The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa) walk

Wild and dramatic Clydach Gorge: waterfalls, cascades, fast-flowing waters, ancient beechwoods as well as an ironworks' ruins and an elevated railway line

Lower Clydach Falls SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Lower Clydach Falls

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

05-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Clydach Ironworks SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Clydach Ironworks

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

05-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Ogof Clogwyn cave and waterfall, Clydach Gorge SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Ogof Clogwyn cave and waterfall, Clydach Gorge

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

07-Sep-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Old mine discharge, having left photogenic orange deposits; Clydach Gorge SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Old mine discharge, having left photogenic orange deposits; Clydach Gorge

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

07-Sep-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk371 50368756802

Bench with Views: Sugar Loaf from Llannelly Quarry SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Bench with Views: Sugar Loaf from Llannelly Quarry

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

07-Sep-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk371 50368755327

Blorenge, above Cadfor Farmhouse SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Blorenge, above Cadfor Farmhouse

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

05-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Lower Clydach Falls SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

Lower Clydach Falls

SWC Walk 371 The Clydach Gorge (Brynmawr to Abergavenny or vice versa)

05-Aug-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk371 50368604241

Length

17.9 km (11.1 mi), with 368/644m ascent/descent or 18.0 km (11.2 mi), with 656m/380m ascent/descent. For a shorter walk see below Walk Options.

Toughness

4 out of 10, with 4 ½ hours walking time. Or 6 out of 10, with 5 ¼ hours walking time.

Walk Notes

The Clydach, a short and fast river on the boundary of the Brecon Beacons National Park, flows off the southern slopes of the Mynydd Llangatwg through a wooded valley to the Usk River. For about 3 km the valley forms the Clydach Gorge/Cwm Clydach, containing waterfalls, cascades, fast-flowing waters and a few caves as well as some ancient beechwoods. The gorge is not only little-visited, but – despite the presence of the A465 Heads of the Valleys dual-carriageway, which also travels along the valley – also wild, dramatic and unspoilt.
The valley was a centre of early industry and remnants of limestone quarries, mines, an ironworks and several tramroad inclines are either passed or walked along, while a dismantled railway line provides an airy high-level walk route in the upper valley.
The steepness of the terrain and the narrow rock walls prevent a continuous path along the gorge, but three out-and-backs along good paths into the gorge, to waterfalls or caves, are described.
In the Lower Clydach Valley, you follow the rushing river closely through woods, then leave the Clydach to follow the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal for a while, before heading to Abergavenny through lush pastures with views across the Usk Valley to the Black Mountains.

The walk is written up in both directions, down or up the valley, and bus stops nearby enable shorter walks.

Walk Options

A start/finish at Abergavenny Bus Station cuts 750m distance, and 30m ascent – if at the end of the walk.
The three out-and-back routes into the Clydach Gorge can be omitted, they are (from west to east):
· Upper Clydach Falls and Ogof Clogwyn, 580m distance, 40m ascent;
· Devil’s Bridge and Pwll-y-Cwn, 540m distance, 70m ascent;
· Lower Clydach Falls, from 600m to 960m distance, negligible ascent.
Bus Lines 3 (Abergavenny – Brynmawr, Mon-Sat, 3 buses a day) and X4 (Merthyr Tydfil Abergavenny, Mon-Sat, hourly) travel along the Clydach Valley, calling on the A465 outside Clydach, in Clydach (not the X4), Gilwern and Govilon, enabling shorter versions of the route. Check the route map for the locations of the bus stops and make your way onto the route to join the text at the respective asterisks.

Maps

OS Explorer: OL 13 (Brecon Beacons NP East)
OS Landranger: 161 (The Black Mountains)
Harvey Superwalker XT25: Breacon Beacons East/Bannau Brycheiniog Dwyrain
Harvey British Mountain Map: Breacon Beacons/Bannau Brycheiniog

Travel

Brynmawr Bus Station, map reference SO 191 116, is 11 km west southwest of Abergavenny, 213 km west northwest of Charing Cross, 351m above sea level and in Blaenau Gwent, Wales. It is linked to train stations by several lines: X1 from Cwmbran, X4 from Merthyr Tydfil and Abergavenny, X15 from Newport and the 3 from Abergavenny. All operate Mon-Sat only. Abergavenny Station, map reference SO 305 136, is 30 km south east of Brecon, 202 km west northwest of Charing Cross, 75m above sea level and in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is served by the Welsh Marches Line (Newport – Hereford), connecting at Newport to Paddington, with mostly two trains per hour (total journey time from 135 mins).

Saturday Walkers’ Club: This walk is doable as a daywalk from London. Take a train no later than 09.45.

Lunch

Picnic.

Tea

Abergavenny Ending
The Beaufort Arms 22 Main Road, Gilwern, Abergavenny, NP7 0AR (01873 832 235). The Beaufort is located 180m off route, 7.8 km from the end of the walk.
The Towpath Inn 49 Main Road, Gilwern, Abergavenny, NP7 0AU. The Towpath is located 7.6 km from the end of the walk and owned by Felinfoel Brewery.
Tafarn y Bont (formerly Bridgend Inn) Church Lane, Govilon, Abergavenny, NP7 9RP (01873 830 720). The Tafarn is located 5.4 km from the end of the walk.
The Lion Inn Govilon, Abergavenny, NP7 9RP. This pub is currently closed.
The Bridge Inn Merthyr Road, Llanfoist, Abergavenny, NP7 9LH (01873 854 831). The Bridge Inn is located 2.2 km from the end of the walk.
Plenty of places in Abergavenny’s Town Centre. See the walk directions for details.

Brynmawr Ending
The Hobby Horse 30 Greenland Rd, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale NP23 4DT (01495 312 881).
The Gwesty 1 Clarence Street, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale NP23 4AJ (01495 788 214).
The Talisman 9 Market Square, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale NP23 4AJ (01495 312 138).
Filling Station Café 17-18 Market Square, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale NP23 4AJ (07572 981 903).

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By Train

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start Brynmawr bus station, Ebbw Vale, Wales, NP23 4XG Map Directions

Finish NP7 5HS Map Directions

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Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Sep-21 Thomas G

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Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk