|The Sugar Loaf (Y Fal) - St Mary's Vale|
5.5km 1.75 hr 470m of ascent Ancient woods (especially beautiful in autumn) and open moors. Good views. Easy to follow paths. Easy parking
470m of ascent
Ancient woods (especially beautiful in autumn) and open moors. Good views. Easy to follow paths.
St Mary's Vale, beeches in February
DescriptionTo reach the small car park at the start of this route leave Abergavenny by the A40 towards Brecon and turn right up Chapel Road just before the roundabout (the Old Station Surgery is on the corner). Chapel Road swings round to the right and turns into a country lane that becomes tree canopied and climbs a steep hill. When the trees clear, take the first turning on the left, between a house and farm, and continue keeping left at a small junction to just before the end of the road where there is a small car park surrounded by conifers. A gate and elevated cottage is just beyond.
1. Take the path that goes in front of the cottage and leads downhill to a ford and walkway across the Nant (stream) Iago. Cross the walkway and follow the leaf strewn track beside the stream for 400m where another track crosses and fords the stream. Turn sharp left up this track and enjoy the view through the beech trees. After the track levels out it passes Pen-yr-heol farm and just before it joins the road to the Sugar Loaf car park there is a stony track turning off sharply right.
2. Follow this track as it climbs steeply through a wood of stunted oak trees for nearly 1km keeping right at the fork just before the wood ends. Continue contouring on this path until you again reach the Nant Iago, near its source.
3. Cross the stream and ascend the path that climbs steeply and directly to the summit.
4. Enjoy the panoramic views from the trig point: the Black Mountains to the North, the Brecon Beacons to the West, the Blorenge to the South, Skirrid (Ysgyryd) Fawr and Fach (and the Forest of Dean beyond) to the East. To descend, take the path from the east end of the summit that leads SSE towards the Rholben.
5. Continue following this path as it levels out and crosses the track that traverses the southern slopes of the Sugar Loaf then 250m further on take the right hand fork that leads away from the stone wall and the main Rholben path.
6. Follow this path as it descends attractively past the occasional tree and then follows the boundary of the Vale's wooded slopes. Looking through the trees Pen-yr-heol farm can be seen below, with the Blorenge in the distance. Almost too quickly the path reaches the road and the car park.
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