Trecastle, 14th July

Lead: Robbie and Anne

Three of us (is this a record?) set off from the village hall at 9.30 on a very hot day, driving via Storey Arms and Sennybridge, arriving at Trecastle just before 11.00, and agreed with the owners of the Castle Inn to park in their carpark. It’s a good thing Carroll and Mary did not come in the end as I had originally said we were driving to Talgarth instead of Trecastle. Oops!!

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We set off up a very steep road then turned off onto the old Roman Road heading west along the original Brecon to Llandovery route until we eventually reached the Y Pigwn, the site of an old Roman Camp. Sadly, there was no descriptive board anywhere to be seen, however research on the ‘web’ describes these camps as ‘marching forts’ created not as permanent camps but easily defended locations that soldiers could quickly move into after a day’s march that gave them safety whilst they rested. Ramparts with ditches would have been created and mostly they were built in roughly rectangular shapes. Further on there were ‘fortlets’ which were smaller again but served the same general purpose. Nowadays these camps are seen as uneven ground, a bit like old mining excavations, but clearly different to the surrounding terrain.

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The route took us back through a forestry area down to the Usk reservoir, a beautiful place with hardly a person to be seen. We then had a three mile road walk up and down numerous small hills, arriving back at Trecastle at 5.00pm, in total just under 11 miles. The extraordinary thing about this part of the Brecon Beacons National Park is the complete absence of people. As we drove past Storey Arms on the way up, there were well over 100 cars parked with a steady stream of hikers walking up Pen y Fan. All we saw in 6 hours were 2 farmers, 2 off road motor cyclists and 2 mountain bikers, and yet the scenery is more panoramic and beautiful than the more popular eastern side of the Beacons.

We drove back via Dan yr Ogof caves, Glynneath and the Neath valley. Thank you, Bob, for coming along and being such good company.