Walk 1 Ffrydd Farm & Penshwa Lane
This walk starts and ends in the centre of Newtown. It is a mixture of road and off-road walking and includes lovely views over Newtown and the surrounding hills. Some sections will be muddy after heavy rain.
4.5 miles • 2 hours • 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 down Broad St and cross the River Severn over Longbridge to the north side of the river. On the left you will see Pont Hafren, an attractive old white building, now operating as a registered mental health charity, www.ponthafren.org.uk/newtown/home
At the roundabout our walk goes straight ahead up Crescent Street, heading for the imposing Victorian terrace, Bryn Gardens, at the top of the hill. On the way up you will pass the slate- hung weavers’ cottages and if you look back you will get one of the best views of Newtown.
At the top, turn right then first left at the footpath sign. Bear right at the beech hedge following the fence on your right. Follow the tarmac path uphill parallel with the backs of the houses, ignoring the stile and footpath sign on your left. At the road, Bryn Lane, turn left, then cross over and turn right at the sign to Ffrydd Farm. Follow the farm lane (not the footpath sign) to cross the stream at the bottom of the hill (SO 105926).
Turn immediately left at the fingerpost to follow the side of the stream up to a gate. This path has mud on top of slate rocks and can be slippery. Go through the gate and head for the white house ahead, Ffrydd Farm. Pass through an opening in the hedge with a redundant stile alongside. Carry on uphill and go through the farm gate, cross the farmyard to the left of the house and through a similar gate ahead. The dogs in this yard are friendly, and so is the farmer. Go straight ahead and through a pedestrian gate at the top of the field.
Carry on uphill and go through the field gate in the hedge ahead of you. Keep walking straight up and over the hill to the gate and stile ahead. At the brow of the hill you will again see magnificent views all around. Follow the hedge on your left down to go through the gate (SO 103934) and over the stream at the bottom. Continue up the hill to the right of the hedge and through the next pedestrian gate and head for the bungalow and gates in the hedge above. This will bring you out onto Penshwa Lane (SO 102937).
Turn right and follow Penshwa Lane until you reach the cross roads at the Newtown to Tregynon road. Cross this busy road and continue straight ahead until you reach a T junction (SO 115936).
Cross this road, Upper Gwestydd Road, to the green lane ahead. Follow this green lane down and up over a couple of streams and then up until it becomes a tarmac road, Lonesome Lane. Continue on down.
A little way down the hill you will pass Coed y Graig (also known as Millennium Wood) on your left. If you have time, the wood is worth a detour. The circular walk around the wood gives excellent views of Newtown and the surrounding hills. 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. You can get information about this wood and the Woodland Trust at www.coed-cadw.org.uk
Continuing down Lonesome Lane, cross the first stile (SO 115926) in the hedge on your right. Go over the stile into the field and head straight down the hill to a way marker post. At the bottom of the hill you will come to a footbridge over the stream (SO 115925). Cross the stream and 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 that takes you to a path between a hedge and fence and brings you out to a short dead-end leading to Sycamore Drive. Turn right on Sycamore Drive and follow it downhill. There are lovely views ahead to Treowen and the hills beyond, and to the Bryn Bank on your right.
At the bottom you come to a T junction where you meet Canal Road. When you reach Canal Road, turn left and cross the road. Take the small lane, Golwgydre Lane, on your right which will bring you to the footbridge, Halfpenny Bridge, over the Severn. Cross the river and go straight ahead, over Severn Square and along Severn Street to return to the starting point at the clock.