A circular walk in the Vale of Ewyas and on the easternmost ridge of the Black Mountains - October 2004
A ‘nice day’ in the Black Mountains Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The lovely Helen Willetts, in her summary forecast the previous morning, had indicated that Friday would be "a nice day" (I'm not sure whether that is a bit of Met. Office jargon...). The weather in the Black Mountains wasn't particularly nice at first, however... The walk is that described on the excellent "Walking Britain" website -  "Walk 237 Cwmyoy & Hatterall Hill from Llanthony Priory". Starting from the Priory, where there is a free car park,
the route follows the vale southwards, at first using tracks and paths on the western side, before crossing the river and ascending to the tiny village of Cwmyoy, notable for its remarkable church, which makes the leaning tower of Pisa look quite sensible. Leaving the village, we enter Cwm Iau proper, skirting hillsides before climbing up to the ridge and Offa's Dyke path, which here marks the Welsh / English border. When we arrived in the vale, and during our walk to Cmwyoy, the mist had been down on the ridges, although as Cwmyoy and lunch approached, the sun was trying to break through. By the time we were on the ridge, the mist had gone. The views from the long walk along the ridge are extensive (though there was still some haze in the atmosphere) - and the contrast between the two sides is striking, with gentle rolling fields to the north-east, and ridge upon ridge of hill country to the west. We had seen the Priory some time earlier as we made our way along the ridge. Eventually we skirted around to the north, where a steep path descends, at first following rough ground, then across grassy fields back to the Priory, the car and the journey home. And, yes, it had been "a nice day"!
Starting out from Llanthony Toadstools in the woods View towards Cwmyoy - sun trying to break through... Cwmyoy church (yes, it really does lean like that...) From Cwm Iau - the view westwards On the ridge - not quite as straight as it looks on the map! "gentle rolling fields to the north-east" "and ridge upon ridge of hill country to the west" Descending to Llanthony View to Llanthony Llanthony Priory - last few yards of the walk

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