Walk 8 Fron Dolfor & Fron Las
This walk starts and finishes in the centre of Newtown. It is perhaps more accurately described as a lollipop than a circuit because it includes the same stretch of the canal path/Severn Way at its beginning and end. It is a mixture of road and off-road walking with some sections muddy after heavy rain. Much of the walk is on footpaths, over open fields and through woods. The route is very clear and easy to follow. The walk takes you out into delightful countryside right from the centre of town and the views are magnificent.
4.3 miles • 2 hours • Easy
This walk starts under the Town Clock at the junction of Broad St, High St and Severn St, the area known locally as ‘The Cross’. The building now housing Barclays Bank was erected by Sarah Brisco, a descendent of the Pryce family of Newtown Hall, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897. Opposite the clock on Severn Street is the Robert Owen Museum and the Robert Owen Memorial Rooms are over the HSBC on the other corner. Robert Owen, the founder of the Co-operative Movement, is one of Newtown’s most famous sons.
Walk along Severn Street and Severn Square to the Halfpenny Bridge crossing the River Severn. This footbridge replaces the original toll bridge that stood some 40 m upstream and was regularly swept away by the River Severn. Cross the bridge, turn right onto the footpath along the top of the bank, ignoring the steps on your left. Dip down to the tarmac path to pass under Cambrian Bridge and continue along the path, through a gate and past the ‘Old Pump House’ on your right. The Pump House took 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 diesel. It ceased operation in the 1940s.
Continue on the tarmac path passing a small parking area near the Llanllwchaiarn to Aberbechan road, marked by a fingerpost. This path is part of the Severn Way long distance path and also the Route 81 National Cycle Trail. Continue under a low bridge to pass Llanllwchaiarn church on your left. This church was built in 1814 on a site dating back to the 6th century and has a famous Arts and Crafts stained glass window and a carved rood screen. The church only opens for bi-weekly services.
The path follows the line of the old canal and is now close to the River Severn on your right. You will pass another parking area connected to the Llanllwchaiarn to Aberbechan road and a fingerpost indicating 2.0 km to Newtown, 1.7 km to Pwll Penarth Nature Reserve.
Leave the canal path and join the road here, turning right to continue walking in the same direction. The cottage Craig Wen is on the road at this junction. The road you have joined runs parallel and very close to the path you have just left.
Take the first left (SO 129926) turn up a track near a quarry through a gate (usually open) and start the long, easy climb up along the edge of the beech wood. You will shortly pass wooden cabins called The Beeches. At the top the track comes out of the wood on to a level section with wonderful views over the river and the Pwll Penarth Nature Reserve below you.
Turn left up the track (SO 135930) just before the Fron-Dolfor farm buildings ahead, then left again at the top, then right at the fingerpost up the bank and through the pedestrian gate. Turn right to the field gate, go through then bear left through another field gate. Go through this gate and continue along the line of the fenced hedge on your left and across the field. There are now magnificent views over the rolling hills to the north. Just before you reach a way-marker post by a large oak tree and the edge of a fence line bear left (without leaving the field), and follow the sheep track across the open field to a gateway. Pass through and head to a pedestrian gate (SO 131932) in the fence ahead which you will see as you cross the field. Go through and go right to another pedestrian gate on to the lane. Cross the lane and follow the path between the black and white abandoned house and a red brick farmhouse, Tynybitfel to another pedestrian gate in the corner to the left, then on to the Llanllwchaiarn to Aberbechan road.
Turn right onto the road and walk downhill, taking care since this is a blind bend with fast traffic. After a short distance turn left up a lane signposted to Lower Gwestydd Farmhouse. Walk past white cottages, Garn Cottage and Garn Lodge, on the right, then turn left onto a footpath marked by a fingerpost.
Follow the track through a gate and down to the cottage, Fron-las. Go through the two gates to pass the house then cross the small paddock to enter the wood via a stile in the left hand corner. Follow the footpath down over a bridge and continue until you get to a stile and fingerpost on your left. Cross this stile and follow the footpath down through the wood until you reach the housing development.
The path passes behind houses and leads onto Lon Coed y Creigiau (Rock Wood Drive). This brings you back to the Llanllwchaiarn road opposite the church. Turn right on the pavement and rejoin the Severn Way on your left where the pavement ends. You can now retrace your steps to the Halfpenny Bridge, along Severn Street back to the Town Clock.More Walks