Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Tregaron Walking club arranged a walk on the 7th Feburary commemorating the last train to go through Strata Florida Station, Ystrad Meurig and Tregaron 50 years ago in 1965. Starting from Station House the 7 mile walk took in sections of the old railway line, now the Ystwyth Trail, between Strata Florida Station and Trawsgoed, and using footpaths and quiet country lanes where the old track is no longer accessible on foot.
Start of walk site of Strata Florida Station with Station Masters House in background
Start of the walk was from Strata Florida Station Masters house, built by the Manchester and Milford railway company in 1871, the original plan was to take the railway line north to Manchester, but they ended up taking a sharp left up a steep incline to Aberysywyth instead, after running out of funds. Hence the name Manchester and Milford although it never reached either!
The station was called Strata Florida after the ruins of Strata Florida Abbey, instead of Ystrad Meurig even though the Abbey was 3 miles away. Train tickets were sold for day trips to see the excavations at the abbey in the 1880’s.
The walk took us along the old track towards Aberysywyth, along the first section of the walk of historical interest, although all you can see is a mound, is the castle at Ystrad Meurig. A simple motte and bailey castle founded by Gilbert de Clare in the 12th century, however it is now suggested that there was an earlier site dating from the middle of the 6th century to the the 9th century and was once the site of the royal hall complex of the Ceredigion kings and princes.
Leaving Ystrad Meurig
After passing the castle mound the path opens up to give views over to the Ystrad Meurig quarry who used the railway line to transport stone. A short while later the footpath reaches the road where you can no longer follow the old line.
The next section took us on little walked footpaths and lanes to avoid walking along the main road, though giving good views down across the valley.
On returning to the old track at Tynygraig, with kind permission of the land owner (private access) we walked up to have a look at the remains of the tunnel which took the line under the road. The halt was opened at Caradog falls in 1932 in an attempt to promote local tourism. The site was also formally the home to several water powered mills, which had fallen out of use around the time the halt was opened.
Tynygraig Tunnel
Tynygraig Tunnel
Caradog waterfalls are quite impressive with a long drop, (access to view waterfalls with kind permission of land owner). After leaving the halt we headed up off the track for a short while, stopping for lunch by St Gwnnw’s church where you can find the Llanwnnws stone, a large stone with a carved cross and Latin inscription, which is thought to be ninth century in date.
We then headed back down to where you can access the old line again, walking though some impressive cuttings along this section of the line, and great views through the trees to the valley below. Eventually heading off the old track to the banks of the Ystwyth following woodland paths with the sun shining through the trees looking quite enchanting. The 7 mile walk eventually reached Trawsgoed and Black Covert picnic site where there is a choice of circular walks for another day!
Caradog Falls
Caradog Falls
Woodland at Black Covert

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Mini Blog - Spring Clean!

Mini Blog - Spring Clean

We have given our website a spring clean, although still a little to do we've changed our online reservation system so its now clearer to see availability and pricing, particularly for short breaks. And added online booking to our Facebook pages.

We've also broken down our 'Things to do' tab so you no longer have to scroll down one page, and there is now more things to do! Though still plenty more we could add! We've added more pictures but still need to add more ones of attractions/activities and Shopping & Food ....an excuse for getting the camera out and visiting more ourselves :-) 

We have also added dedicated tab for 'Angling & Golf' as we have been getting requests for information on these activities, we had already added walking and cycling pages which have proved popular with our guests.

Look out for new internal photos with a difference of Murmur Aeron & Station House coming soon...

                     Red Kite - One of the birds you can see when you visit the area