Earlswood at last

It’s taken a while to get back to that awkward section between Chepstow Park Wood and Wentwood but I think we are there, thanks to the detailed description of the route through Coed Llwyfos on Christopher Somerville’s web site at http://www.christophersomerville.co.uk/?p=456 .

It looks as though the way through Chepstow Park Wood will involve walking up from Tintern past Penterry Church to the St Arvans road and the lane from Pen-y-parc. When the stony track goes left into the field, keep straight on. At ST 50149 97391 the track bears right into the forest. Take the first forest road to the left. This swings through the southern part of the forest and emerges on a very minor road at ST 48774 96411. Turn right, and right again on the B4293 into Itton Common. At the telephone box turn left for Shirenewton but immediately take the very minor road to the right. At ST 47865 95996 go straight across the cross-roads. In just under 1 km, at ST 47104 96435, turn left down the lane to Coed-Llifos Farm. In about 100m. take the rough track to the right, along the edge of a small plantation.

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In another 100m. pass a barn on your right. Go straight on down a stony slope and through the remains of a kissing gate following waymarks.

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Pass the barns to your left and join a metalled track. Follow this round to the right, keeping to the right of the house,

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and go through a gate on your left at ST 46823 96406.

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Follow the waymarks, bearing slightly to your right

coedllwyfospath

and down the slope to a gate in the middle of the hedge at ST 46696 96298 (just to the right of a large oak tree). Walk down the next field and into the woods, heading for a footbridge at ST 46591 96113.

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Over the footbridge take the path to the left and follow it up to a gate.

Turn right and follow the hedge to your right, then when the hedge bears away to the right you bear left and head for the top left of the field. At ST 46510 95900 go through a gate and down the green lane to Pant-y-cosin.

(There were some very cute Shetland ponies and a goat in the lane.)

pantycosinlane

Walk through the farmyard and along the lane.

(The section through the woods is very muddy underfoot and would be impassable in wet weather. Stick to the road: or if you have got down to the woods and found them impassable, retrace your steps to the gate at ST 46696 96298, turn left and walk with the hedge to your right through a gate and across two fields to emerge on the road at ST 46165 96339. Turn left and follow the road through the gloriously-named Bullyhole Bottom (is it called Bullyhole Bottom because it hath no bottom?) and up the far side of the valley. At the top of the slope, at ST 46167 95968, when the road bends to the right, go through the gate to the left. No waymark but it is a right of way. Follow the hedge to your right until you join the green lane down to Pant-y-cosin.)

The lane from Pant-y-cosin takes you to the B4235 at ST 46575 95214. Cross CAREFULLY – this is a busy road. Take the bridleway ahead of you.

It was my day for cute animals. There were alpacas in the field.

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Also some of those little charcoal grey pigs, but they were the other side of a thick hedge.

At ST 46533 94899 you get to a metalled lane. The OS map looks as though you should turn right but in fact you bear left (virtually straight on) and follow the metalled lane to the road at ST 46389 94672. Turn left (carefully again: quite a busy road) then right almost immediately. There are footpaths but they do not follow a direct line: better to follow the road, which is quiet. At ST 45678 94885 turn left down an even more minor road. Go straight across the cross roads at ST 45366 94679 then bear right with the road and walk downhill. At ST 44919 94794 turn left and take the road past Earlswood Valley Chapel, the oldest Methodist chapel in Wales. Founded in 1791, largely by the efforts of a local woman, Ann Lewis, who had heard John Wesley preaching at Devauden, the chapel was built largely by local labour and tradition maintains that much of the stone was carried from the nearby quarry, by the local women, in their aprons.

Walk on past the chapel and down hill. At ST 44447 94795, just before New Mill house, bear left down towards the ford. Cross the footbridge to the right of the ford and follow the bridle way to your right up into Wentwood. This should take you to Five Ways and on through Wentwood and down the line of the old London-St Davids road (now an eroded track along the Kemeys ridge) and eventually to the Usk Valley Walk into Caerleon.

Job done?

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