarry workings and industrial revolution. We then walk the length of Cribarth and descend down into the village of Abercraf. From there we follow the beautiful gorge of the Rivetr Llech until we reach Henrhyd Falls. These falls the highest in SOuth Wales flow over the Farewell rock the lowest bed of the coal measures. We then return to our starting point via country lanes.
BLACK MOUNTAIN / CARMARTHEN FANS
Start and End: SN 797 238 near Llanddeusant
Length: 7.2 miles (11.6 km)
Height Ascended: 653 metres
Description: This walk is very much wilder than the Pen-y-Fan walk, and there will be far fewer other people walking it . We start by walking up a track to Llyn-y-Fan Fach. Here we learn about the legend of the lady of the lake and see Upper Old Red Sandstone resting unconformably on the Lower Old Red sandstone. We talk about the formation of the Old Red Sandstone and why the boulders here are made from conglomerate. We also look at the very well preserved glacial moraines and discuss their formation. After this we head to Bwlch Blaen Twrch and up to the summit of Picws Du (749) this is the highest point of the hike and the highest point in Carmarthenshire. We then head along the ridge of Bannau Sir Gaer looking out for organic remains in the Old Red Sandstone and admiring the view of the lake. We then head due west to a rocky hilltop of limestone. Here there is a caveand fossils to be seen. Finally we descend back to our starting place.
Start and End: Storey Arms car park (SN 982 203)
Length: 6 miles (10 km)
Description: This is a Fforest Fawr Geopark Geotrail, and is an excellent walk to learn about glaciation and climate change. We start at Storey Arms which is an ice divide with glaciated valleys stretching both north and south. We then climb up Bryn Du getting a good view of a glacial trimline. On the ridge there is a probable moraine and we discuss the Younger Dryas cooling event. We then head into the wonderful Craig Cerrig Gleisiad and discuss the glacier that would have created it. We then return to the starting place via the other side of Glyn Tarell.
Start and End: The National Park Visitors Centre near Libanus. (SN 978 262)
Length: 6.25 miles (10 km)
Description: This is a Fforest Fawr Geopark Geotrail. It is an easy flat walk. We admire the view of the Brecon Beacons peaks and discuss their glaciation. We also examine various rocks outcrops including one where the remains of a Devonian river channel can be seen in the Old Red Sandstone. We also walk throughTreath Mawr which is a bog and Site of Special Scientific interest, because it contains pollen from the ice ages and interglacials that give us a good way to date these events.
6 hours or Half Day
Start and End: Brecon Town Centre
Length: 8 miles (13 km) or 5 miles (8km)
Description: This hike takes in 2 or 3 of the Fforest Fawr Geopark published Geotrails:
(i) Brecon Geotrail (2.5 miles) which looks at the town’s building stones and rock out cops in the Honddu Valley.
(ii) Brecon River Usk Geotrail (2.5 miles) which looks at river deposits and flood protection.
(iii) Pen-y-crug Geotrail (3miles) This climbs up to the Roman Fort above the town.
RHOSSILI AND WORM’S HEAD
Start and End: Rhossili car park (SS 414 880)
Length: 5 miles 8 km
Description: A walk that examines the geology that creates the distinctive scenery of the Gower Peninsula. It will only be possible to cross the causeway to Worm’s Head on a falling tide.
Suggested 2015Dates for Worms’ Head:
Wednesday 6th May (low tide 14:23)
Wednesday 22nd July (low tide 15:51)
Wednesday 5th August (low tide 15:27)
Wednesday 19th August (low tide 14:37)
CASWELL BAY &LANGLAND BAY
Start and End: Caswell Bay carpark (SS 594 878)
Length: 2.5 miles (4 km)
Description: A walk that looks at Carboniferous Limestone, glacial deposits and the scenery in southeast Gower.
INCLUDED IN THESE HIKES
Guiding and interpretation from Mountain Leader and MSc. Geo-scientist.
A luxury homemade picnic lunch from Beeton For Time catering.
NOT INCLUDED IN THESE HIKES