Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny

Walking trail

From the historic town of Abergavenny this challenging walk meanders through ancient parkland heather clad moorland and wooded valleys. On a fine day the pinnacle of the walk is the summit of the iconic Sugar Loaf mountain, taking in wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, stretching across to the Severn Estuary and the Brecon Beacons.

Walkers enjoying the views from Sugar Loaf summit

Map

Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny walking trail

Start:

Fairfield car park, grid reference SO299305

1

From the A40, arrive at Fairfield car park situated next to Bailey Park in Abergavenny town centre. Turn right out of the car park along Park Avenue and take the first left to join Park Crescent. At the T-junction turn right onto Old Hereford Road, then take the first left onto Avenue Road. Continue along Avenue Road to a pedestrian path at Chapel Lane and it joins onto Pentre Road. Turn right onto Pentre Road and follow the lane directly uphill until you pass a cottage on your left with a large oak tree on your right, with the track leading to Porth-y-Parc farm to your left. This section approximately takes 45 minutes.

2

Follow the track to the left which takes you past Porth-y-Parc farm, beyond which you follow a narrow hedge lined footpath leading to Parc Lodge - note the National Trust Omega Sign. Parc Lodge is tenanted and is now farmed as an upland sheep and beef farm, but its origins are connected to the medieval priory in Abergavenny.  As you walk this side of the farm you can still see the remnants of the medieval parkland landscape with its scatter of old trees and large open fields. The track gradually climbs along the edge of the park and passes through several gates. Please close these gates behind you.

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Entrance to Porth-y-Parc farm, Abergavenny

3

You will reach a fork in the path underneath a group of oak trees. Take the left-hand path up the field towards a livestock corral. Enter the corral and go over the uphill stile on the left into the next open field. From here, take the left where the path forks once more, continuing out of the trees and across the field. Please note cattle graze in this field.

Corral at Parc Lodge Farm, leading to next field

4

Still climbing and crossing the large open field you will reach the stile onto Sugar Loaf common. At this point you cross the boundary between the old Deer Park and on to the Sugar Loaf Common. It is not exactly known when the Deer Park was formed but certainly in the period 11-1300 AD. The boundary banks of the old Deer Park are clearly defined either side of the stile and gate.  Originally a wooden palisade fence was constructed on top of the bank to keep the Deer from wondering. The fence was known as the park pale and hence the phrase “Beyond the Pale”.

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Boundary between Old Deer Park and Sugar Loaf Common

5

Once on the common follow the path ahead. Turn right onto the path that you will see winds its way up to the summit of Sugar Loaf. Look behind you for views of Abergavenny and the Usk Valley. Continue up the final steep and occasionally rocky, ascent to the summit of the Sugar Loaf.

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6

Once you reach the summit, head for the trig point and take in the fantastic views all around you. On a clear day you can see the Brecon Beacons, the Severn Estuary and beyond into South West England. You'll also be able to take in the surrounding Black Mountains, such as Skirrid Fawr and Hatterall Hill. After enjoying a well-deserved break, start to descend the summit along the path you followed. Where the path forks, now take the right-hand path and head towards the wildlife rich woodlands of St Mary’s Vale. This name is also linked to the medieval influences in Abergavenny. The valley is also known as Deri Fach – Deri routed to Derw which is Welsh for Oak.

Panoramic views from the Sugar Loaf summit near Abergavenny

7

When you cross the stream at the bottom of the valley, turn left and cross the stream again opposite two oak trees, heading along the path into the vale with the stream on your righthand side. You have reached the top of St Mary's Vale. Follow this path through the woodland. The oak woodland here is one of three areas of wood on the Sugar Loaf and Parc Lodge farm which are designated as the Sugar Loaf Woodlands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

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8

Halfway through this section of the trail in St Mary’s Vale, you will come across a fork in the path in an open area. Take the right-hand path and carry along the path down into the woods again. The beech trees have established in the woodland over the last 150-200 years from the plantation at the bottom of St Mary’s Vale.  Beech are naturalised in other parts of South Wales and may be the tree of the future on the Sugar Loaf as climate changes. With the climate becoming warmer and drier, this will be less favourable conditions for Oak.

Clearing in St Mary's Vale on the slopes of the Sugar Loaf

9

After approximately 15 minutes you will reach the gate at the edge of St Mary’s Vale. Take a right and head down the track towards the road. Continue along the road until you reach Home Farm and you will see a stile ahead of you where the road bends sharply to the left. Cross the stile, following the path through two fields. Where the path rejoins the road at the bottom of the hill, retrace your way back through the lanes and streets to the start point at Fairfield car park.

End:

Fairfield car park, grid reference SO299305

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Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny

Terrain

Variable terrain, from town centre pavements to rough mud and stone paths, steep climbs and rocky sections requiring care with footing. A small stream must be crossed.  

Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead as the walk passes through common land used for sheep grazing.  
 

Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny

Contact us

Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny

How to get here

Address
Fairfield car park, Park Avenue, Abergavenny, NP7 5TR
By train

There is a train station in Abergavenny, the start point of the walk is approx. 10 minutes from the station.

By road

Fairfield car park is located off the A40 in Abergavenny town centre. 

By foot

The starting point at Fairfield car park in Abergavenny is easily accessible by foot and is located off the A40 in the town centre. 

By bus

X43 service from Cardiff to Abergavenny and B4 Beacons Bus from Newport and Brecon.

Sugar Loaf from Abergavenny

Facilities and access

  • Public toilets and shops are located in Abergavenny, there are no facilities once you leave the town centre.
  • Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead