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The blog is about places where we have stayed and been able to pursue our main activities of walking & cycling. It is not intended as a guidebook or detailed description of places which we have visited.

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Walking into History at Llandovery

Wales Posted on Sun, October 14, 2012 21:29:04

We stopped at Lllandovery , on our way to
Pembrokeshire, staying at the superb Erwlon Campsite, situated just outside of
the town on the A40.The full review can be seen at

Llandovery is an ancient historic market town, in the
past being heavily dependent on the drovers and historical references can be
seen throughout the town, such as the Black Ox Bank.

It also has a ruined medieval castle dominated by a superb statue
of Llywelwyn ap Gruffyd Fychan who was a local landowner whose prominence came
in 1401, with the arrival of Henry 1V of England at Llandovery, with his second
army. Henry had taken the English crown from Richard 2nd in 1399 and
spent most of his reign defending his crown from rebellions. One of the first
he had to contend with was that of Owain Glydwr, who claimed himself as Prince
of Wales in 1400, who then crushed Henry’s first army in 1401.

Later in 1401 Henry arrived at LLandovery and this is
where our hero fits it. Henry cajoled Llywelwyn into helping him track down
Owain Glydwyr but what happened is that Llywelwyn led Henry on a wild goose
chase and thus allowing Gldwyr to make good his escape. In true medieval style
Henry’s revenge was ruthless and he ordered that Llywelwyn be subject to the
gruesome and lingering death of being disembowelled, hung, drawn and quartered.

Llywelwyn’s remains were pickled and then sent to
various parts of the country as a reminder of the penalties for treason. Owain
Glydwyr was never betrayed.

Rest assured, nowadays you will receive a warm welcome,
no less than that received in the local tourist office who provided us with two
local walks, the first involving the visit to the castle. The second,
continueing our historical theme was the 8 mile circular walk via
Llwynywormwood to Myddfai.

At the village centre you can learn of the ancient
herbal remedies of the ‘physicians of Myddfai’ and even better you can get an
excellent tea and homemade cakes or light lunch made by the volunteers. When we
were there two coachloads of the local WI descended on the centre and with
military precision were catered for, none the less impressive for the fact that
they were expected. It was also great to hear them all talking in Welsh as they
left to visit the local church.

In conclusion a great two night stay at a superb site,
in an area of rolling hills with an attractive welcoming town and even complete with
red kites, reminding us of our home in the Chilterns.

Walking in Mid Wales

Wales Posted on Mon, September 24, 2012 12:59:39

We were staying at Erwlon Campsite at LLandovery on our way to South Pembrokeshire, so it made sense to do a detour to the Camping & Caravanning site at Rhandirmyn,only 7 miles away, & organise a walk from this site. As with all C & CC sites the facilities were immaculate and good value, using our age allowance. The fact that there was no mobile or TV coverage was an added bonus. (picture above is the C & CC site)

THE WALK, circular,to Llyn Brianne Dam approx 10 miles OS Landranger Series 146 – follows quiet country roads & tracks

1) Turn left out of the campsite and at the bridge (before crossing it) on the RHS take the footpath and follow the river. Follow this footpath for about 3/4 mile and then bear right to Nant y Bai and pick up the main road.

2)Turn left and follow this road to Dinas RSPB reserve (great for spotted flycatchers & redstarts in summer). Enter the reserve by the FP on your left and imediately turn right, you are then following the road you left, and continue along this footpath until you reach the boardwalk. Follow this until you exit & meet the road that you left. There is a picnic spot here which is ideal for lunch.

3)Turn left and continue to follow the road uphill until you reach the dam, Cross the dam and follow this around the reservoir. At the end of this track turn left and follow another track and continue downhill until you reach the farm (you will see this in the distance).

4)At the farm, the track meets a road, turn left and follow this road, crossing the river twice and at the 2nd crossing you meet the main road that you followed coming up.

5)Turn right and about a mile down this road turn right (you should see a sign for the pub) and cross the river at the girder bridge to the Towy Arms for a well deserved drink. (It also does good value food).

6)Continue on this side of the river and turn right, but before you do, read the board at the bridge telling you about the area. Follow this road for about a mile and then take the turning to the right. You follow this down to the bridge where you started and back to the campsite.

The picture below is when you descend from the reservoir to the farm at no 3