The Black Mountains form the eastern sector of the Brecon Beacons National Park and provide excellent walking with high ridges and deep valleys. Staring from the car park at Llanthony Priory (SatNav NP7 7NN) this route follows the Vale of Ewyas south to the village of Cwmyoy and its interesting church before climbing onto Hatterrall Hill where the Offa’s Dyke Path is used for most of the return to the start.
Return to the valley road from the parking area, turn left and almost immediately right along a track. Take the signed footpath on your left, crossing a bridge over the Afon Honddu. After crossing the river take the left hand stile and continue along the right hand side of a field before trending half right to climb up the filed to reach a lane. Turn left passing Sunnybank and walk through the woods to reach Upper Henllan where you drop down to a ford.
Continue on the track to Noyaddllwyd. Go past the farm but do not stay on the main track but descend left to follow a footpath that keeps to the edge of the wood with fields on your left. This path brings you to a house. From here the right of way is a path across fields to reach the valley road. Turn left along the main road taking the first road/track right. Cross the river and look out for a the hard to locate path to Cwmyoy. Once located follow this through fields to reach a lane. Turn left and follow this lane to reach the small church, which has suffered from subsidence.
Exit the north side of the churchyard by the gate at the eastern end of the church. Turn left along a track and almost immediately turn right up a narrow enclosed footpath. Go through a gate and turn right to head east. Reaching a path junction turn left and head uphill to pass a substantial building on your right. Continue north along a pleasant level section reach a stream. Cross the stream and after a few yards turn left along a track. The track narrows to a path and leads you onto the ridge and the summit of Hatterrall Hill.
Just past the highest point you will join the Offa’s Dyke Path which is followed north. With easy gradients progress is fast and you can enjoy the excellent views on both sides of the path. Care is needed with navigation and you should regularly check your progress with the map. After approximately 3 miles you will reach a path junction with a stone marker. Turn left to descend to Llanthony Abbey and the start. Once located the onward route is straightforward with an easy descent.
If you want to join me for some mountain walking, to off the beaten track places, then just get in touch on 07534 387152 or using the form here;