Sunday, 20 February 2011

When is a hill not a hill? That is the question....

Right after last week's wash out  Mynydd y Garth it was, come hell or high water!   Immortalised in the film  The Englishman who went up a Hill but came down a Mountain,  is it tall enough to be a mountain or is it a mere hill? 

This was our first view of it from the bridge in Taff Wells after having left the car near the railway station. I was now starting to have second thoughts about this as I'm not a great lover of climbing steep hills ( or mountains!) Still as it was my idea in the first place I wasn't getting out of it that easily.

Nearly 2 hours later and the top is in view. The actual trig point is on top of an early Bronze age burial mound  (estimated at 2000BCE) which is considered to be the source of the tale and is officially 1007ft so - yes a mountain!

The burial mound is getting badly damaged by the number of visitors it gets and there were 3 or 4 mountain bikers cycling over it when we arrived.  A deep gouge ( path)  worn into the side bears mute witness to the stream of visitors. There are a number of smaller circular mounds nearby but they are dwarfed by the main one.

The view from the top must be magnificent  on a clear day. We could just about make out the turrets of Castell Coch rising from the mist, along with the second Severn crossing and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

We took another route down - much steeper and very badly eroded in places  but the views were magnificent. The path took us down into that pine forest before we ended up back at the car in Taff Wells.

The total route was about 5 miles but it was heavy going in places. Welsh hillsides are often boggy and this one was no exception. It never fails to amaze me just how much water can accumulate on top of a hill when you would expect it to find its way down. Hopping from one tussock to another gets old very quickly and as for the stile in the middle of a stream....

The lower slopes on the steeper side were much better drained with this being one little rivulet that crossed our path.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rain rain go away

The weather here today is so dreadful that the weekend wander had to be cancelled.  The delights of "almost spring" I guess.  I was planning to climb Garth Hill and visit the burial mounds but the wind and rain would have made it a miserable experience.

Always next week though. 

Sunday, 6 February 2011

On the Level

Despite  no let up in the strong winds this weekend I thought I'd venture out anyway as it wasn't actually raining.

A necessary trip for some new walking trousers selected the direction so it was to South Somerset we headed and the village of Burrowbridge.

I've been passed Burrow Mump many times but have never before stopped and climbed it so despite the dull day  why not now?

Mump is Anglo Saxon for Hill and the remains of St Michael's Church are now an official war memorial. The overall impression is of a minature Glastonbury Tor. The Tor itself was just visible on the horizen.

Although the views from the top are spectacular  I was unable to capture the panoramas entirely to my satisfaction.

The view to the left is over towards Athelney ( of King Alfred and the burnt cakes fame)

Swing round 90 degrees though and the view is entirely different. The wetlands are spread out below you and teeming with wildlife.


The church itself is now in poor condition with hawthorn bushes growing inside. Despite the howling gale the inside of the church was very sheltered and the hawthorn was even starting to put out some new leaves.

 Although some Roman   finds have been made there, nothing ealier seems to have been found. I would be very surprised though if the site wasn't in use from a much earlier date.
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