Llandrindod Wells: New Woodland Walk
This is a 6km (4.5 mile) circular walk. It is graded as EASY. The total climb is minimal. It starts and finishes at the Llandrindod Lake where the facilities include parking, a restaurant and public toilets. As with all the walks around Llandrindod, the paths can be muddy and slippery in wet weather when stout shoes or boots are advisable. As the area is very much sheep country, dogs should only be taken if they are on leads and under close control. This is mainly a low level country walk taking in woods and fields and giving splendid views over Castle Bank Hill. (1) Leaving the Lake turn towards town, cross the road (with island in the middle) immediately in front of you and continue in the same direction for approximately 100 metres. When you reach the Cenotaph on the right turn into the Memorial Gardens and walk straight through (with the Museum on your left) and over the wooden bridge to the road (Beaufort Road) and turn left. Go straight ahead at the crossroads and when the road forks, keep to the right. Cross over the children’s play area and turn left in front of Wylesfield House, up a slight bank through the trees to a metal kissing gate. Turn right on the track and at the next waymark post; turn left across a rough field with high ground to your right. You are now on land that was a quarry. (2) At the next waymark post, bear right and then continue straight ahead to cross the stile in the right hand corner next to the fence. This is the former route of a track that carried the quarried stone down to the railway via a wooden bridge over the main road. It was so organised that trucks going down pulled the empty ones back up. The quarry workings eventually broke through into an underground stream which flooded the quarry hollow. There is now a deep, dangerous pool, which is why the quarry is fenced off. Maintain your direction with the tree line on your right and before reaching a tall tree straight ahead, bear right up a steep bank and cross the stile at the top of the slope. Continue to follow the tree line on your right as it curves to the right and the field narrows. Look out for and cross a stile in the left hand hedge into a lane. Cross over the lane and go straight ahead with higher ground on your right. (3) Ignore both a waymarked track on the left and a turning to your right and go straight ahead into a shady lane. When the lane turns sharp right to Dan-y-Graig, go ahead through a gate onto a track, and continue uphill. After approx. 100 metres, fork right and continue uphill through another gate. Immediately fork left and continue downhill on a lesser track to a bridle gate. (4) Ahead is an area of new woodland that has been planted for your enjoyment and that of future generations courtesy of the landowner and the Forestry Commission. Continue ahead on this waymarked grassy track through the woodland site, ignoring all paths to the left. Eventually fork right under the trees to a further bridle gate. Follow the sunken bridleway and pass through a 5-bar gate. Maintain direction along the bridleway, eventually emerging into a field. Proceed ahead through another 5-bar gate into a second field and continue with the hedge on your left. (5) Follow the hedge line on your left through another 5-bar gate onto a crosstrack with Cefn-Coed farm to your left. Maintain direction, again following the sunken bridleway, and pass through two more gates. Continue downhill walking just to the left of the sunken bridleway where necessary, eventually reaching the road through yet another gate. Bear right uphill and follow the road which bends sharp right. Continue on this twisty road until, opposite a bungalow on your left, turn right over a stile. Walk diagonally across the field to cross another stile into a copse. Follow the path through the copse to leave by a small gate back onto the road and turn right. (6) Ignore the next waymarked path on your left opposite Bailey Einon Farm, but opposite the second house (Llwyn Bongam) cross a stile to your left. Go up the field, taking care to follow the direction of the finger post and waymark, pass under some large sycamore trees and cross a stile at the top. Turn right and follow the bends in the track for some distance as it winds around the hillside. Take time to enjoy the lovely views to the right across the valley looking towards Llanyre village and television mast and eventually, Castle Bank hill to your left which was once the site of Cefnllys Castle. At a waymark post, leave the track going half right up the slope to a stile leading into a small copse of fir trees. Follow the track through the copse which bears right to another stile at the end of the copse. Bear slightly left down the field to a waymark post near the left hand edge of gorse bushes and follow a short path down to a gate. Go down this pleasant dingle, with a steep gully on your left, and over a stile to reach the road. Cross over the road and follow the enclosed path opposite along the back of houses. At the road, turn right and after 50 metres turn left just after number 22, into another enclosed path. Soon reach a metal kissing gate on your left into a field. Go up the field bearing half left to cross a stile near the top corner. Follow the fence line to the right. (7) Follow the wide grassy track down to the Lakeside where there are picnic tables, public toilets, a gift shop and restaurant. The lake was originally an area where peat was cut for winter fuel before the railway became a through route in 1868 and brought coal from the English Midlands. The peat cutting was deepened and a dam put across the stream which fed the area. There is a plaque in the entrance to the Lakeside Restaurant recording the gift of the lake to the Urban District Council.