Caer Caradoc – a wonderful wander

Sometimes in life you’re just lucky and today was one of those days. The original plan was to travel down to Bethesda and walk up to the Crib Lem Spur to ascend the Carneddau. But it became apparent that the weather forecast was less than fair. I don’t minsd walking in inclement weather but there are some walks / scrambles that deserve good views to appreciate the surrounds and the Crib Lem Spur is one of them. So Plan B came into fruition and a look at the met office maps suggested that a visit to the Welsh borders wouldn’t be too bad. What a bonus it turned out to be – a walk that was briefly considered, and a route that developed as the walk progressed and the reward was some sublime views, interesting geology,  history, architecture, flora and fauna. The weather circled above with some ominous black clouds which held onto their moist load…not a drop spilled on the great and the good……honestly.

I had my compact with me rather than the SLR, but the pictures turned out quite well. The walk was 9.3 miles, taking in the Caer Carodoc hillfort, and a lovely country pub for refreshment, which was returned to later for a meal to finish the day off. Wonderful light late in the day – a walk that ranks very highly, not big but very satisfying.

The route – from Hope Bowdler along the valley heading NW turning up a track to the NE, passing Gaerstones Farm, and heading into the woods on the slopes of Helmeth Hill. Down the hillside to cross a stream on the north side of Helmeth Hill, and steeply up the hillside opposite up to Three Fingers Rock (looks like three fingers from the valley and good for spot of climbing). Continue along the wide ridge to walk up to Caer Caradoc Hill fort. Drop down towards Little Caradoc and head up to a lane, turning to the SW to Gulley Green. Follow a green lane below the Wilderness, crossing a road to walk down through fields to Cardington and the pub. Head out to the SW on quiet lanes and farm tracks to reach Middle Hill. From here walk down good paths and lanes to the SW to reach the B4371 road. Cross the road into fields and walk through two or three before emerging close to the Hope Bowdler village.

Here are some pictures which really sum up the day..

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