A couple of weeks ago I went on a circular walk with a couple of friends around Trefil in the South Wales Valleys. It’s a walk that takes in so much variety and history in such a short distance, as well as providing some stunning panoramas over the Brecon Beacons.
It was a cold day and the unlit side of the old quarry had a grotto like display of icicles and the sync holes, which pepper the landscape here, still had snow in them. The walk takes in ‘The Duke’s Table’ a circular green mound that locals believe was at one time a picnic table for the Duke of Beaufort, a land owner who used to bring shooting parties up here for the Grouse. More ancient history is encountered with Garn Fawr Cairn, one of the biggest Bronze Age burial chambers in Wales and close to this is the Chartists cave where the workers met to plot the uprising back in the 1840’s. The old quarry has been used as a set for Torchwood and Dr. Who whilst lorries still file through the village to the present limestone quarry. The walk was about 8 miles and in good weather was easy to navigate, although in mist or rain it could be difficult as there is no recognised path across the moors where the wild ponies frequent. I first encountered it last year when we took a group of students to the location. I’ll visit again in the summer and explore a little more in the lengthening days.