Sam and I both grew up in Mid Wales, and although we are now very used to the South-East, for me at least Wales still feels like home.
Last weekend we took a quick trip up to visit my Mum and were lucky enough to have great weather so managed to get in a couple of good walks despite having a five hour drive each way.
On the Saturday we walked up to Rodney’s Pillar, a local landmark that can be seen for miles around. The Pillar was built on top of the Breidden Hill to commemorate the victories of Admiral Rodney, who used oak timber from Montgomeryshire to build his fleet.
The walk up to the column is short but fairly steep; the Breidden hill is 367 m high – not exactly a mammoth peak, but a good deal higher than anything that we have down in West Sussex, making it a good leg stretch to get to the top. My resident geologist tells me that the Breidden (and the other four hills that make up its chain) are volcanic in origin, made of hard, igneous rock that allows them to sit high above the Severn flood plain.
Annoyingly, we’d forgotten to pack the camera so I had to make do with my phone, but it’s hard to make this view look bad whatever equipment you’re using! Although the hill isn’t especially high, it gives a fantastic panorama in all directions and it’s easy to see why this is a popular walking spot.Towards the west we could see into Snowdonia, although Snowdon itself and Cadair Idris were both wreathed in cloud. The Shropshire hills dominated the south-easterly view, and to the north-east we could see the foothills of the Pennines. There is also a trig point at the summit, so I was a happy bunny!On the Sunday we only had time for a short walk in the morning before heading home, so we took a quick stroll through the grounds of Powis Castle. Sam used to work in the restaurant as a chef making the cakes and desserts while we were at school and in university holidays, so it’s a very familiar building to him!We wandered through the deer park (although sadly didn’t see any deer this time) and back along the canal into Welshpool.I’ve done this walk – or variations of it – quite a few times when living in Welshpool, and I’d always just taken it for granted that I could simply step out of my front door and be in such picturesque surroundings. There’s so much in the area that I either haven’t done (or haven’t done enough) despite years of living there, and now that I’m based so far away I really regret it. Thankfully, Mum is still there so we can visit often, continue to explore, and try and make up for all of the times that we’ve taken the area for granted.