Summer/Autumn Walks and Talks 2023


Here is the second tranche of walks and talks organised for 2023.


Saturday, 23 September 2023. 2pm (note change of date)

Roman and Medieval Caernarfon, N W Wales

Leader: Rachel Swallow

This walk and talk focuses on Rachel’s multidisciplinary research in Gwynedd and the ground-breaking research she presented at a conference held as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site bid at Carcassonne, France in November 2021.

Meeting at the castle car park, we will walk up to around half a mile each way, (including a very short, steep climb) to Tŵt Hill, to get a fabulous view of Caernarfon castle and its land- river, and seascape. Here, we will explore the hillfort and the newly interpreted Romano-British/early medieval coastal watchtower at Tŵt Hill itself, as well as examine its role as one component of a previously unidentified coastal beacon network in Gwynedd. You will then have the option of a visit to the castle and walled town (independently, or guided by Rachel) afterwards.

Please note: the castle closes at 5 pm in September. We will aim to get in by 4 pm, , visiting the castle walls thereafter. Do bring your Cadw/equivalent membership cards for free access. Full adult admission (ie non-concessionary) is currently £11.10. Strong walking shoes, walking aids, and weatherproof outer clothing are recommended.

Please book via (Please note change of contact details from any provided previously).


Sunday 24 September 9.30am

Pen-y-Crug Hillfort, Brecon, S Wales

Leaders: Toby Driver and Alice Thorne

Walk participants will join the Cambrians on the Association’s Autumn meeting in Brecon to visit the spectacular hillfort on the north side of the town. We will meet by Maen du well, with parking available on Maes-y-Ffynnon lane & surrounding streets in Pendre housing estate (off the B4520 just north of Brecon Cathedral; What3Words ///wider.oasis.smuggled). We will follow the path to and from Pen y Crug hillfort from the well. The entire walk will be around 4km.

Pen-y-Crug, one of the great Iron Age hillforts of Wales, is a masterpiece of defensive design notable for its complex circuit of up to four ramparts and ditches. It crowns a prominent flat summit overlooking the confluence of the rivers Usk and Honddu. The main approach to the gateway is still marked by a broad, deep holloway, worn by centuries of human and animal traffic. The inner rampart has a steep face which towers some 4-5m above the partly infilled ditch. Beyond this strong inner defence, between three and four steep outer banks encircle the summit.

We will explore the ramparts, appreciate some of the decisions made by the Iron Age builders and survey the surrounding landscape from the vantage point of the hillfort. We can also discuss the impact of three decades of Roman campaigning against the regional Silures people in these hills in the first century AD.

The terrain is grassy with some steeper slopes in places, but this is a popular and well-visited spot. Please wear stout walking shoes and weatherproof clothing.

Please book via:


Saturday 4 November 11.00

Piercefield Park, Chepstow, SE Wales

Leader: Sian Rees

Piercefield Park is an outstanding example of an 18th century Picturesque landscape. We will walk paths laid out in 1750s by Valentine Morris, the owner of Piercefield Estate, which became renowned as part of the Wye Tour. Though the pioneer of the Picturesque movement, William Gilpin, considered Morris’s ‘improvements’ not to conform strictly to his definition of the Picturesque, he had to admit that they were extremely romantic, giving rise to ‘a most pleasing riot of the imagination’.  Along the walk, we will enjoy the vistas across the river valley as we pass through the grottos, tunnels and look outs constructed on the wooded clifftops for the delectation of tourists.

The route we take will be weather dependent, but will certainly include the Eagle’s Nest, where the walk is only 1km and quite level; the southern path, past an densely wooded Iron Age hillfort, to the Alcove, the Grotto and the Giant’s Cave (3km) is generally level but there are a few steeper sections and after rain it can be slippery. Wear stout walking shoes and weatherproof clothing.

Please book via Sian Rees: