Monday, 1 December 2008

Walking into the view

The view of Black Mountain from the top of the hill . . .

I'm trying to get into the routine of doing a 5 mile walk on a Sunday (weather permitting). It was dry yesterday, but chilly, and I chose a route I used to take Fahly on sometimes (only the other way round to the way I walked it). The views across the valley to Black Mountain (and beyond on a clear day, right across to Pen-y-Fan) and along the valley, are stunning. The mile and a half uphill is a bit daunting, but I am getting quite fit now and actually managed it without having to pause for breath - just one stop to take a photo of the white stuff on Black Mountain.

The lane across the valley takes you past two farmsteads, one with farm-buildings both sides of the lane, and a gate which is shut across the lane when they are moving stock. I can remember the first time we drove along there, when we had only been living in Wales a week or two. In our part of the world, we never came across farms that had gates across the road and felt like we were trespassing.

In the furthest white-washed barn, the farm servants would have slept in Victorian times and probably up to the 1920s. The steps up to the loft can just be seen.

The light on this mossy old oak tree was stunning.

I passed the almost sheer hillside clad with wet alder carr type woodland, and past another little farmstead hugging the hill, walking down into the view. The steepest bit of the hill would not be an attractive proposition today, after last night's hard frost. Like our hill after rain, I should imagine it freezes like the Cresta Run . . .

"Into the view" - the lane downhill.

Another ancient trackway, now long fallen into disuse.

I passed the farmstead where I used to buy lovely organic hay for the horses years ago, and down to the old trackway up through the woodland. One of these days I shall check with my neighbour and see if he minds me exploring it. It looks so enticing.

The enticing trackway.

Then down to a charming little cottage in the cwm, which looks such a lovely family home.

Along the next stretch of the road I spotted a big dog-fox in the undergrowth of a field margin and watched him for some minutes, being downwind of him he couldn't smell me and when he did notice me, wasn't at all peturbed, and just climbed through the fence and wandered up to the grazed field with two ponies in it.

The next stretch of the lane held at least one ruined cottage that I know of, and I looked out for more. I found the one cottage easily, and my rule of thumb about the particular cottage hedging ran true. All that was left of the cottage (and I shall check which one it was and update this) was a pile of mossy stones. So sad.

On a raised bank opposite, we have found blackcurrant bushes growing - obviously planted up there away from any passing livestock and still surviving 40 or 50 years since the cottage was left derelict!

The cottage hedging - a give-away now I know what to look for.

It was a sunny day, but "brisk" with it!

Then past a success story. A farmhouse which has been totally restored and is now a family smallholding. When we first moved down here it was in the last stages of dereliction, with the roof falling in and too dangerous to enter.

The next property tells the same story. Abandoned, complete with all the old furniture - deemed so old-fashioned in the 60s - when the old folk died, they just shut the house up and tacked out the land. Now it has been almost doubled in size and is a working farm again.

Coming along the final stretch, an old barn settled into the landscape.

I was glad to get home, and pretty tired as there were some very steep sections of hill - the sort that have an arrow on them on a map to show they are precipitous! Today is a day off, and I am busy with needle and thread instead.


Lindsay said...

Looks a lovely walk.

Willow said...

What a lovely post Bovey Belle ... the photos made me feel as though I'd been on that walk with you! I particularly like that beautiful tree catching the light, the cottage and the farm buildings reminded me very much of where I grew up in Cheshire. As a child, I used to walk miles with my Beagle, 'Tadley' ... something I probably wouldn't let my children do now (sadly).

I'll bet you were glad of a cup of tea by the time you got home!

Willow x

Bovey Belle said...

Thanks both. It was a lovely walk and I'm glad it brought back memories for you Willow.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Ahhh such enticing and gorgeous Photos...
I was just waiting for the gingerbresd man to come dashing through.
It all looks so storybook like.