THE CWM - with a bit of Rough-Stuff.


It was a sunny, windy Saturday evening as I cycled to Newport to meet Nick at the Fire Station. The ride was similar to the last one; the flat levels of Caldicot were taken in before going to the village of Llanfair Discoed. This time we ventured up the little known quiet lane toward Shirenewton. There is a no through road turning off this track that leads to the Cwm. Fred Hando, the Gwent historian, had written about this valley in one of his books. I had not been up here before and I was keen to take in its beauty. As soon as the lane veered off up the valley a quiet glaze took over the air. I see now why Fred Hando was so taken aback by this enchanting place. The valley follows the Castrogi Brook, which has been tamed to provide power to the mill. There is a large Victorian building here, almost the size of a small hotel, its purpose is a mystery, but it is certainly impressive. The birds sang and the brook babbled, it was hard to think we were only a few miles from the city; this place is like a lost time capsule that can only bring out harmony to one's inner self. There is no way out on the road here so a footpath was taken through the woods and then on to a farm track where the road to Wentwood from Shirenewton was reached. The wind had now died down and it had turned into a fine, but not very warm evening. The ride ambling towards Wentwood forest was peaceful, darkness came at 22:30, the lamps were lit, and the descent down from Wentwood was taken briskly. We were soon back in Croesyceiliog after riding through Llantrisant, Treddunock and the Trehebert road....43 miles.

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