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The Skirrid

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The Skirrid
Author: debdwi, Published: 08 Jan 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Monmouthshire, Black Mountains
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
The Skirrid
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A circular walk around and over Ysgyryd Fawr (The Skirrid), near Abergavenny. On a clear day, this gives beautiful views of the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and surrounding borders countryside. This way of doing it means that you have a gentle downwards ridge walk with the Bristol Channel in the distance for the second half of the walk.

The Brecon Beacons is a very remote/exposed area and it can be easy to lose your way, so remember the usual walking rules: be prepared with a paper map and compass as well as snacks/drinks and appropriate clothing/footwear. At certain times of the year (after wet weather), this walk can be very muddy and slippery in places, so we recommend stout boots and walking poles in these conditions. You will need to negotiate a gate and some steps, but there are no stiles. There is no livestock on route. OS Explorer OL13 or Landranger 161.

From the A465 3km from Abergavenny towards Hereford, take the B4521 to a small free car park at grid ref SO328164 (Postcode of nearest village of Llanddewi Skirrid NP7 8AW).

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Walk Sections

Start towards woodland
Start towards woodland

Start point: 51.8422 lat, -2.9757 long
End point: 51.8442 lat, -2.978 long

From the car park, go left through a gap beside a barrier next to a National Trust sign for Ysgyryd Fawr. Follow the track to a gate and a stile behind which there is a bench and an information board. The path continues across the track beyond this, up steps into woodland.

Up through Caer Wood
Up through Caer Wood

Start point: 51.8442 lat, -2.978 long
End point: 51.8476 lat, -2.9769 long

This section takes you up through Caer Wood. Ignore any paths to the right or left and keep going uphill. You will arrive at the fork shown in the photo where you must take the lower right-hand path and NOT go up the steps to the left. (The latter left-hand path is where you will eventually come down off the Skirrid on the return leg of the walk).

Path along the eastern flank of the Skirrid
Path along the eastern flank of the Skirrid

Start point: 51.8476 lat, -2.9769 long
End point: 51.8606 lat, -2.969 long

Follow the path with the ridge of the Skirrid to your left and views across to the Forest of Dean to the right. The near hills are the Graig and Garway Hill. After 1.5km you will come to a point where, if you go any further, you would begin to round the Skirrid's northern side dropping down to field gates. Instead of this, look for a wooden post slightly above your path which indicates the Beacons Way and go directly uphill onto the ridge from here.

Up onto, then down the ridge
Up onto, then down the ridge

Start point: 51.8606 lat, -2.969 long
End point: 51.8594 lat, -2.9726 long

Follow the rough path up onto the Skirrid (don't worry too much if the path is difficult to find - just keep going up!) To keep going up, you will naturally turn left near the top and walk up to the trig point. This is where Catholics met to worship after the Reformation in the now ruined chapel of St Michael's. Enjoy (weather permitting!) the views of Herefordshire and the Mendips to the north, the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains to the west, the Usk Valley and Somerset to the south and Gloucestershire to the east.

Make your way back towards Caer Wood following the path along the ridge. The Sugar Loaf, in particular, stands out above Abergavenny to your right as you do so (see main walk image). Take care on the rocky, sometimes muddy downward path. You will come to the fork you passed through earlier (where you took the right hand path), completing the circle. Make your way back through the wood to the start point.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author debdwi and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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