Nell and I had another look at tracks down from Twyn yr Oerfel. Instead of heading over the coal tip, walk round or over the burial mound and head for the gate at ST 18068 90686.
Walk down a stony track.
This becomes a grassy lane
When you reach Ty Canol farm, bear right on a tarmac lane
this is surfaced but technically not a public road but a right of way.
At ST 18142 89373 turn right through some large stones. This isn’t technically a right of way and is marked on the OS map as a track, but it has clearly been a road and on Google Maps it’s marked as Colliery Road. Pass coal tips and the remains of Bedwas Navigation Colliery to your right and rejoin the path we walked earlier.
So – which one to go for? The path past Ty Canol starts well, but the section just above the farm has degenerated into a stream bed, and from the farm down it’s tarmac. There’s no traffic, though. The track past Bedwas Colliery isn’t a richt of way – but neither is much of the stony track we walked earlier. There are several public footpaths running between the two tracks, and it did look as though one of them might offer the best of both worlds, but unfortunately they are all blocked by a big concrete drainage channel running down from the tip above Twyn yr Oerfel.
There’s also the fact that the site of Bedwas Colliery has been suggested for a new housing estate, though there has been a lot of local opposition to this.
There are some tracks on the map cutting across from the tip towards Bedwas – we may need yet another look.