For me there are not many down sides to hill walking but I will say there is one small problem with the Sugar Loaf Mountain and that is getting to and back down from the car park. If I say typical drivers who have no idea of country driving or manners, I think that just about covers it! When someone gives way and/or reverses half way up a mountain single track road it is only polite, in my book, to thank them for their efforts and not drive on by without as much as a bye or leave! There, rant over, now what about the walk.
Once you have reached the car park you will find a number of footpaths heading up what looks like a non-descript hill. Do not be fooled; once you have scaled the few hundred yards from the car park, you will get to the first of the magnificent views you will experience on this walk. (Tip; a map is not necessary but is useful as there a number of foot paths that will lead you to the summit (OS 161)).
On the way to the top you will see fantastic views across toward the Beacons and back down the valley toward Abergavenny and across the river Usk. At this point the climb is a steady one that does not take much in the way of effort but then we start to get to the steeper climb and this is where, for me at any rate, you appreciate good walking boots and a pole. The old riding injuries are catching up and on these rockier terrains I find a walking pole very useful. (Two tips in one article; I must refrain from any more!)
Once at the trig point you will be able to see panoramic views towards the Beacons, Heads of the Valleys, The Black Mountains and Skirrid Mountain. In short it is worth the effort. The whole walk took us approx 2¾ hours and that allowed us time to stop for a bite to eat just below the summit. Definitely a good short walk (Mole certainly enjoyed himself, it was the first mountain walking he has managed for some time) and one that I would highly recommend if you have half a day to spare and the weather is on your side.