ROBIN and his spaniel Pepper from Penarth and District Ramblers were joined by Will, John, Rudy, Zoe and Marie for a trip up to the Brecon Beacons National Park on Mothering Sunday with the leader, encouraged by the sunshine flashing his legs by wearing shorts.

Starting off from the Storey Arms in bright sunshine but in windy conditions and heading through Pont ar Daf over the footbridge onto the well-worn track leading uphill to Bwlch Duwynt and the central Beacons their climb began.

Then heading off the main path in a north-westerly direction over rough terrain they tramped towards Y Gyrn which at 619 metres is another route taken by walkers to reach the summit of Corn Du usually by means of passing the Tommy Jones Memorial obelisk above Llyn Cwm Llwch.

After following the ridgeway northwards there came a descent to the edge of Coed Carno one of two semi-ancient woodlands in the upper Tarell Valley, with the other being Coed Herbert which is owned and managed by the National Trust.

In these woodlands are Phoenix trees which have fallen over giving the impression that they are dead but they still continue to grow and during the spring pied flycatchers, wood warblers, redstart and chiff-chaff can be heard, whilst wood anemone, celandine and bluebells grace the woodland floor during the season.

After stopping to take advantage of the sheltered conditions out of the wind for morning break, National Trust trails led them through the wood accompanied by the loud sounds of birdsong and eventually out onto part of the long distance Taff Trail.

This follows the route of the old coach road on the east side of the Tarell Valley which also served as a drover’s road and toll road and prior to the building of the A470 was the main route down to Cardiff from the Midlands and Brecon town.

Crossing a footbridge over the River Tarell and following the river which is home to otters and dippers upstream through lovely fields along the valley floor for about a mile and a half, brought them out directly below the steep crags of the Craig Cerrig-gleisiad Nature Reserve, formed by a glacier in an area that was once part of an ancient hunting and farming forest.

Pausing for lunch in warm sunshine it was time to contemplate the major climb ahead of them, first through a steep field up to the A470 and then uphill gradually through the tranquil and pleasant cwm to the very top of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.

The reward on regaining their breath was an uninterrupted view across the Tarell Valley towards Pen y Fan and Corn Du with a light dusting of snow decorating their peaks.

All that remained was a descent and following the contours of the hillside below the major hills of Rhos Dringarth, Fan Fawr and Bryn Du with glorious views down the Tarell Valley and the winding A470 below, brought them safely back to the Storey Arms once a coaching inn but now serving as an Outdoor Education Centre.

On April 8, meet 9.30am at Cogan Leisure Centre for a 6.5-mile moderate walk around Caerphilly Mountain; contact Geraint on 029 2051 5278.

On April 9, meet 9am at Cogan for a nine-mile moderate walk taking in Skenfrith, Garway Hill and the Monnow Valley; contact Joy on 01446 737131.

Wear suitable clothing, preferably boots and carry waterproofs, food and drinks. Some degree of fitness is required and if you are in any doubt, then please contact the walk leader for advice.

To follow the group please log onto or Facebook. Programmes and membership advice can be obtained from Pam on 029 2025 5102.