Monday, December 30, 2013

when in abergavenny do as the abergavennians do

I took my father out for a post-Christmas walk earlier today to clear a bit of the tryptophan and saturated fat from the artery walls. Nothing especially interesting in that, I suppose, nor indeed in our choice of walk, which was to tackle the far from awesome challenge of the Little Skirrid aka Ysgyryd Fach, conveniently situated within walking distance of Mum & Dad's new(ish) house, just the other side of the railway station and the A465. A round trip of around three and a half miles, and an ascent to the dizzying height of around 270 metres (886 feet), but quite a nice walk, if a little soggy and slippery underfoot.

Apparently the Little Skirrid and its more interesting big brother Ysgyryd Fawr (generally just referred to as "the Skirrid") a couple of miles up the road are two of the hills known collectively as the Seven Hills of Abergavenny. The others are the two best-known Abergavenny hills, Blorenge and Sugar Loaf, and the three minor hills Deri, Rholben and Mynydd Llanwenarth, all of which are really just outlying ridges on the south side of the Sugar Loaf without obvious "summits". Those given to occasional attacks of cynicism might conclude that the last few were added out of desperation just to get the number up to the magical seven (i.e. the same number as Rome). Further half-hearted lazy internet research reveals that this is a fairly common claim made on behalf of a whole host of places.

Anyway, here's the GPS track log and altitude profile, for what it's worth - the round trip took us just under two hours, but in slightly less treacherous underfoot conditions you could probably knock half an hour or so off that.

Our intention had been to pop into the Great Western by the railway station for a cheeky pint on the way back, but it was shut, unfortunately. The one Abergavenny pub recommendation I can give you is that the Hen & Chickens in the centre of town is excellent.

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