This (yearly) event was started a few years ago to take advantage of free train travel for those who have a Wales concessionary bus pass. We have been running this event in March each year but as the train seems to be rather full then, with people trying to cram in free rides before the concession ends at the end of March, we decided to try October this time.
Having been to Shrewsbury and Church Stretton before, this time I chose Knighton, as I had been there before and knew it was a great walking area.
Changing the month of travel seemed to work, as the train was less full and indeed Gail and I, embarking at Swansea were able to keep seats (without really trying too hard) for Colin and John who got on much further down the line.
The train journey was lovely with fantastic scenery whizzing by and good company.
At Knighton Bill very kindly met the train and took the 4 of us and our cases to our b and b.
We then managed some tea and cake before meeting everyone else for the afternoon walk at Garth Hill.
We started off by the River Teme.As this area is right on the border, they have a bridge here where you can stand with one foot in England and one in Wales--see photo!!
We then contined up through the centre of Knighton and onto the Glyndwrs Way walking path going uphill through houses and a few fields until we were up high with great views back down over the quite pretty town.
We then contoured Garth Hill through some lovely trees.
A storm with high winds had been forecast and the wind did start to get up a bit, causing part of a branch to fall and hit poor Colin on the forehead but Colin was unperturbed and continued manly on!!
On the last bit back, as we got to the other side of Garth Hill we had the full force of the wind but only for about 20 minutes or so until we dropped back down into Knighton.
Everyone went their separate ways for a quick brush up, before meeting later that night for a lovely meal in a local hostelry in the main street which served some quite delicious food and drink.
The following morning was still a bit windy but lovely and sunny as we all assembled for the walk at Panpwnton and Cwm Sanahan Hills.
The route started on Offa's Dyke and we had a very steep climb up, but once we were high up, we had some fantastic views of the surrounding hills and the Knucklas viaduct stood out proudly in the distance.
At one stage we had to drop steeply down again by a house and through the garden to another track around the two hills.The last part of the walk was down through some bracken, and a few bridges through a few fields and a little bit of road walking back to the start.
That evening we returned to the hostelry of the night before, where they excelled again and we all had a very lovely evening together.
The next day was a walk up through Llanshay Dingle, Caleck's Pool and to Stowe a lovely small village with a pretty church.
Again we set off from the centre of Knighton in yet another direction from the first two days.We went passed a Motte and Bailey Castle and through some houses to the beautiful Llanshay Dingle.Then through some fields and passed Caleck's Pool and made our way onto a high plateau with great views.We then went through a lovely wood disturbing lots of pheasants on route.
Crossing a road we continued through fields up to the small village of Stowe where we had our lunch in the church grounds.
Very aware that some of us were hoping to catch the 3pm train, we set off again on the last leg of the walk back to Knighton.
This was through some more fields and then the last bit of the walk was through a beautiful forest.The autumn colours here were so vivid with bright red leaves on trees and on the forest floor.
We emerged right by the train station but with some time to spare.
Some people said their fond goodbyes with some of us managing to grab a quick cuppa before the short walk back to the station where the 4 train passengers were waved off by Bill.
Every part of these few days away, went so well and were so enjoyable--good planning of course!!
We had 11 walkers on each day which was great support for a mid-week event plus of course our faithful companions Pippin and Bradley who never fail to amaze us with their energy running rings around us, literally!! Gini brought her quiet dog Nora, on Wednesday, who just looked on from afar at their antics.
We all agreed that there was further scope for another venture to Knighton with lots more to explore here.
Many thanks to everyone who came and supported this event and for their great company in making this a most enjoyable few days in this beautiful area of Wales or was it England??!!