Beneath a wonderfully changeable sky and in the company of Alan Bowring the Geopark Development Officer our lucky group walked part of the eastern edge of Brecon Beacons National Park descending Clydach Gorge through beautiful beech woods.
Starting from Llangattock Wharf on the Brecon and Monmouth canal. We learned about production of powdered lime for transporting down the canal. This point is only 10 minutes from our group of cottages on the Beaufort Road – Usk, Sugarloaf, Valley View, Trelawney, Vine Tree, Paddock View, Courtyard and Oaktree.
As the weather changed we climbed Llangattock hillside tracking the old tramroad to view part of the limestone escarpment and disused lime kilns. (TIP: If you see a rabbit hole with white powder at the entrance it is likely you have found an old lime kiln!)
We crossed Llangynidr and Llangattock moors towards Brynmawr to descend Clydach Gorge following another tramroad. The gorge has the greatest number of disused tramroads in Wales , most of these are now footpaths or cycle tracks leading through beautiful beech woodland and over dramatic bridges where the river Clydach drops away in a tumultuous rush.
The evidence of bygone ages – quarries, limeworks, tunnels and tramroads leads us to the ironworks at the bottom of the gorge where the ruins stand cathedral-like a stone’s throw from Hayman’s Old Stable Cottage.
There are so many ways to enjoy this area I am already planning to come back and cycle another route from the canal at Llanfoist via Clydach ending at Llangattock Wharf.