It’s a good time of year to look out for interesting mushrooms and toadstools, and the shady woodland on these routes is a good place to look. We were excited to spot the classic fairy toadstool, the Fly Agaric, amongst many others, but it’s as well to be safe and not pick any of the mushrooms or toadstools you might find on your travels.
There is a small stream to cross as part of this walk. Large rocks and pebbles make great stepping stones, but you may want to arm yourself with a pair of wellies or waterproof shoes if you want to avoid getting soggy socks.
There’s two routes, one long, one short. The ‘To Get There‘ instructions assume you are arriving by car from Abergavenny. Of course, this is so nearby you could walk there (especially if you live in Llanfoist!)
Approximately 5 miles.
To get there:
Take the A4042 to Llanellen. After the village, take the second right (Oak Lane). When the road splits, take the right-hand fork. Just beyond the crest of the hill there is a phone box. Just after the phone box there is a very small space on the verge, suitable for parking a car.
Google Map centred on parking
Walk back past the phone box to two cottages on the left. Take the bridleway that passes between them, (not through the gate). Follow the path past another property, and on to the edge of Graig Syydi wood.
After about 2/3 of a mile, you will come to a gate with a road beyond. Go right, and follow the road downhill a short way. Pick up the path again on the left.
The woodland here is a bit more open. After a short while the path splits at a footpath sign. Keep skirting the edge of the wood by taking the right hand path. You’ll pass some ruins and a nice view of the Skirrid.
Soon you’ll arrive at a ruin and signpost. Follow the sign to Castell Prydydd. After a short distance, the track splits. Take the right-hand fork downhill. At the bottom, cross the stream and bear right, back uphill.
At the top of a steep bank you’ll join a path. Turn right onto this. The path skirts some private properties at Castell Prydydd, but the right-of-way is fairly easy to follow. Go over the stile and follow the path around to the left. Go past a horse yard on the right, and join the road.
Turn right and go downhill along the road. Before the bridge, go over a stile on the left, and follow the track.
Go over the next stile (bearing right). When the track splits, take the right hand fork downhill. Go over a stile into Llanfoist wood. The path goes through the wood, above the canal. The ground is uneven and sloping, and there a number of fallen trees to negotiate, (the path even goes under one) so be careful.
Eventually, the path comes down to the boathouses at Llanfoist Wharf. Turn right and go through the tunnel. On the other side, climb the steps up to the towpath. At weekends you can refuel with tea from the narrowboat-come-café here.
Set off along the towpath with the canal on your right. Now walk along the towpath for about 2.5 miles, all the way to bridge number 88.
At bridge 88, leave the towpath, and turn right onto the road (Oak Lane). Walk up the hill back to your car.
Approximately 1 mile.
To get there:
Park at Llanfoist Crossing Car park; on the right just before the Merthyr Road, (B4246) leaves the village. Cross the road and follow the path past the Church on the left and up the hill.
Google Map centred on the car park
Go through the tunnel. On the other side follow the footpath sign that points left, over the brook, and into Llanfoist wood.
Follow the path which goes through the wood, above the canal. The way isn’t always clear, but there are helpful footpath markers along the way to reassure you that you’re on the right path.
Go over a stile and out of the wood. Follow the path which skirts the edge of a hillside field. Go over another stile, follow the track down to the road and over another stile.
Turn left onto the road, and go over the bridge. Go through the gate on the left, onto the towpath. Follow the towpath with the canal on your left. Continue along the canal for about half a mile back to Llanfoist Wharf.
At the Wharf, take the steps back down to the lane, and return to your car.