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The Group meets monthly, on a day arranged by the designated walk organiser, for a walk of about 6 to 9 miles. New members are always welcome. See below for dates of forthcoming walks and events.
THE 2014 LONG WALKS SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
Contact Steve Monaghan
Fortunately, Jim Bostock had chosen the day between two storms to lead his February 2014 meander around Merthyr Mawr Warren and the 6 strong party had spring-like sunshine for at least half of the walk. There were rain flurries and a cold wind as we gathered at “The Ancient Briton” pub in Newton, but conditions had much improved by start time. We passed the 12th Century church on our way into the extensive system of dunes, with the numerous ponds in low-lying areas testament to the heavy rainfall of recent months. Jim showed us the disused rifle range (used in WW2, but possibly having origins in the 19th Century), but we decided not to search for the base of the old windmill which he had never been able to find. Not far from Candleston Castle we turned seaward and made our way back along the beach for lunch in the pub.
Those familiar with the book and film entitled: "The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain" would know that the story is based on The Garth Mountain, which overlooks Taffs Well. This was the destination of the January 2014 walk, which started from Creigiau. Leaders Steve and Val Monaghan took the group of 8 along the old railway line and then quiet lanes (to avoid waterlogged and muddy fields) to the edge of Pentyrch, before beginning the final ascent to the tumulus that bears the triangulation point. We had climbed about 800 feet from Creigiau. The return journey took us through Pentyrch and past Craig-y-Parc, now a Scope residential School, to a well-earned lunch in the Creigiau Inn.
There was good walking weather, bright, cold and dry, for the December 2013 walk, led by Penny Jarvis and Marian East from Rest Bay, Porthcawl. The 8 strong party followed the board walk along the coast to Kenfig Burrows, where a climb up through the dunes took them to the Nature Reserve Visitor Centre. Unfortunately, the café wasn't open, so no coffee break! The route then took them past Sker House and St David's Well, before lunch was taken in the "Rose and Crown", Nottage, only a short walk from the starting point.
10 members took part in our November 2013 walk, starting from Llandow and covering a 7+ miles circular walk around "The Hidden Vale", led by June and Rhys Morgan. It was a beautiful sunny day and the clear blue skies meant that we had wonderful views over the Vale, as we passed the ruins of the 12th Century Church of St Andrew Minor and the site of a substantial Medieval Village, now only noticeable because of the irregular and bumpy surfaces in the field.
We crossed some 'interesting stiles' (to say the least) and were glad of the farmer in our midst when some cattle herding was necessary!
After an excellent lunch at the 17th Century Sycamore Tree Inn, Colwinston, we looked at the nearby 19th Century Baptismal Pool, This is a rectangular-shaped pond, formerly used by the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, and was created by blocking off the river at the bottom of the field below Cymna House. (We think it may still be used to this day, but can find no information on this.)
At the AGM and lunch in October 2013, it was agreed that the date of each walk would remain the Leader's choice, as: i) there are few days that don't clash with other U3A activities and ii) a set date (e.g. fourth Thursday of the month or second Tuesday of the month) could exclude some from every walk.
The membership charge is remaining unchanged at £1.00 per household. The funds collected last year have been used to purchase a First Aid Kit for the Group.
Two walks were notable for each attracting 12 attendees (essentially the whole membership of the Group) and three people did 6 out of the 10 walks. Congratulations (and prizes) went to Elaine Booth, Keith Kennett and Marian East.
The vagaries of autumnal weather in October meant that there was rain at the start and end of this walk, but for most of it some were in shirt sleeves. We met at Tongwynlais in the Castell Coch car park and Steve and Val Monaghan led the group of five along woodland paths, past the Three Bears' Caves (an iron ore mine) and through boggy fields to the trig. point on Caerphilly Common, which was reached after a welcome coffee at the nearby café. From there, following the Ridgeway Walk took us onto Craig-yr-Allt, where lunch was taken overlooking the Taff Gorge, with the Garth Mountain on the opposite side of the valley. A descent from our viewpoint to the Taff Trail followed and this provided the return route (complete with a climb near the end!) back to the starting point.
The September 2013 walk was enjoyed on a dry day, where the sun struggled to break through the clouds. Steve and Val Monaghan led the quartet of walkers from Llanharan up onto the Ridgeway Walk. There were a couple of steep climbs and one very boggy section, but the views from the Taff Ely Wind Farm (we counted 28 turbines) was worth the effort. The Winding House and the stables of Llanbad Colliery and Brickworks (both closed 1927) were passed on the walk (two bricks marked "South Rhondda" were spotted embedded in the path nearby) and we lunched in the isolated ruins of the 12th Century St Peter's Church, Peterston super Montem. The route back to Llanharan was through pleasant scenery, keeping to high ground most of the way.
Sorry, but no dogs allowed on walks (due to previous experiences!).
|Dates for your Diary|
|Thu Apr 10||Walk to be led by Bob and Sue Collier|
|Tue May 6||Walk to be led by Jo Ilsley|
|Wed Jun 18||Walk to be led by June and Rhys Morgan|
|Fri Jul 4||Weekend awaybreak with Wednesday Walking Group Friday, 4 July 2014 - Monday, 7 July 2014|
|Fri Jul 25||Walk to be led by Keith Kennett|
|Fri Aug 15||Walk to be led by Penny Jarvis and Marian East|
|Fri Sep 19||Walk to be led by Steve and Val Monaghan|
|Fri Oct 31||Walk to be led by Bob Bevington|
|Fri Nov 28||Walk to be led by Elaine Booth|