THE TEN CASTLES TRAIL
ONLY TWO PLACES LEFT ON THIS SIX DAY TRAIL
Bob’s 10th Anniversary multi-day trail for the Malvern Walking Festival is a six day adventure on a unique walk of about 63 miles. Follow a trail from the heart of the Black Mountains, through to rural Herefordshire, enjoying sections of the Usk Valley trail, the Wye Valley walk, Offa’s Dyke trail and the Three Castles Walk (White, Grosmont and Skenfrith).
A high level of fitness is required, although the walk pace will be moderate, with frequent stops to enjoy the scenery and for refreshments.
We pass by or near the castles of Pengenfordd, Crickhowell, Abergavenny, White, Grosmont, Skenfrith, Tregate, Monmouth, Goodrich and Wilton(Ross) and there may be time for a short visit to some.
Walkers must be fully self sufficient with food and drink for the entire day. Plenty of water is essential. Walkers must bring their own medication and first aid materials. Boots and waterproofs are essential, as well as warm clothing to combat potentially cold and wet conditions.
Meet at 8.45 am daily at Malvern Link Top free car park for a prompt 9 am departure. For a map of the start point, click HERE for an aerial view, and then select "Show points on OpenStreetMap" or "Show points on OS Map"
Finish back in Malvern at approx 7.30 pm on Days 1-5 and approx 5 pm on Day 6.
Please be aware of the necessarily quite long coach journeys of typically 1 -1½ hrs and the late arrivals back in Malvern of usually around 7.30 pm
Booking is essential and only taken for the entire walk, at a cost of £120 including dedicated coach transport and booking/admin fees.
Day 1 Sat 25th May. Approx. 10 miles STRENUOUS
From near the ruined castle at Pengenfordd (Wales' highest castle), we descend to the Rhiangoll valley, then a very long steady uphill section takes us to 2050ft, to join the idyllic horseshoe route traversing the western edge of the Black Mountains. A lesser ascent reaches Pen Y Cerrig Calch at 2300 ft. We descend gradually and easily on excellent paths, to the well-known hill fort of Table Mountain and continue gently down to Crickhowell
Day 2 Sun 26th May. Approx. 11 miles STRENUOUS
From Crickhowell Castle, we enjoy a short section of the Usk valley walk. We then turn north to follow the very beautiful valley of the Grwyne Fawr through Llangenny. A wide track ascends steadily to Sugar Loaf, a prominent mountain at around 1900 ft., with outstanding 360 deg views. We descend steeply, then more gradually, on lovely open moorland to our destination at the castle in the heart of Abergavenny.
Day 3 Mon 27th May. Approx. 12 miles HARD
We pick up the famous Offa’s Dyke trail at Pandy, north east of Abergavenny for a highly scenic undulating walk with no major ascents. Continuing on farmland, we reach the immense, well preserved White Castle, with its massive six drum towers and drawbridge. We join the “Three Castles Walk”, and continue to the sleepy little village of Grosmont and its castle, the birthplace of Henry, Duke of Lancaster.
TUES 28th May. Rest day or join another MWF walk?
Day 4 Wednesday 29th May. Approx. 11 miles HARD
Continuing on a very scenic section of the Three Castles Way we walk towards the hamlet of Skenfrith, and inspect the castle built to defend the crossing of the River Monnow. An easy trail takes us along the river to the remains of the minor motte and bailey castle at Tregate farm. We eventually reach Rockfield, well known for its studios used by Queen for the recording of Bohemian Rapsody etc.
Day 5 Thurs 30th May. Approx. 11 miles HARD
We start at Monmouth Castle, birthplace of Henry V of Agincourt fame. After crossing the River Wye, we ascend fairly steeply to the Kymin, with its magnificent viewpoint beloved by Admiral Nelson. Now in the Forest of Dean, we continue through deeply wooded country, eventually descending to the River Wye. A riverside path takes us on to Symonds Yat and the high viewpoint of Yat Rock. Generally following the Wye upstream, we reach Cerne Bridge below the magnificent Goodrich Castle
Day 6 Fri 31st May. Approx. 7 miles HARD
A shorter walk to allow for time to celebrate our achievement at the Nags Head hostelry!
From Goodrich castle, we walk down to Cerne bridge. We take the Wye Valley trail, on a scenic, varied and hilly route quite high above the river. Eventually we reach a hill fort, and descend to the historic market town of Ross. We pass the mediaeval market house, to access a beautiful stretch of the Wye and continue to our destination of Wilton Castle on the outskirts of Ross.
Leader, Bob Baldwin
Co-leader, Lyndon Bracewell
Meet: Coach leaves Malvern Link Top free car park, Newtown Rd. daily at 8.45 am prompt,
Grid SO 774470
Post code WR14 1PD
Walk Leader: Bob Baldwin