Diaries from my Wonderful Walks in Wales
May 16, 2012
May has proved a lovely Spring month, the West missing a great deal of the rain and winds that plagued many parts of Britain, and the gardens have blossomed with the perfect combination of soft rain and sunshine.
A Sunny Wednesday morning dawned , and Oscar and I decided to venture into Machynlleth to combine a walk and a shopping trip to the Market.
Mach is always a bustling , buzzing place on a Wednesday, especially when the sun shines! The locals always gravitate here to shop , but simply to meet up and chat and exchange all the gossip.
The streets lined with dozens of stalls, selling an amazing variety of ware, from organic pork to bonsai trees!
There are many local suppliers offering a mouth-watering array of cakes, breads, cheeses , meat and fish , all produced within a few miles of the town; as well as a whole variety of craft stalls , fabrics, clothes and haberdashery.
It is amazing to think that the Market was first granted a Royal Charter in 1291, and that merchants from all over central Wales have gathered here for many centuries to trade in livestock and cloth.
Oscar always loves to wander round the town, where he is guaranteed to attract the attention of all the children and dog lovers. He basks in all the admiration.
We decide to venture up into the hills before the sun gets too hot!
We cut through the park, round behind the Celtica building, noticing a new café has opened which looks promising!
From the back of the car park , we follow the road south to find the footpath, Owain Glyndwr’s way, and soon we head up the ‘Roman Steps’, carved from the rocks and leading steeply up the hill. There were several Roman settlements around Machynlleth, and a lookout at the top of this hill, Wylfa, so presumably the name refers back to this.
The path continues up the hill, past the Cae Gybi cottages , and it is worth climbing the extra way to the top to see the beautiful view back down over the town and across the enchanting Dyfi Valley to the mountains beyond. Cader Idris, the second highest mountain in Wales, providing a majestic backdrop.
The breeze is surprisingly sharp, but quite welcome, especially to Oscar, after the exertion of the climb.
We head down a little way to find the contour path winding round the hillside, a lovely springy turf path, with spectacular vistas across the valley. We stop to give Oscar a breather half way along, and sit on a rocky outcrop. The rock is a natural rockery, covered with a variety of tiny rock plants, all flowering in the sunshine.
We drop down through the woods, the new leaves glow lime green in the sunlight, and the mosses and ferns thriving in the shade of the trees.
Soon we find the path taking us back to the centre of town and the bustle of the market.
We can’t resist the temptation, and buy crusty bread, crumbly cheese, organic pork rillettes, dog treats and a new blanket for Oscar, and a pretty piece of taffeta to cover the bed side tables in Degas!
I resisted the Bonsai trees, ‘till next time!