Walk 5 Coed y Graig
This is a pub based walk to the Millennium Wood that starts and finishes at the Waggon and Horses at the junction of Lower Canal Road and Dolafon Road. Cars can be parked nearby.
2.5 miles • 1 to 1.25 hours • Easy
Start at the Waggon and Horses and walk down Dolafon Road towards the river. Cars can be parked on Dolafon Road. Go through the gap in the hedge at the bottom of the road (SO 114917). If this path is muddy, there is a tarmac path on the left further down Dolafon Road. Climb up onto the river bank and turn left to follow the path along the top of the bank. At the end, the grass path drops down to a gate and joins a tarmac footpath/cycle route. Go under the pipe bridge and past the ‘Old Pump House’ which is behind a fence on your right.
The Pump House drew water from the Severn to supply the head of the canal. It was originally operated by a water wheel, later by steam and eventually by a diesel engine. It ceased operation in the 1940s.
Just after the next gate turn left to take the steps (SO 118923) back up to Lower Canal Road. Across the road, to the left, is Lonesome Lane. (Do not go up the adjacent road, Tan y Graig.) Lonesome Lane is marked by a footpath sign reading ‘Woodland Walk 400m’. Walk up, passing 2 footpath signs at stiles on your left (you will return to the second one after walking around the wood). The Woodland Walk – Coed y Graig is on your right 250m further on (SO 117928).
A map and information board inside the entrance shows trails but you can stroll anywhere. The circular walk around the wood gives excellent views of Newtown and the surroundings. There are benches for picnics and the mixed broadleaved trees provide interest all year round for flowers, fruit and nuts. Forage in season for apples, crabapples, cherries, hazelnuts, sloes, elderflowers or berries, haws, etc. Information about this wood and the Woodland Trust can be found at www.coed-cadw.org.uk
Leaving the wood retrace your steps down Lonesome Lane until you reach the first footpath sign on your right, which reads ‘Woodland Walk 250m’ (SO 115926). Cross the stile and head straight down the hill toward the way marker post. At the bottom is a footbridge over the stream (SO 115925). The path leading to it can be slippery. Take the path up the opposite bank to the footpath sign and follow the fence around the property on your left.
This leads to a stile taking you to a path between a hedge and fence and brings you out to a short dead end leading to Sycamore Drive where you turn right and follow it downhill. There are some lovely views ahead to Treowen and the hills beyond, and to the Bryn Bank off to your right.
You will come to a junction with Canal Road where, there are two options to complete this walk.
Option A, short way back to the pub
Turn left onto Canal Road and follow it to the left just past the second zebra crossing. Pass the Meeting Hall on your right to a road sign reading ‘Cae Cymric’, also on your right, next to steps leading down to houses (SO 113918). Go down the steps, follow the path as it turns right and then left, along the open green space, and back to Lower Canal Road. The Waggon and Horses is across the road on the left.
Option B, slightly longer
At the junction of Sycamore Drive and Canal Road, cross Canal road at the pedestrian crossing and turn right, passing the Powys Theatr on your right. Turn left into Frankwell Street (SO 109920). This street contains some old weavers’ cottages and leads you to steps that take you up on to Longbridge.
Cross the Severn using this bridge and turn left at the Elephant and Castle, opposite the old Flannel Exchange, now called the Regent Centre and Cinema. Follow the upper path parallel to the river, passing the ruin of St Mary’s church on your right.
This 13th century church which was built of stone from the river bed, included a double aisle and a wooden belfry. Due to frequent flooding the church fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned in 1856. In the body of the church stands a mausoleum erected in 1900 over the tomb of the Pryce family of Newtown Hall who were the descendants of the mediaeval lords of the manor of Cedewain. Alongside the South wall stands the Tomb of Robert Owen (1771-1858), the social reformer, educationist, and native of the town.
The path leads to steps onto the Halfpenny Bridge which replaces an original toll bridge, some 40m upstream which was regularly swept away by floods. Cross the bridge, and turn right onto the path along the top of the bank, ignoring the steps on your left. The path meets the tarmac path to pass under Cambrian Bridge. Go immediately back up onto the top of the bank. Leave the path via a gate on to Dolafon Road. Turn right and follow the road around to arrive back at the Waggon and Horses.
Waggon and Horses
This local pub run by Neil and Jackie offers excellent bar service with real ale and meals in their Garden Restaurant. The opening hours are:
Monday to Thursday - from 6 pm
Friday - 12-2, then from 5 pm
Saturday and Sunday - all day from noon
Open lunchtime during the week by arrangement, phone 01686 625790.