It was officially Day Two in Brunel Walking Group’s “Christmas” away weekend on Dartmoor. A second series of walks were available to choose from, ranging from long to short and I settled up on the one in the middle; said to be around 11.5 miles in length and not an unreasonable choice, given that it was forecast to be wet and windy for much of the day.
This was a 13 mile route that I had devised and plotted myself, to lead Brunel Walking Group on what was our second day of a long-weekend camping in Cornwall. As far as the weather was concerned, it would also happen to be the stand-out most beautiful of them all.
As part of a weekend away in Cornwall with Brunel Walking Group, this was one of the two walks available on the first full day of activities. A longer and more challenging walk (further south and passing Land’s End) had already departed for the day, leaving the rest of us to car-share our way in to St. Ives for the start of our coastal walk.
All the way back in December 2017, I led a group walk in the Black Mountains that I soon grew to regret. One weekend after snow had fallen heavily across the region, I found the mountain tops were covered and we were struggling through depths up to our knees for much of our day. That’s without mentioning the rain waiting for us before we had a chance to put our boots on and the gale-force winds arriving from the east.
I’d thought about repeating the same route but have always held reservations over the small car park at Black Hill. So, for this outing, I decided to park elsewhere and lead a longer route along different paths.
As far as the Brecon Beacons are concerned, I’ve explored the main ‘Central’ peaks (Pen Y Fan and co.) several times. I’ve also hiked several times around the eastern end of the National Park, where its boundary laps on to the Black Mountains range.
This walk would be my first experience of hiking in the western Beacons. I was hardly going to turn down an opportunity to climb to the highest point of The Black Mountain(Y Mynydd Du).