Walk 2 Brimmon Wood & Kerry
This walk starts and ends in the centre of Newtown and makes a good railway or pub walk. It is mainly off-road walking with a few short sections on quiet lanes. It gives excellent views over Newtown and the surrounding hills and also over Kerry and the Kerry valley. The walk can be shortened or walked as a one-way walk, returning by bus from Kerry. There are a number of areas on the return section that can be very muddy.
5.8 miles • 3.5 hours + 1 • Moderate
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 Shortbridge St passing Market St and the Post Office, both on your right, and the Robert Owen statue in the small park on your left. Cross Pool Road (A483) at the traffic lights and continue on up Old Kerry Road until you reach the Victorian buildings of Agriculture House ahead of you and the Royal Welsh Warehouse on your right. The Royal Welsh Warehouse was the centre of the Pryce Jones mail order business and Agriculture House was the factory supplying goods for the mail order business. At one time there was a footbridge between the two buildings at first floor level.
If you are starting at the pub, The Railway, it is here on the right in Old Kerry Road. If you have arrived by train, pick up the walk at Brimmon Lane (see below).
At Agriculture House cross the road and take the small lane, Brimmon Lane, that takes you over the railway line near Newtown station. Turn left and continue up this lane to the road, Heol Treowen. Cross the road to the lane opposite and continue a little way until you reach a cattle grid on your right. Go over the cattle grid then follow the track over two more cattle grids and under the by-pass up to the house and farm buildings ahead. Continue up between the barns and go through the field gate on the right onto the green lane. Walk up the track with the wood on your left, hedge on the right, through another field gate, until you come to a shoulder of the hill, with two adjacent oak trees on your right and a way-marker showing a path joining from the left.
Turn sharp left here (SO 114904) follow the path along the top of the wood. Go through the field gate ahead and continue in the same direction with the hedge on your left. Go through three more field gates until you come to a half- timbered house, Shwrwd.
Walk up the drive to the right and continue until you reach the road. Turn right and go up the road until you reach a T junction. Cross the road and go up the bank and through the gate immediately in front of you. Carry straight on through the field with the hedge on your right, go down the dip, through the field gate and up the hill following the hedge straight on to another field gate visible at the top. Go through the gate and bear left towards another field gate across the field under an oak tree. Go through with the fence/hedge on your left, straight ahead to the end of the field.
Go through the gate on your left, then immediately turn sharp right and through the right hand one of the two field gates. Follow the track, between two fences, and down through the next right hand field gate and then head straight down the dip in the field ahead of you in the direction of the white house on the hill facing you.
At the bottom of this field you will reach a fingerpost at the junction of five footpaths (SO 130898). This point, which we call Five Ways, is where the main circular walk begins the return. This is also the point at which an additional walk into Kerry starts. This alternative is detailed later in this text.
To begin the return, with your back to the Five Ways fingerpost, facing the stile below you, take the upper farm track to your right. Walk straight ahead following the contours of this large field, and an indistinct sheep track until you reach a fence and a small group of conifers up slightly to the right and at right angles to your path (SO 124898). Cross the stile and bear left, following the fence on your left. At the next stile go straight ahead, again with a fence on your left, through a field gate. Walk diagonally up the field and as you come over the brow you will see a stile ahead. Go over the stile and head towards the black corrugated iron barn ahead. The path continues to the right of this barn and the house, Pen y Wern. Cross another stile and follow the fence on your left parallel to the drive until you can cross a stile onto it. Turn right, go up the drive then through the field gate at the top.
Turn left onto the road and go through the first gate on the right (SO 115894). In this field bear left towards a large oak and line of conifers. The Montgomery Barn Owl Group (www.mbog.co.uk) has attached a large owl box to the oak. Go through the gate to the right of the oak and follow the old woodland track downhill between the conifers and a hedge. A gate at the bottom brings you into another field with a gate ahead that leads on to a lane. Go down the lane until you reach the road, with a sign for Lower Black Hill. Go through the gate on your right and follow the hedge on your left, skirting the old green lane which is too overgrown to walk down. Continue walking downhill and at the bottom left hand corner of the field you will reach a pedestrian gate (SO 111896). Carry straight on downhill and through the gate ahead. Follow the wood on your right, through the gate in the corner and follow the cypress hedge on your left to the gate and road. Turn right. The next part can be muddy in places after rain and an alternative route would be to follow this road back into Newtown.
Otherwise, go a short distance down the road and then turn right off the road at the next drive by a bungalow, Hillside, leading through a field gate and grass lane ahead with the wood on your right. Follow this path, wood on right, fence on left, through another field gate, across a small stream and through another field gate. Continue ahead parallel to the hedge line on your right. Then cross a farm track with a field gate on your left (don’t take this one) and go slightly up to your right and then through the field gate ahead. Cross the stream and continue following hedge and fence to your left. Just after you cross another two streams there is a gate on your left leading into a field. Bear right and down across this field to the way-marker marking the green lane that descends to the two oak trees where you left it near the beginning of the walk. Retrace your steps to the house and farmyard at Upper Brimmon and back along the tarmac track under the by-pass and over the cattle grids to the road. Turn left, cross Heol Treowen and back to the railway station and town.
Detour to Kerry
At the Five Ways signpost, where the main circular walk turns back you can go over the stile ahead and bear left towards the village of Kerry (visible in the distance) to a field gate in the bottom corner.
Go through the gate and follow the hedge on your right to another field gate on the right, along a short, overgrown green lane on to the road. Turn left here and walk to the T junction at the main Newtown to Kerry road turning right over Gilfach bridge and then on into the village.
There are two pubs in Kerry, the Kerry Lamb and the Herbert Arms. They are open during the day on Saturday and Sunday. St Michaels Church (www.cpat.demon.co.uk/projects/longer/churches/montgom/16413.htm) is of interest, being a double-naved structure with a large west tower and a timber-framed belfry. It also has one of only three chained bibles in Wales.
To return, retrace your steps out of the village to Gilfach bridge and left on the side road. Turn right into the green lane where it emerged onto the road and retrace your steps to Five Ways. Follow the return directions from Five Ways.
To return by bus, there is a Tanat Valley service (no. 81 from Montgomery and Welshpool) Monday to Saturday. For current schedule information see the notice board at the stop, call Traveline Cymru at 0871 2002233 or visit the web site www.traveline.cymru/
The Railway pub
The Railway pub in Newtown is on Old Kerry Road. This traditional, CAMRA recommended pub does not serve food but has excellent beer, and is a nice spot to re-hydrate on your way back. At the time of writing they are open every day: all day on Tuesday (market day), Friday, Saturday and Sunday and till around 3 pm on the other days and again in the evening. Check for the latest opening hours on 01686 626156.