This section of the route is nearly 50 km - two good days' walking, break where you can find accommodation. You begin with minor roads but once you reach the Brechfa forest you are on footpaths and old hollow ways.
No public transport at the beginning: there are local taxi companies. Brechfa has very occasional buses to Llandeilo and Lampeter (one journey each on Wednesdays and Saturdays). Lampeter has buses to Cardiff (via Carmarthen) and Aberystwyth. See http://www.traveline.cymru/ for details.
Go back along the road into Drefach then turn right along the edge of the playing fields and along the road to Llangeler. This is the old hilltop village from which Drefach developed. Felindre was an offshoot of another older settlement at Penboyr. The two parishes were famous not only for their woollen industry but also for their nine wells.
There is a path around the church and the garden wall of Plas Geler and down to the B4335. It should cross the road and go down a steep slope to a footbridge over a field drain. However, the path down the slope has been blocked by garden walls and the footbridge is now no more than a stump sticking out of the ditch. The whole route is remembered locally as the old way from Llangeler to the chapel of ease at Capel Mair, but it has obviously not been walked for some time, Parish walks are becoming popular again, and it may be possible to revive this one. It would then take the Cistercian Way across through the grange at Pentre-cwrt and up to Capel Mair, where the grange chapel (dedicated, as all Cistercian churches were to the Virgin Mary) survived the Dissolution and became a chapel of ease. This suggests that there were plenty of people living on or near the grange lands by the sixteenth century. The chapel was rebuilt by the Victorians and services are still held there every Sunday.
Until the path can be restored, the alternative is to walk past Llangeler church on the main road then take the side road to the left. This winds down through the woods to the B4335. After a short section on the main road you can cut along side roads to Capel Mair and Pencader. (It may be possible to reopen some of the footpaths in this area soon.)
From Pencader take the Gwyddgrug road. At SN 44826 35926 turn right on a waymarked track. Cross the busy A485 south of Gwyddgrug at SN 45881 34729 and continue along the lane past Bedw-hirion. The lane becomes a rough track along the edge of the fields towards the wind farm. At the top of the rise a small stream is culverted under the track. Go through the gate to the right and continue with the hedge on your left. The banks and ditches tell you that you are still on the line of the old road. It is stiled and gated to the forest edge.
At SN 47298 33539 a track goes left to the first turbine. Ignore this and bear right towards the forest. At SN 47298 33539 you enter the trees. At SN 47388 33399 bear left and walk along the forest edge. At SN 47828 32961 there are two forest roads and a rough track to the right. Take the central track, into the woods. At SN 48399 32791 turn left on a forest road then take the second right at the crossroads, SN 48699 33134. This is the new part of the forest and the young conifers are monotonous at first but when you get to the top the views open out. In about 2 km the forest track becomes a roughly metalled road and winds downhill through the woods. At SN 51141 31179 turn left at the T junction.
You can walk from here to Brechfa less than a mile to the south. Brechfa has a part-time post office (just a couple of hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), and a community shop staffed by volunteers on a rota. An old shop building was taken over by the community and renovated by local labour. It stocks wine, groceries, Fair Trade goods, wellies, car and bike parts - anything the community needs. You can buy food in small quantities if you are camping - a rasher of bacon, a couple of eggs.
Brechfa also has toilets, a pub and a choice of accommodation - the pub, a hotel, a guest house in the village, a bunkhouse to the south (http://www.brechfa-bunkhouse.com/Index.htm , mainly geared to group bookings) and several farms around.
To keep on the main Cistercian Way from SN 51141 31179: when the road bends sharply to the right (at a farm called Felin Marlais, Marlais Mill - you can still see the mill buildings) cross the bridge at SN 51828 31136 and take the waymarked footpath up the green lane. Bear left with the lane, which goes under the roots of some magnificent beech trees and out on the road at SN 52016 31446 (Bryn Marlais). Bryn Marlais and Tai-cyd have a campsite for Camping and Caravanning Club members.
Walk past Bryn Marlais and up into the woods. At SN 52318 31934 the road bends sharply to the left. Take the waymarked bridleway to the right. DO NOT go up the forest road to the right of the clearing: the bridleway goes down to the left and past the cottages. After about 1.25 km turn left on the metalled road. Cross Pont Cwm-mawr-ddu (the carved stone tells you it was ‘Built by the expence of T. H. JONES ESQ. of Neuaddfawr. A. D. 1838’) and walk up hill.
In about 1.3 km, take a sharp right turn (signposted for Llanfihangel Rhos-y-corn Church) and walk up a steep hill. At SN 53688 33406 the road bends sharply to the left. Take the track to the right. In about 0.4 km at SN 54046 33301 the track forks. Do not take the first left: this is a well-surfaced forest road which comes to an abrupt halt in 500 yards. Just beyond it, take the muddy lane to the left and follow it around the contour to SN 54661 33671. Here another lane joins from the right. Turn left and follow a deep hollow lane up hill. At the top, at SN 54726 34441, turn left to walk past Pant-y-Bettws and up to the road. Turn right and walk past Llanfihangel Church.
At SN 54928 34769, just past the church, take the bridleway to the right - not the forest road but the lane just before it. At SN 55156 34894 the lane forks. Go right then turn left immediately (there should be a waymark here) to follow the bridleway along a wide avenue of beech trees. This must have been an important road. It winds through the woods, fording several small streams, and eventually emerges on the metalled road at SN 55713 36621 just south-east of Llidiard Nenog.
Turn right and walk over the cattle grid. At SN 55771 36649 take the bridleway to your left. Cross one forest track. At SN 55933 37009 turn left on another forest track, then right almost immediately. At SN 55983 37091 the track forks. Bear left , and follow the track round the contour. (There is a pretty bridleway going down to your right at this point but the stream at the bottom is often too wide to jump and too deep to ford with your boots on.) At SN 55498 37581 bear right. At SN 55073 37839 turn right. At SN 55181 37894 turn left and follow the track along the edge of the forest. At SN 55241 38936 turn left and walk to the metalled road at SN 55138 39366.
Turn right, then right at the T junction and left almost immediately. This minor road will take you most of the way to Lampeter. To avoid the final stretch along the A485, turn right at SN 57836 46171 just after the hamlet of Parc-y-rhos. At SN 57981 4622 a waymarked footpath goes up to the left. Follow this along the edge of the first field. At SN 58066 46376 bear slightly to the left to cut across the next two fields. At SN 58138 46576 turn left on the lane which bears right round Pen-lan. Follow the track past Penlan. At SN 58448 46761, turn left at the crossroads and walk down to the road into Lampeter.
|Dre-fach and Felindre to Lampeter|
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