Not only did I manage to take 10 seconds off my personal best on the Rowing Machine, Iain and I decided to make the best of the unseasonable good weather we have been having this Autumn to get up into the Black Mountains. We chose do some of the Offa’s Dyke footpath and see some of the beautiful Welsh countryside that we are so lucky to have on our doorstep. I have often thought it would be lovely to walk this footpath as the countryside along the way is wonderfully diverse, ranging from the meandering valley of the Wye to the imposing mountains towards the North of the Principality. All of which we hope to complete.
The first walk took us from Llanthony Priory where there is plenty of free parking provided you get there reasonably early in the day. We then had the hard part of the walk to do, which was to scale the side of the ridge that took us 550 metres above sea level. I don’t mind saying that half way up I did not think that I was going to get to the top!! Iain however was determined that I would get there and I am glad that he encouraged me as the views were utterly breath taking. The walk was to take us north of Llanthony for some 4 or 5 miles then back down off the ridge heading for Capel-y-Ffin and back through some remote farms and hamlets to Llanthony for a well earned lunch and a pint of well kept Ale for Iain and refreshing Perry for me. The entire walk was about 8 or 9 miles.
Tip; Always go prepared, even when the weather looks beautiful it can turn very quickly and sometimes without warning. We also always tell our family where we are planning on walking and how long we should be. Take plenty of water and a snack or picnic depending on the duration of your walk. The Priory restaurant closes its kitchen fairly early (at about 2.30pm) so if you are planning a later start it is wise to take your own grub. If you are taking a dog please follow the Park instructions and keep it on a lead at all times, there are not only Grouse on the mountains but a plethora of unusual flora fauna and wild life that does not take too kindly to being disturbed by a bounding happy hound!. Also it is worth noting that not all the stiles are dog friendly and you might find yourself doing some weight lifting as well as aerobic activity!!