mONDAY 21ST AUGUST: A guided walk from gospel pass, over hay bluff (677m) and offa's dyke down into hay
highlights of the walk
1. Gospel Pass which featured in the opening scenes of An American Werewolf in London (1981) because it was a cheaper alternative to filming in Northern England.
2. A pleasant 3km of walk above 600m giving fine views of the Wye Valley to the north.
3. A section of the Offa's Dyke National Trail.
4. A detour onto Hen Allt Common to view the rare, in the wild, Autumn Crocus.
tThe group of 5 met in Hay-on-Wye main car park and then travelled up to Gospel Pass where my planned route began for the 12km walk back to Hay-on-Wye. It didn't take us long to get up to Gospel Pass ( 549m) and we were soon on the steep section of path up to the 650m contour and then along the escarpment to Hay Bluff (677m) where we paused for coffee.
Heading southeast to Llech y Lladron we joined Offa's Dyke to begin our walk back to Hay-on-Wye. Crossing the road onto the most northern part of Hay Common we paused for lunch at the Quarry (disused) which gave us some shelter from the strong winds.
After lunch we continued northwards through Cadwgan Farm which was well maintained and a sign even offered water on request which was nice to see. A little further on I'd planned a slight detour onto Hen Allt Common to see the Autumn Crocus which I thought would be in flower, a rare sight in the wild. I'd managed the common whilst employed as an Area Manager with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. On many Wednesdays, with my Volunteer Wardens, we worked under the supervision of the National Park Ecologists to manage the common. These days, it was more of a forgotten wilderness with broken duckboarding but we did see what we were looking for.
Rejoining the Offa's Dyke we were soon back in Hay-on-Wye to enjoy a coffee and a visit to the Rohan Designs shop there.
Many thanks to Wendy for driving me back to Gospel Pass to collect my car. I think it's fair to see we'd all enjoyed the 12km walk.
FEEDBACK FROM WENDY
The Gospel Pass ascent of Hay Bluff is little work for a big reward. The remoteness of the mountain tops and views afforded were superb. A treat was to get to see an area of Autumn crocus, which none of us knew about, except Alan. It’s always nice to have an eclectic walk offering a host of different terrains - mountains, National trails, wooded pathways, wooden bridges and ending up in the lovely town of Hay on Wye for a coffee and a mooch around. It was great to see the national trail signs attached to the stone monuments of the mountains.
a few images by wendy
Following on from retirement, more time will be available for hill and mountain walking on a personal basis with friends.