Just two of us today, the “Navigator” and myself. We were heading west towards Roch for a circular walk to take in the area around Plumstone Mountain.
As we approached Solva I casually asked ” I thought we were heading to Roch”. We turned around and drove back to where we should have been!
Our route after Hayscastle Tump was along a bridle way leading on to Plumstone. This route started well but rapidly became overgrown with nettles, brambles and flooded areas. This was not helpful when wearing shorts and trail shoes!
As we left this bridle way I found a scrap of paper which included a route plan for somewhere in the Wye Valley!?
Ramsey Island in the distance
We walked past the renovated Roch Castle which is now a 5 star hotel.
This was a signing ride organised by Sustrans to check signs on NCN 4 were still in place and relevant.
In the main all was well. Some discussion about signage in Carmarthen town which may cause a little confusion with non locals. This to be taken up with the Council.
I had not ridden this section of NCN 4 before and I enjoyed, even the hills!
A gentle walk today around Usk Reservoir.
Throughout the walk there were good views of the Carmarthen Fans (The Black Mountain) and of course of the reservoir itself.
Plenty of sightings of kites, buzzards and a lone cormorant a long way from salty water. We saw a number of anglers who from the posted notices have to abide by a long list of rules, presumably these do not apply to the cormorant. The area also welcomes cyclists and we did see a few mountain bikers.
This year I thought I would combine a bike pack with a visit to a cousin whom I haven’t seen for a long time.
I drove to Melksham where I left my car at a friend’s house and then cycled south to join the Kennet and Avon Canal and National Cycle Network 4 which I would follow to Aldermaston.
Day 3 – reverse of Day 2
Day 4 – reverse of Day 1
The trip would be over 4 days there and back, camping for two nights and staying at my cousin’s for one night.
I intended to go sometime in June or early July. Eventually my diary and weather conditions gave me a window from 4/7/2017 to 7/7/2017. If I was being picky the weather was really too hot for the ride but at least better than a wet windy one. The total distance was about 110 miles.
My camping spot for the first and third day were spent at the Bruce Arms situated on the B3087 between Easton Royal and Littleworth. I can recommend this site but worth telephoning to ensure it is not fully booked, a probability during holiday periods. Clearly the pub is a bonus but food is not served during the week.
I found the Cycle Travel web site a useful resource and together with the OS Landranger maps 173, 174 and 175 route finding was not difficult. It is also well signposted as NCN 4.
The route is both on the canal tow path and quiet lanes through pretty villages with more thatched cottages than I had seen in such a short time. There were some hills but all manageable and short lived.
Pictures of my trip follow.
Vale of Pewsey
A skillful job.
My beast of burden.
Bruce Arms campsite
Compare and contrast!
Beware low hanging branches!