Circular Route 2 - Pant y Blodau plantation

Outline : This walk explores the eastern side of the Mynydd Epynt. The sides are steep. A main route and small variation are given. This 8km bridle way route starts and ends on the back road from Builth Wells to Llangammarch Wells. It climbs to meet the Epynt Way, which it follows for 2 km before dropping gradually down to follow the road back. This is quite a long walk and sections aren’t well marked. The variation starting from the Garth Road Picnic area/receptor adds about an hour. This is a good, long walk with interesting variation in terrain and view.

Map : All grid references are from OS Explorer Maps 181 or 188– Builth Wells

Start and Finish Points : Point 1, 998500 or B4519 Garth view point, junction EW Routes 1 and 2, 967465.

Walking Time : 3-4 hours depending on start point, 8kms or Garth view point 13kms

Ascent : 210/260m

Access/Parking : Point 1 (little space) or via Cilmery railway station on the Mid Wales Line. Garth view point has a reasonable amount of parking space.

Route Narrative
From point 1 (SN 998 500) proceed SW to enter the Pant y blodau plantation. This is marked by a bridle path sign. Follow the few way marks, gradually turning South up a rough winding track to reach a very unsuitable gate which has clearly been by passed by regular users. The path isn’t marked but at any possible divergence keep right. As you emerge from the woodland turn left (SE) at the last way marked post and follow the hard track down to join a metalled track at point 2 (SN 995 493) to reach a metalled road at point 3 (SN 996 491). Turn sharp right ((SW) here onto a rocky track following a fence line on the right through a metal gate then between high banks passing the house called Pen y Waun until you cross a stream at point 4 (SN 996 488) and emerge onto open ground. There are a few marker posts with bridle path markings.

Continue in a SW direction following the path round the contour of the hill for about 1.5 km and as the bracken appears on either side. Leave the path at a small ford to cross into the training area at point 5 (SN 987 480). Ignore the characteristic warning signs and red flag - they do not apply to the Epynt Way. Go through the gate and climb up to the four-way finger post on the hard Warren track. Spectacular views over the Irfon valley open up as you follow the track West for 1.5 km to the next finger post at point 6 (SN 976 477).

Leave the Epynt Way here to descend NW at first using a way marked feeder bridle path. Turn sharp right (NE) at point 7 (SN 975 478) descending more gently along a better defined track to arrive at the SENTA boundary gate at point 8 (SN 978 483). You should have passed well above a red flag. From here a track leads diagonally down to reach a gate at point 9(SN 981 486). From here follow an increasingly steep and muddy track to reach a metal gate. The path across at least one large field is unclear, if in doubt keep to the left to exit this field.

Continue straight on here to descend behind Esgair hir - do not turn right. Lower down the hill the track turns right to join the well defined drive way at point 10 (SN 982 490). Follow this bridleway down to the metalled road at point 11 (SN 984 493). Follow the road E for 2 km, passing Bwlch farm to arrive back at your starting point.

Variation : Start at the view point/receptor on the Garth road (B4519), 964467, where there is more parking. Follow the EW north east from the view point, gentle walking, marker post 140 to either post 131/2 or a little further to the bridle way marker post 130. This makes for easier access to Route 2. Starting and returning like this adds about 45 minutes to the walk, so 3.5-4 hours and makes it about 13.5 km long.

Map PDF: