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Rolling green hills with a river running through them and a blue sky in the Usk Valley, Monmouthshire
The Usk Valley, Monmouthshire | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Clytha and Coed y Bwnydd walk

Ramble through an 18th-century estate, taking in the wildlife-rich River Usk and Coed y Bwnydd – the largest and one of the best preserved hillforts in Monmouthshire. There are beautiful views of the Sugar Loaf, wider Usk Valley and Clytha Castle, one of Wales's most outstanding 18th-century follies.

Please note

Sections of this walk cross land not cared for by the National Trust.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Clytha riverside car park. Map reference: SO361085.

Step 1

From the car park, take the gate to the right of the interpretation panel and continue until you reach a kissing gate on your left as the path turns to the right. Go through the kissing gate on the left and follow the Usk Valley Walk way-markers. The path runs adjacent to the river for approximately 1.8 miles (3km) until you meet a road at the chain-bridge.

Step 2

Turn left up the road and continue for 0.6 miles (1km). At the top of the hill, follow the road into Bettws Newydd and turn right at the road junction, keeping the Black Bear pub on your right. Continue for 300m, then turn left on to the lane leading up to the church.

Step 3

Enter the church gates and at the other end of the church yard go over the stile. Turn right, then immediately left and continue until you reach a stile on your left. Continue uphill, cross the stiles and head down the road on the other side of the hill. Follow the narrow lane uphill between two buildings until you reach Coed y Bwnydd hillfort on your left. Follow the circular path left around the hill fort and return to a field gate at the original fort entrance opposite a stone field barn.

Step 4

Go through the kissing gate and follow the permissive path across the field, keeping the stone barn on your right. At the other end of the field cross the stile on to the Clytha Hill Lane. Turn left onto the lane and continue walking, keeping left where the lane forks until you reach a kissing gate on your left in the hedge. Pass through the kissing gate and follow the path down the grassy hill, through the gap in the line of trees and continue over two stiles until you reach the woods behind Clytha Castle. Follow the wooden signposts to Clytha until you meet the track in the woods to the entrance to Clytha Castle. Please respect the privacy of those staying at the castle.

Step 5

On a clear day take in views of Sugar Loaf and Skirrid at the eastern end of the Black Mountains. Once you’ve enjoyed the view, follow the track behind the castle through the woods to the wooden gate and on to Clytha Estate park. Continue along a grassy track above the trees to a driveway. Cross the drive, keeping the fenced wood on your right and follow the line of trees diagonally uphill to a gate in the corner of the field. Follow the waymarked route through three gates and down steep steps to the road.

Step 6

Carefully cross the road to the road turning for Clytha Arms on the opposite side. Pass through the metal gate immediately in front of you and continue over the stile on the right. Follow the waymarked path across several fields, crossing two stiles and through a gate until you reach a large ancient oak tree in the corner of the field with Chapel Farm on your left. This fine late medieval farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings in the National Trust’s care.

Step 7

Pass through the kissing gate, cross the track into the wood. Follow the path behind the hedge on your left, winding through the woodland until you meet another track. Turn left and then immediately right. Follow the path along the edge of the woodland for 400m. Before the path heads back down in to the woods take in the view of Clytha Castle to your left.

Step 8

Follow the path down into the woods continuing along the waymarked route with Clawdd Brook on your right. Pass through a kissing gate into a field, turn Right and go past the back of Rose Cottage, keeping woodland to your right and turn right as you go through the small gate, passing an old milk churn dock leading to the main road. Take care crossing the road and pass through the small metal gate. Turn right and follow the path along the railings turning left to follow a fence and passing through a gate to the river. You are now back on the Usk Valley Walk. Follow the path with the river on your right. After a sharp left bend follow the track back to the car park.

End point

Clytha riverside car park. Map reference: SO361085

Trail map

Clytha and Coed y Bwnydd walk trail map, Monmouthsire
Clytha and Coed y Bwnydd walk map, Monmouthshire | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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