Llanthony Priory and the Vale of Ewyas via Bal Bach and Daren-uchaf

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The landscape of the Black Mountains is characterised by high ridges and deep valleys and this walk explores part of the easternmost of these valleys, the Vale of Ewyas. The small village of Lanthony nestles in the heart of the valley, where the walk starts.

The village is dominated by the remains of an Augustinan priory founded early in the 12th Century. It was closed 300 years later by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries, reduced to ruins and left to crumble. Today the remains are free to explore and it is worth having a look round before starting the walk.

There are some well-known routes onto the ridge to the east using Offa's Dyke Path, but the ridge to the west should not be ignored, as there are some exceptional walks in this direction as well. This walk climbs up the west side of the valley following the Beacons Way to Bal Bach. It is a long climb to the top, steep in places, but well worth the effort. The walk follows the ridge south once at the top, where you are rewarded with exceptional views in all directions. The walk will eventually descend back down into the Vale of Ewyas, on a steep and quite demanding path and will then head back along the valley to Llanthony Priory.

There are some challenging sections of the route, as well as the long climb at the start of the walk and the difficult descent back down again; there are also some awkward stiles and stream crossings to negotiate.

Wales - South Wales - Monmouthshire - Black Mountains

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Mountains, Pub, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland

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Accommodation
Distance away
14.3 Miles