A combination of recent lockdown relaxations and a decent weather forecast proved much too hard to resist and we headed back to Wales for a long overdue walk in the hills. In the spirit of social distancing we headed for the unaccountably perma-quiet Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales. Crowning glory of the range, and one of our favourite places to walk, is the sprawling bulk of the Pumlumon massif.
Starting from the road head beside the Nant y Moch reservoir, we headed straight for the main top, Pen Pumlumon Fawr (752m). The lofty summit ridge is quickly reached and provides an excellent view point. With pin-sharp air clarity we could make out the entire sweep of Cardigan Bay, from Pembrokeshire’s Preseli Hills to Bardsey Island off the tip of the Lleyn Peninsula. Turning inland, the major peaks of the Brecon Beacons, a great chunk of nearby Snowdonia and most of the Shropshire Hills provided a 360 degree panorama second to none. I think it’s fair to say that the view from Pumlumon is ‘about the size of Wales’!
We continued across the broad back of the mountain with just red kites and meadow pipits for company, before descending to an extensive area of bog, where the headwaters of the River Severn bubble up through the peat. This spot is always relatively busy as it is served by a well marked path up from a nearby car park in the Hafren forest, allowing even the most casual walker to make the worthwhile pilgrimage to the source of our longest river.
Leaving the paths and crowds behind (three’s a crowd, right?!), we wandered down into a wild, remote valley; Cwm Gwarin. Solitude amongst hidden crags and secret waterfalls was our reward. It almost made up for the tough, unrelenting slog through dense vegetation to climb out of the other side of this rarely visited location! Fortunately our route was now mostly downhill and we descended to Llyn Llygad Rheidol reservoir, nestled below the precipitous north face of Pen Pumlumon Fawr, to pick up a track back down to Nant y Moch.
Fancy seeing this stunning part of mid-Wales for yourself? With the easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales now allowing supervised groups back in the outdoors, we’re delighted to be able to take bookings again. We’ll be operating with our usual small group sizes and with social distancing measures and other mitigations in place to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
Click here for details of our other walks and courses. All dates are in the process of being reviewed and updated but we aim to be flexible, so if there’s anything specific you’d like to do, on a date you want to do it, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you!