Builth Wells to Llandrindod Wells

Explorer 200
This is an 18km (11 mile) linear walk. It is graded as MODERATE/HARD. There is quite a considerable amount of climbing. The walk starts at the Groe (by the statue of the bull) in Builth Wells, which is 12km 97 miles) south of Llandrindod on the A483, and which can be reached by public transport from Llandrindod railway station. It finishes at the Llandrindod Lake where the facilities include parking, a restaurant and public toilets.

This is a varied walk with quite a large section on open high ground, giving splendid views over the Wye and Ithon Valleys and the surrounding countryside. A map will be useful, if only to help identify the distant points of interest.

It is recommended that walkers should wear walking boots or stout shoes, take waterproofs, food and drink. If taking dogs they should be kept on leads and all gates should be left as they are found.

  1. Start at the Groe by the Builth Wells Bull. Walk towards the Wyeside Theatre, turn left over the bridge and head for Jewson’s. Keeping Jewson’s on your left pass through a metal gate, which was once the old Railway Line and is now a cycle track. Keep on this track for about 1km when you will reach a small industrial estate. Follow the cycle track signs (route 8) up to the roundabout on the main road.
  2. Go straight across the road as if entering the Quarry but turn immediately left to go up a wide track used by the Quarry vehicles. Follow this track until you see a bridle way coming from the left and exiting on the right. Turn right onto this path and follow it up hill until it meets the track to Maengowan Farm turn right onto this track and; continue to follow this track up hill. When you reach the top but before entering the farmyard the track bears left through a metal gate with a way mark sign on a fence post on your left. Continue and after 120m the track turns sharp right then left passing through a gate onto the open hillside which is now Open Access. Follow this grassy track around the side of the hill, with fine views to your right of the River Wye. Continue on this path for a short distance when you will notice on the right a fenced area of discoloured grass; this is due to Sulphur Springs and you may get a smell of bad eggs.
  3. Continue along the grassy path until you come to a small valley. Looking across this valley you will see a Cairn on the hill in front. Choose the best path across the valley and up to the Cairn. Once at the top the views all round are spectacular, and there is even a small shelter from the winds, if necessary.
  4. The next section is a little tricky. From the Cairn head due north until you reach a very steep ravine. Turn left and follow the path that slowly drops down into the ravine; once at the bottom turn right and follow the small stream. Cross this stream as you leave the ravine and follow the faint track towards the broad green path in the distance. This path leads towards a stone boundary wall on the left; keep this wall on your left, down hill, until you reach an old iron gate. Go through this gate into wood land and continue down hill until you reach Cwm-Berwyn farm, which is now holiday homes. Pass through the buildings onto the drive and out onto the council road.
  5. Turn left at the road and continue to Cefnbychan. Right into the farm yard and out through the iron gate on the other side. Follow the farm fence on your left to a farm gate on the left. At this gate turn right and follow the track up hill to another gate. Do not go through this gate but turn 270 degrees left and continue to follow the track around the hillside; below you should see Garth farm. You are walking around Castle Bank with fine views to the West towards Rhayader. Cross the saddle and continue on a well defined path towards the road which can be seen in the distance. Keeping the field boundary on your left and the road on your right head up hill to meet the road at the old Quarry and the entrance of the track to Pant-y-Rhiw and Upper Gilwern.
  6. Now continue on this track for about 2km when you will pass through a farm gate with a very small Quarry on the left. Continue up hill until you reach a farm gate on the right. At this gate turn sharp left onto a faint path leading down hill. This path soon becomes a well defined track. Continue down hill until you come to a farm track passing left to right, turn right and keep on this track passing in front of Carregwiber. Follow the drive to the council road and continue up hill to a road junction, turn left and in about 200m you will see a stile on the right. Cross this stile and go up hill to a second stile then on to the farm gate at the top left hand corner of the second field. Pass through the gate and follow the boundary wall on the left. This section of the path is very well sign posted as it skirts around the edge of the golf course. Follow the signs around the edge of the course and you will come to an iron bridle gate. Pass through this gate and continue down hill to the next stile. Cross this and keeping the hedge on your right, continue down hill to the next farm gate in this hedge with a stile to the left. Cross this stile and continue along the field to the next stile. Head half left to a finger post in line with the farm buildings. Bear right on a grassy track. Pass through gate and continue in a northerly direction towards the church.
  7. As you approach the church you will be walking down a sunken lane which turns left towards the farm house. Where the lane turns left look for a small gate in the hedge on the right up a few steps. Pass through this gate and walk along with the church wall on your left to the next gate. You will now pass through the cemetery to the road. Cross the road and pass through the bridle gate ahead and follow the path downhill to a second gate leading into the woods. Follow the path down hill which will bring you out onto the road around the lake. Turn right and follow the road until you can see the fine water fountain of the dragon and escorting fish. Continue around the lake to the Lakeside Restaurant where a well deserved drink and cake may be obtained. To return to the railway station, continue along this road until you reach the Automobile Palace on your left. Cross Spa Road directly in front of you to the former St John’s Church. Bear right along Temple Street for about 150mand cross at the pedestrian crossing. Turn right and in about 50m turn left into Station Crescent. Follow the road downhill to the railway station (about 200 – 250m).
Spa

THE PREMIER SPA IN WALES

The wells at Llandrindod had been resorted to as early 1696, when the Vaughans of Herefordshire stayed for three weeks to take the waters.
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Boom

A BOOM TOWN!

The Central Wales line from Knighton to Llandrindod Wells was opened in 1865 putting Llandrindod Wells in easy reach of the urban centres of the North West, the midlands and South Wales.
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Seasons

THE 'SEASON'

The 'season' lasted from May to mid September. Outside the pump rooms at the Rock Park and the Pump House Hotel the visitors queued each morning to take the waters, entertained by music from the orchestras.
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