Ty Canol Woods area walk with David Michaels.
The weather was grey and overcast for the 21 walkers congregating at the Pentre Ifan Urdd Centre car park on Saturday morning 30 December 2017. Public car parking is limited meaning we also had to make use of the centre's car park too.
The walk started at the 15th century buildings of the centre and headed east across the fields to the equally ancient farm at Trewern. The state of the path from the farm through the woods and up to the lane was a sign of things to come consisting mainly of ankle deep mud.
After half a mile on the road we turned up and passed Fachongle Ganol, and into Ty Canol woods proper. The path meanders uphill through ancient oak woodlands. After 2 miles or so we stopped for an early lunch on top of a small outcrop called Carn Llwyn. Just prior to lunch I took the ramblers to see the Druid's Cave at the base of the outcrop. The cave is difficult to find but worth the effort for the story of the conscientious objector who hid out in the cave during the first world war (for details of the story google 'Druid's cave, Ty Canol') and the Victorian graffiti on the stones within. The top of Carn Llwyn offers fine views of Mynydd Carn Ingli and Newport beach.
Following lunch we followed the path uphill passed the four tors of Carnedd Meibion-Owen and started the descent across waterlogged fields to Brynberian. Crossing the stiles in these fields proved to be an event in themselves, the first having a 6 foot drop into a ditch and the second being incumbent and precarious. We picked up the bridleway in Brynberian to Tirnewydd. This path excited our countryside officer with its fine specimens of fungus.
We followed wet fields to the lane above Craig Rhos y Felin and headed towards Maesybeddau Farm. Once past the farm we headed up the hill and across the fields to the lane above the Pentre Ifan burial chamber.We entered Ty Canol woods into the section known as the Ugly Wood / Hagr y Coed and followed the ancient and very wet and muddy and rock strewn paths back to the Pentre Ifan Urdd Centre. The distance was approximately 7 miles and 960 feet of total ascent.
Text by David Michaels. Images by Madeleine Bland