'Short, sharp showers' confidently predicted the weather forecaster. For that read 'mini monsoon mixed with sleet'! Undeterred myself, Karen, Dafydd and Sophie decided to have the afternoon at the Cwmcarn Forest Drive near Newport.
Cwmcarn is a nice place to visit with a visitors centre (shop/café/toilets etc), walks, BBQ facilities, children's play park and several viewing points. The bit I was most interested in of course was the Hillfort!
There is room to park at the bottom of the hill (car park number 7) and an information board giving details of the Hillfort. It is then a 20 minute steep walk up to the Hillfort – there is no proper footpath, just an obvious 'path' over the grass.
Two weeks ago I was complaining it was too hot, now it was like the middle of winter. Storm clouds overhead and a biting cold wind – getting stronger as myself and Dafydd climbed the hill. Karen sensibly deciding to stay in the car with Sophie.
It was a fair old climb, particularly trying to carry Dafydd who decided he was too tired to walk anymore and wanting to go back to the car. 'I'm freezing and turning blue' Dafydd informed me – a bit of an exaggeration but I know what he meant.
Eventually we arrived at the single ditch/rampart of the Hillfort which is still about 2 metres deep. We continued the walk up onto the Medieval Motte and Dafydd cwtched into me whilst I admired the fantastic view. Newport, Cardiff, both Severn bridges and across into the West Country. This is quite a spot.
Oddly enough there was a herd of cows also at the Hillfort, many of them sheltering out of the wind in the ditch. Quite why they would want to come all the way up here I don't know. What was more worrying was a single bull who was staring intently at us.
Due to a combination of the cold / wind / bull / rain we didn't stay too long at headed back down the hill to the shelter and warmth of the car.
It costs £5 per car to enter the forest drive which is good value. If you would rather avoid this cost there is access to the Hillfort from a minor road to the east. There are also two cairns next to the track if coming from that direction.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2011ce