Skirrid Fawr

The Holy Mountain

Duration: 2-3 hours
Other info: Walkable from town, but easier if you drive to the car park at the base of the mountain. Definitely take some rugged walking boots if it has been wet, and wear something warm, because it is quite exposed up on top.


St David's Chapel

Llandewi translates as 'Church of David'. At the very top of the Skirrid, there are a few remains of the holy building that once stood on this spot.
See if you can spot the large gate stones that mark the entrance to the church. On special religious occasions, local people still trek to the top of the mountain to pray and to pay their respects. On New Year's Eve there is also a midnight excursion. .

Getting there
From Abergavenny, head out towards Skenfrith along the Ross Road (B4521). The road climbs for three or four miles, passing Maindiff Court hospital, and also Wern-DDu golf club. The car park is on the left at the crest of the hill. Be careful to lock your car and take your valuables with you as there have been one or two thefts from cars parked here.

The walk starts with a gentle stroll up the side of a field before hopping over a gate and entering the woods. There are some good views of Abergavenny even at this point.

The path through the woods can be very muddy on times, but there are some good solid wooden steps to help you along the steeper sections. As you near the top of the woods, you come to a gate in a stone wall, signalling that you are near the end of the first section and close to the base of the mountain proper.

Turn right through the gate, and follow the wall until the path turns left and climbs steeply until you break clear of the woods. You'll find yourself with a small hillock on your left, and the main part of the Skirrid to your right.

Head up the short but very steep part of the mountain (its easier going up than it is going down), and you will have finally made it to the start of the mountain - you're about halfway through the walk to the top. Note the erosion that has been caused by years of people following the same path.

Take time to look around from here. You should be able to look across to the Sugarloaf and the Blorenge mountains. On a clear day, you may also be able to spot the town of Newport some twenty miles away.

The walk across the mountain top is a lot further than it looks from the ground. Almost every time you see a peak in front of you that looks like its the top, there's another one beyond it. But persevere and eventually you will get to the trig point at the far end, a total height of 486 metres above sea level.