After Doris Day yesterday when the winds blew and the rain bucketed down any walk was going to be rather damp and muddy! Our leader, Pam, had recce’d the walk earlier in the week and assured us that the pathways were good and mostly surfaced with a few inclines and even fewer muddy patches. We put our trust in her and she proved to be spot on!
We shared a car from Llandeilo and drove through Cross Hands and arrived near Tumble about 20 minutes later. We parked in the car park alongside the community run 1930’s vintage cinema. My grandparents used to run and own cinemas so it was lovely to see such a beautiful Art Deco building in such good condition and being used to show films three times a week and on occasion providing live entertainment too.
The start of our walk was just around the corner from the cinema . It was National Cycle Network 47!
As Pam had told us, the paths were surfaced and good for walkers and cyclists. A number of cyclists passed us on our walk so the route is well used. After the gales yesterday there were a number of branches down which were easily cleared away and made safe for all the dogs and walkers that we met…all friendly…thank goodness!
We left the cycle path and walked down one of the many paths. This was leading us to Mynydd Mawr Woodland Park. This park covers 270 acres and the Gwendraeth Fawr river flows along its northern boundary. This area used to be an industrial , noisy hive of activity with a colliery and railway which transported the coal away. In 1960 with a workforce of 378 miners they produced 53,371 tons of coal . The colliery closed in 1962 and the land was left with industrial waste and spoil heaps. Nature has recolonised the area and pine trees have been planted to soften the landscape.
Bridges have been built and boardwalks over the swampy land add interest to the walk.
We met more walkers with their dogs. Everyone was in a happy mood enjoying the bright blue sky and the warmth of the sun on their backs. Dog walkers are particularly friendly folk, who like to share the ‘story’ of their dog lives with well behaved listeners!
The planted areas of woodland were lined with gorse but were impenetrable due to the brambles.
One could tell that Mother Nature still has some more work to do to claim back some parts of the spoil heaps. There was an honest beauty in this landscape and thoughts of all those miners who toiled here over the decades. It’s our history.
We followed a track back to the cycle path and after walking up an incline we had completed our circular walk.
Of course this meant that we had to find a cafe! Luckily, the owners of nearby Cwmcerrig Farm Shop fly a great big balloon over their premises so that it’s easy to find.
After a well deserved coffee and cake we thanked Pam for organising the walk and introducing us to a new area. There were so many other pathways through the woodland that were being developed and places of interest to explore that I will look forward to returning to the Woodland Park again.