THE THREE CASTLE
SKENFRITH~ GROSMONT~ WHITECASTLE
We cycled out of Croesyceiliog on the Sunday of the May day public holiday. After weeks of sunshine the weather had turned a bit overcast with a bit of drizzle we were to cycle to the four mediaeval castles of northern Gwent. This was to include some of the most finest cycling roads in Wales! Our route took us through the lanes to through New Inn, Glascoed, Usk, Llandenny and Raglan. After viewing Raglan castle, the ride into the deepest and most picturesque countryside was to begin. The narrow lane up past the Cuckoo club starts a climb that would take us past golden fields of sweet smelling rapeseed, not so sweet smelling farmyards and then past the Rolls golf course, near Monmouth. This was once the home of Henry Rolls of Rolls-Royce fame but is now a posh Golf club. Our ride then took us past Hilston Park, an old house which had been turned into an adventure resort. Nic had fond memories of this place, as he had spent some time here when he was a schoolboy. Not far from here is Skenfrith Castle, a pleasant small castle on the border with England. We stopped in Skenfrith and ate an ice cream, the weather had now turned sunny, so we basked in the sun for a while. After this it was the stunning meandering beautiful road to Grosmont, another border castle, about the same size as Skenfrith, it offers pleasant views of the village and the surrounding country. After eating lunch our ride took us down in to a dark hollow out Grosmont and then up a long and steep climb up the side of a mountain towards Cross Ash. From here we could see the mighty Pen-y-Gadair Fawr a massive Mountain in the Black Mountains. After this we cycled through a maze of lanes to Whitecastle - our favourite place! From here we dropped down to Llantilio Croessenny and then to Llanarth, Croes Llanfair and Goytre, from here we got on the canal tow-path to finish off our 60 mile ride back home via New Inn and the old abandoned road to Croesyceiliog.
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