Walks and Walking – Walking Table Mountain and Pen Cerrig-calch
Awaking to a beautiful sunrise it was yet again perfect walking weather. Although it looks like high summer outside it is still freezing cold…. it was actually -5 Degrees in the Brecon Beacons last night. Sturdy walking boots are essential for today, as is the compulsory windproof jacket and sensible layers.
Wales is a haven for mountain biking and we passed quite a few in the Vito Sport as we made our way up to Llanbedr. We found a parking space on the Great Oak Road, from Crickhowell, right next to the right hand turn sign for Llanbedr and just before Ty Mawr Farm.
Walking up to Ty Mawr Farm there is a track signposted “Perth y Pia and Table Mountain”. We then prepared for an exhausting and very steep walk up a concrete track to the Perth y Pia bunkhouse. After a metal barred gate the way becomes steeper again until we reached a way marked stile and then followed the right hand of the field edge up to a stile to the left of an old rusty metal barred gate.
Table Mountain is now in clear view and is the first stop off point for us to savor the panoramic views and breathtaking scenery…. and catch our breath!
Pen Cerrig-calch is our next destination and so we continued up to Trywn Ysgwrfa, looking up we continued towards Pen Cerrig-calch using the most obvious pathway.
We then reached a natural rocky stream bed path that looks as though it gets very muddy after it’s been raining. We then followed this straight up, for what seemed an eternity, until we reached a large pile of rocks. I contributed to the pile by placing a large rock on the top!
Continuing further uphill we reached the top where there is a Rain Gauge and a huge circular rock shelter. We thought this was one of the Shake Holes on our map. (A Shake Hole is a natural depression in the Earth’s surface caused by water eroding the mud around the limestone under foot causing large holes to suddenly or gradually appearing on the landscape).
We decided to stop in the shelter for our sandwiches knowing all of the very hard walking had now been done. We then continued along our path until we came to a steep rocky climb down the edge of Pen Cerrig-calch and the beginning of Pen Alit-mawr. He we turned a sharp left around a natural pathway/animal track until we found another large circular rock shelter.
We then walked in a diagonal direction down the long slopes of the Pen Cerrig-calch using the Welsh pony and sheep tracks as a guide back towards Table Mountain until we reached a disused Butt by the field edge at the bottom of the slopes. Keeping to the field edge we walked back up to Table Mountain, past Crug Hywel Fort, and walked round the right hand side until we came to a very clear pathway down.
We then followed the way markers which are all very clearly signposted first turning right, then left, straight ahead, left again and then right where you can walk down the shallow stream (and clean your boots at the same time!) and entering the road through Ty-yn-y-wlad.
Turning left we walked back up the road to the Vito Sport exhausted after our 4 hour walk and feeling very thirsty for ale. We did hear that The Red Lion pub in Llandbedr was the closest watering hole but when we got there, at about 3.30pm, it was closed. So we drove back down to Crickhowell’s The Bridge End Inn which is a wonderful pub serving local ale’s and with exceptional hospitality.