Walking: The Hillwalkers
|Ceridwen Coulson||07912 849079||Chris Stott 01291 621546|
The usual program of walks has resumed, except when there is a fresh "firebreak" lockdown. Hillwalkers must use the Activity Risk Assessment Checklist, as found under Chepstow U3A: New Normal: Group Risk Assessments: Activity Groups. This Checklist has been emailed to all Hillwalker members. Everyone coming on a Hillwalk must have read this document. See here for the latest version. Risk Assessment Walking Groups
For forthcoming walk and event details check Dates for your Diary below.
As the name suggests, this group is keen on walking in the hills. We walk every Wednesday, usually in the Brecon Beacons or the Black Mountains, but we sometimes venture further west, or out of Wales to the Malverns, Cotswolds, Mendips etc. In the summer we may go further afield to, for example, the Gower, the Shropshire Hills, or the North Devon/Somerset coast.
We try to have walks planned for a few weeks ahead. The walks are not usually recced in advance; they can be a bit experimental and, occasionally, we just go where the mood takes us (with some regard for the weather!). They average 11 miles but can range from 8/9 miles in the winter up to, occasionally, 16/17 miles in the summer. Because we are usually in the hills, the walks are strenuous and only suitable for strong walkers.
Members of the Group take it in turn to suggest and lead the walks and everyone is encouraged to participate and develop their navigation and leadership skills.
We usually meet at Chepstow Leisure Centre, leaving at 8.30am. However, while we have to take precautions with the coronavirus, the recommendation is that each Hillwalker travels direct to the walk start with only members of the same household in the car. For general information about joining the Hillwalkers, where we meet etc., see: Hillwalkers: General information
To see a basic translation of elements of Welsh place names into English, see: Hillwalkers: General Information
For highlights and summary of the Hillwalkers year on the hills in 2019, see 2019 Hillwalkers Highlights
To see how to pay for Trips and Christmas Meal click on Payment Options
The Group has completed several long-distance trails:
- The Beacons Way in 2012, and then again in 2018, from May to September. We tackled it over 9 days, including 3 days from a base at Llanddeusant YH. The Beacons Way is a long and challenging route through the most beautiful and wild areas of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is almost 100 miles, beginning at Ysgyryd Fawr (Holy Mountain) and ending in Bethlehem.
In May 2019 we completed Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk (first section in September 2017, two sections in 2018)- 190 miles of beautiful, varied landscape from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire, crossing the mountains of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors.
- The Cambrian Way - the "Mountain Connoisseur’s walk" - started February 2013, completed in September 2016 - 440 kilometres from Cardiff Castle to Conwy Castle, across most of the major Welsh hills.
- Glyndwr's Way in 2012.
In early September 2019 a group of the Hillwalkers had a very successful (though very windy) week in Snowdonia, based in Caernarfon. Several mountains were climbed including Cnicht, the Carneddau, Foel Grach, Drosgl, Snowdon (by various routes), Crimpiau, Elidir Fawr, Carnedd y Filiast, Foel-goch, Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. Other highlights were walking around Cwm Bochlwyd & Cwm Idwal, through the Aberglaslyn Pass & the Nantmor valley, by Llyn Crafnant, visiting the now disused Hafna Mine, and exploring the Newborough area of Anglesey.
See Snowdonia 2019 Photo Gallery for a few photos
We have postponed plans to start walking Wainwright's Pennine Journey, a challenging circular walk of 247miles. This would be walked in stages over the next 2-3 years.
Plan currently to start Spring 2021.
Chris has set up a WhatsApp group for Chepstow U3A Hillwalkers. This is a fun, very informal way of keeping in touch. If you would like to join please contact Chris.
See Hillwalkers: Trips and Projects for more information.
See Hillwalkers Cambrian Way for photos and information on this.
See Hillwalkers Coast-to-Coast Walk for photos and information on this.
See Hillwalkers Beacons Way 2018 - Archive for photos
Click here to see the Video Montage: Hillwalkers 2017
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2016) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2017) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2018) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2019) - Archive
Click here to visit the Hillwalkers Past Photos (2020) - Archive
Recent Walks & Events
|When||Where||Distance||Leader||Nos on walk or at event|
|October 14||Olchon Valley, up to Offa's Dyke Path, steep descent to Vision Farm, past Ty-canol, Capel-y-ffin, steep zig-zag up Darren Lwyd, Tympa, Gospel Pass, Hay Bluff, Black Hill, fab descent along Cat's Back (misty initially high then dry & clear)||13miles (960m ascent)||Stewart||12|
|October 7||Up to Beacons Way, Mynydd Llangorse, along and descent to Cockit Hill, Three Rivers Ride, Cathedine, climb straight up Allt yr Esgair from Home Farm, beautiful views from the old fort, pleasant return to start CP off A40 (stayed dry, sunny morning)||12.5miles (708m ascent)||Dave A||12|
|September 23||From upper Blaen-y-Glyn car park, Craig y fan Ddu, along the scarp slope, Graig y fan las, Bwlch Ddwyallt, Craig Cwareli, on to Cribyn where the party split, some back along Roman Road, others onto Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du. Home along the ridge and Craig fan Ddu to the trig, then down to the ex resevoir and to the car park via Taff trail route. (rainy start with clearing views and blustery)||12.7m (20.7Km) and 3,582 (1092m) of ascent||Mair||10|
|September 18||Fun evening Zoom meeting talking about the Cambrian Way, 298 miles from Cardiff Castle to Conwy Castle over many major Welsh mountains, a challenging route walked by the Hillwalkers between February 2013 and September 2016||Facts and participant photos||Derek||Several|
|September 16||From Blaen-y-cwm, up via Blacksmith's Anvil to Chwarel y Fan, along the ridge to Bal-Mawr, then Garn-Wen, returning via Coed Mawr (warm, sunny, breeze high up)||10.5miles (590m ascent)||Kay & Brian M||12|
|September 9||From Porth-y-parc, ascending east side of St Mary's Vale, Sugar Loaf, along Grwyne Fawr valley, returning via Forest Coal Pit and Parc Lodge Farm (superb autumn weather)||11.5miles (850m ascent)||Stewart||10|
|September 2||Through Park Farm, Llangattock, Nant Wenllan, up to the Lonely Shepherd, on to Twr Pen-cyrn, down to the quarries, Chwar Mawr, Craig y Cilau, returning to Crickhowell via Cilau Farm and Coed Waen-dwrch (rain on and off from midday)||11miles (600m ascent)||Ceridwen||7|
Other CHEPSTOW U3A WALKING Options
See Walking Summary
Other local WALKING Options and relevant sites
Chepstow Hill Walking Club
Brecon Beacons Weather Forecast
Wales Coast Path - general information on this long distance path, including short walk options.
|Dates for your Diary|
|Wed Oct 21st||Kay H (07704 107756) leader: Park on the roadside in Talybont-on-Usk, map OL13, GR SO 113228, near turning to Henderson Hall. Meet at 9.30, 9.45am start time.|
Up to Pen y Bryn, Gist Wen, Rhiw Bwlch y Ddwyallt, Waun Rydd, on to Carn Pica, Allt Lwyd, return over Talybont Reservoir dam and along Taff Trail.
11.5miles, ascent 827 metres (2712 ft)
|Wed Oct 28th||No Hillwalk due to "firebreak" lockdown|
|Wed Nov 4th||No Hillwalk due to "firebreak" lockdown|
|Wed Nov 11th||Somewhere with Chris (07843 943782)|
|Wed Nov 25th||With Chrystal (07747 118793) up and around Blorenge.|
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.