BLEDDFA, FISHPOOLS, RHIW POOL AND ST. MICHAELS POOL
8.5miles (13.5km), 400m ascent. Allow: 3 – 3.5 hrs; easy going.
A figure of eight walk that can be split into two shorter ones. It fringes Radnor Forest and visits two upland pools of differing contrasts and offers attractive views and walking.
Park in lay-by opposite Inn and next to Bleddfa Church – just off A488 for complete walk, or in Forestry Commission, Fishpools at OS.l48 188682 for short walk only.
Walk 14 Submitted by Raymond & Betty Lloyd, revised by Kevin Jones and Clive Payne
(1) Proceed along metalled road passing the Post Office until Dolassey Farm is reached.
(2) At farm turn (L) through field gate between two substantial trees, to go uphill to next field gate in top corner. Go over stile and through gate on (R) and proceed diagonally across and slightly uphill aiming for plantation on the (R). At brow of hill and plantation corner, go ahead through gate. After approx. 120m bear (L) to take the (LH) field gate of two and keep on same line to corner gate near two large larches to join a downhill farm track that shortly passes stock shed and yard. Go through a series of gates to reach the A488 where turn (R). THIS IS A BUSY ROAD – BE CAREFUL! Half way up to the brow point (3) is reached.
(3) The full walk turns (L) onto the bridleway just before the vehicle entrance to the forest, and then joins that road. Follow it uphill. (If starting from the car park you will be already on this road). The shorter walk continues along the A488 to point (5) and turns (R) at metalled lane. The main walk now follows the F.C. road for approx. 2½km as it makes height through a long “U” bend. (Local signed walks can be followed in the forest.) Ignore all turnings and cross-tracks but before long, the view to the (L) reveals “The Riggles” – the series of levels across the valley. The views of Radnor Forest are all around and attractive as the walk continues. Eventually Rhiw Pool will be seen on the (R) as open land is reached.
(4) Go through facing field gate left of Rhiw Pool and keeping fence on the (L) continue forward and downhill (Dolau comes into view). The path becomes a track that, through a field gate, converges with another track coming in from the (L). Continue on this track as it curves to the (R) downhill and through gate. Immediately take grassy track up and by the (RH) fence to presently rejoin the former farm track again. Go straight ahead passing through three more gates and over muddy sections, until the A488 is once more reached.
(5) Cross the A488 to take the metalled lane cul-de-sac and rejoin the shorter walk. Pass Mountain Farm on (L) and brow of hill and turn (R) through field gate by sheep pen, and aim for field gate seen ahead at top of the gap between higher peaks. At top of hill keep (L) of sheep pens, keep ahead downhill passing more swampy ground on the (R). Follow the obvious farm track through several gates, then a small ford, and uphill to cross-tracks and bridleway.
(6) Turn (L) and go uphill when St. Michaels Pool appears on (R) and St. Michaels Hall set in trees behind it. This pool is often short of water and more often resembles a swamp! (By going another 100m. past the pool and to the brow of the hill good views are obtained of Beacon Hill and Llanbister Road railway station. Retrace steps to cross-tracks.) Go straight across and pass a new house and take the left gate (byway sign) to pass the wood, and continue downhill on the byway through a succession of gates. Keep ahead at turning and go down by the farm cottage (Blaen-y-Plwyf), turning through gate on (R) and keep on track near to stream on the (L). A gate or two are passed before once more reaching Dolassey Farm and metalled lane at point (2). Keep straight ahead to reach Bleddfa and the starting point.
Bleddfa Church dates back to the 13th century and is worth a visit. The Bleddfa Centre and Studio Gallery next to the Church has a tea shop. The recently reopened historical Hundred House Inn provides meals and drink.