The Dragon Hotel didn’t disappoint. The food was great, as was the company! I have wanted to stay there ever since first visiting Montgomery 12 years ago or so, so that’s one off the list.
I had a job getting back to the trail though. I spotted a network of footpaths that would allow me to avoid walking along the main road at Montgomery’s version of rush hour. They had been blocked off however and try as I might, I could find no way through and had to go the long way round. I can see a strongly worded email winging its way to Powys Council!
Suffice to say, having set off at 9:00 from the hotel it was just before 10:00 when I got back to where I left off the path the previous evening.
Another ‘long day in the field’ today, as Mountain Goat would say. Nowhere near as much climbing though and what there was was all over within a couple of hours.
After a (very misty) hour of Field – Stile – Field – Stile, and the amazing covered lane above, the path headed up into the Leighton Estate, which seems wholly dedicated to the rearing of grouse. After an initial climb it levelled off nicely and then kicked up again to the high point of the day, Beacon Ring.
I spotted a bright red rucksack heading up the hill about 200 yards ahead of me. Me and it’s weary porter arrived at the top together and there was already another ODP’er there who was heading North to South. We compared notes for about ten minutes and then I started the descent.
After reaching Buttington and taking my life in my hands crossing the bridge, it was a return to fields again for half an hour or so. The farmer here obviously felt that the sheep and cows weren’t doing a good enough job coating the path with ‘debris’ (WRONG) and had decided that he would muck spread the entire field, including the gates at either end. I tried to pick my way through but it quickly became apparent that there was no avoiding it. I spent about 5 minutes cleaning my shoes after leaving the field.
The route then crossed the A483 and took up the towpath of the Montgomery Canal, which, thankfully, quickly veered away from the road and it was pleasant walking.
At Pool Quay I decided to support the Powis Arms as they had gone to the trouble of opening on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s a quirky pub I hadn’t been in before but I enjoyed it and was glad of the rest.
The next hour or so was all along the top of the dyke alongside the River Severn. It allowed good progress but got a bit monotonous to be honest.
After Four Crosses, it was all on the towpath of the Montgomery Canal until Llanymynech, the day’s end point after 18 miles. This was enlivened by watching a Kingfisher fly over the River Vyrnwy where the canal passes over it.
The Bradford Arms in Llanymynech doesn’t look much from the outside to be honest. It’s a really well run, welcoming pub however. They couldn’t do enough to help.
By my calculations I have now completed 115 of the 177 miles of the path so the end is in sight. I also get to sleep in my own bed tomorrow and on returning to Chirk on Friday I will be walking with the Goat!