It’s been just a little over two weeks since the start of our six-month-long work sabbatical, and our adventures have now truly begun in earnest!
After a week and a bit of local wanderings in the Yorkshire/Lancashire area with my partner Nick, we headed down to Wales. Driving southwest for just shy of four hours, we arrived at the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the site of our first adventures further afield.
We began our long weekend in this striking region of Wales on Friday, arriving in our ‘Adventure Bug’ – Nick’s faithful old VW Beetle – at the private bothy a group of our friends had rented for a few days and nights of hillwalking, tire swinging by the river, and board games by candle and fire light.
Cwm Llwch is ideally situated between the town of Brecon and the peaks of Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan. The curiously-shaped summit of the latter – the highest point in south Wales – can just be seen peeking through the mist in the photograph above.
According to the National Park’s website, Cwm Llwch is a cirque, a feature scooped out by the slow action of glaciers during the planet’s last Ice Age. It’s a fantastic starting place for a hike to a plethora of waterfalls, a lake, and of course the tops of the Beacons in general, featuring a load of interesting geological features and some truly incredible vistas.
The weather on Saturday, our only full day in the area, can be summed up in one word: WILD. I didn’t manage to capture any images from that day in large part due to the powerful sustained winds and sideways rain! Looking into it afterwards, various UK news outlets stated that winds gusts were up to 80mph at times.
Our merry band of adventurers knew a summit attempt in such conditions was seriously unwise, but we did manage to reach the Tommy Jones Memorial before we turned back, the wind eagerly pushing us back toward our cozy hearth and hot cups of tea.
Come Sunday, though – lo and behold, we awoke to a calm, snow-dusted landscape! Above, you can see the views we were greeted with first thing that final morning.
The sky steadily cleared so that by around 9am, when we took aim at the summit once more, it was mostly blue with loads of glorious, radiant sunshine highlighting the curious geometry of the landscape.
We managed to make a lovely circuit of the ridge and back down into Cwm Llwch within about three hours. After another cuppa and some snacks we all headed off on our separate ways, with Nick and I heading off to the lovely Malvern Hills in England for the week.
We’ll soon be back in Wales though, as we are off to Snowdonia National Park for a few days early next week.
In the meantime, thanks for following along on our adventures in the UK and beyond! Feel free to follow our progress via my Instagram as well, or check out Cathedral Grove’s Twitter and Facebook pages via the links on the main page.