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.
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.
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.