|The Sugar Loaf (Y Fal) - Pyscodlin Farm|
8.5km 2.75 hr 343m of ascent Woods, hill farmland, and open moors. Good views. Mostly easy to follow paths. Easy parking
343m of ascent
Woods, hill farmland, and open moors. Good views. Mostly easy to follow paths.
Bluebell woods on the Sugar Loaf
DescriptionNOTE: it has been reported to me (Aug 2006) that the bridleway and gated access to the mixed wood at the start of the walk could not be found. The start of this walk is at the layby opposite Pyscodlin Farm on the A40 about 3km west of Abergavenny centre. Pyscodlin Farm is a convenient camping and caravan site.
1. Leave the layby by the gate at its western end and follow the bridleway (which is shared by a small stream if it has been raining) diagonally left up the field. Go through the gate to enter a mixed wood and continue past some huge boulders. The map shows the bridleway winding up the hill and meeting another path but if you take the obvious way you will probably miss the point where the bridleway starts to climb. This is not a problem for you can turn right at the junction further on and climb the same path that the bridleway meets. Either way will bring you to a stile which you should cross into a field. Bear left as you cross the field and reaching the top of a gentle slope you will see Pine Grove Farm below. Leave the field through the gate by the farm and turn left up the road which passes through the farm gates and continues NW climbing gently and unfenced until it enters a fir wood and rapidly steepens. Pass through the gate and continue to the cross roads where a right turn brings you to Pen-y-graig farm.
2. Continue along the once again unfenced road with its sweeping views south to the Blorenge as it curves round to Llyweddrog Farm. Go through the gate and turn left leaving the road that leads to the Sugar Loaf car park.
3. Follow the track that leads besides a stone wall until you reach the corner and junction of paths. Bear left here and after 200m take the right fork that leaves the main track. This path descends slightly, crosses another main path and descends a bit more before it starts to climb towards the Sugar Loaf summit. At the next junction decide whether to climb straight on to the summit or turn right and enjoy the views while contouring to meet the path that rises from the Rholben and St Mary's Vale. If you climb straight on, leave the summit by its eastern end and take the SE path that leads to the Rholben.
4. If you contour you will reach a junction with the same Rholben-Sugar Loaf summit path. Turn right (south) down the Rholben path but 250m further on take the right hand fork that leads away from the stone wall towards St Mary's Vale.
5. Follow this path as it descends past an occasional tree to where it meets a well defined track, turn right (west) up this track for 250 metres to a covered tank or well. Turn left (SW) here and in about 50m you will reach a post that marks a section of the National Park's St Mary's Vale walk. Cross the small stream and take the "permitted path" slanting down the side of the Vale to the ford across the Nant Iago, avoiding the turn that leads to a small grassy clearing that, if allowed, would make a lovely camp site. Cross the nant without getting your feet wet and continue up the track enjoying the view through the beech trees.
6. After the track levels out it passes Pen-yr-heol farm and joins the road to the Sugar Loaf car park. Cross over and take the lane going west. There is a well positioned bench with an excellent view of Abergavenny here. Continue along the lane for about 600m to a road junction and footpath sign. Take the path down a flight of concrete steps, past a small chapel (a Sunday service is held here once a month), and over the stile.
7. Go steeply down the field towards the pylon, pass through the gate to its left and continue steeply down to a concealed stile. Cross the stile and continue down the path between a hedge and wire fence to reach the A40 road. Turn right and reach the layby in 500m.
Walks around Abergavenny /Sugar Loaf Routes /Start Fforest Coal Pit /Start St Mary's Vale /Start Sugar Loaf Car Park /Start Pyscodlin Farm /Start Glangrwney