Village Alive Trust

Walks....

Below are details of longer walks in our area. The Village Alive Trust has also produced leaflets describing shorter trails that visit a number of our projects, here.

Offa's Dyke Footpath: This runs the entire length of Wales, covering a distance of 170 miles between Sedbury Cliffs at Chepstow in the south and Prestatyn in the north. Originally a bank and a ditch, Offa's Dyke was constructed centuries ago by Offa, King of the Midland Kingdom of Mercia, to mark and control the boundary with the Welsh. The footpath runs through Monmouthshire and parts of it can be enjoyed as a day's walk, stopping off to see interesting monuments en route. Where the path crosses Full Brook on the section from Llangattock Lingoed to Pandy is described in one guide book as a "beautiful and spectacular spot".

For further information on the footpath and accommodation visit the Offa's Dyke Association Sherpa Van.

Cwm and Old Court
Cwm and Old Court
Full Brook Stream
Full Brook Stream
Offas Dyke
Offas Dyke

Three Castles Walk: This circular walk of about 19 miles (30 kilometres) takes in panoramic views not easily enjoyed by road. The waymarked path links the three castles of Grosmont, Skenfrith and White Castle and passes through a varied landscape of hill, valley, wood and meadow. As well as three Norman castles, the walk offers peaceful countryside, quiet villages, wonderful views and ancient churches. It can be split into sections. (A cycle route has also been devised which takes in a fourth castle, at Abergavenny.)

Also have a look at our page on Castles.

Black Mountains seen from the Three Castles Walk
Black Mountains seen from the Three Castles Walk

There are also three circular walks, between 6 and 8 miles and taking 3-4 hours, visiting Grosmont Castle from Ewyas Harold, Skenfrith Castle from Garway and White Castle from Llantilio Crossenny.

Detailed trail guides are given in the Cadw booklet, Heritage Hikes, South Wales Volume 1, which also includes trail guides for other nearby properties at Llanthony Priory, Tretower Court and Tintern Abbey.

View West
View West

Monnow Valley Walk: "This is a linear walk of 65kms (40 miles) though the valley of the River Monnow, from Monmouth, near its confluence with the River Wye, to the headwaters below Hay Bluff. Here the walk links up with the Offa's Dyke Path National Tral, sharing the same route to the finishing points at Hay-on-Wye.

The River Monnow traverses the once highly contested march lands between England and Wales and it separates the two ancient regions of Gwent and Archenfield. Until the 19th century, the regions shared a common dialect of Welsh called Gwenhwyseg and this explains why there are so many Welsh places names in Herefordshire.

The walk uses paths which have been selected to provide a special blend of quietness, interesting features and a variety of scenery and terrain. The mixed farming encountered on the first half of the walk gives way to predominantly pastoral farming and the whole length is interspersed with areas of woodland. In spring and summertme the copses and flower meadows are carpeted with a rich flora which supports a wide variety of insect, bird and animal life." (From the Introduction to the guide book by Eira and Harry Steggles.)

Cistercian Way: This new long-distance footpath and pilgrimage route passes through the grange at Llanfair Cilgoed (the church of St Mary at the cell in the woods). The grange belonged to Dore Abbey. There are still traces of terraces, probably constructed for vineyards in the 12th and 13th centuries, and between the terraces are the faint outlines of cascades of fishponds. The remains of the original grange chapel can be seen at the bottom of the slope, overgrown by trees; also the foundations of some of the other buildings where the lay brothers would have lived. The present chapel is a 19th-century replacement.

Skirrid / Ysgyryd Fawr: Skirrid is the English corruption of the Welsh name, which means 'split' or 'shattered', a reference to the landslip that divides the summit — the legend being that the split occurred when the veil of the temple was rent after the crucifixion of Christ. Known also as Holy Mountain, it has the remains of a chapel, dedicated to St Michael, on the summit, where in the 17th century Catholic mass was secretly celebrated. It dominates many of the views in this area. The standard walk can be reached by public footpaths across the fields from Llangattock Lingoed.