16-17 km, depending on route taken
At SO 31857 22539, south of Cwm-iou, the Cistercian Way rejoins the Offa’s Dyke Path near Bwlch Trewyn.
The Offa’s Dyke Path is still the best way south from below Cwm-iou – it gets you across the railway line and the main road, both difficult crossings (and the road could probably do with a bit more notice for drivers) and across the fields to Llangattock Lingoed. Llangattock has a pub and places to stay.
And the church – http://www.villagealivetrust.org.uk/what-to-see/churches/st-cadocs-church . (More details below.)
But eventually you have to tear yourself away. The ODP would take you all the way to Monmouth, but the Cistercian Way diverts to visit the remains of a Cistercian grange. Lots of pictures for this section on the blog at https://cistercianway.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/llangatwg-to-llanfaenor-joining-the-dots/ and https://cistercianway.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/pushing-up-the-borders/ .
Leave the churchyard by the south gate, following the ODP waymarks. Walk down the field and over a footbridge to turn left on the lane. At SO 36244 19009 follow the ODP waymark across the field to a footbridge at SO 36422 18751. Leave the ODP here and turn left down a very muddy bank and across another footbridge at SO 36509 18746. Bear slightly to the right up the next field to a stile in the far hedge at SO 36799 18904. Continue on the same line across the next field heading for the impressive Jacobean chimneys of the intriguingly-named Great Pool Hall. (This is a timber-framed gentry house of a kind you would be more likely to find in town – more details at http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/300001924-great-pool-hall-grosmont#.WMqd46JBrIU.)
Cross the road at SO 37057 18999 and walk down through the yard of Great Pool Hall, between the house and the stables. Go through a little gate ahead of you and walk along the right side of the hedge. Cross the stile at the far left corner of the field and keep on the same line bearing right towards a stile in the fence at about SO 37554 18827 (the stile is difficult to see and the fence isn’t on the map).
Look up to your left and you can see the huge mansion of Glen Trothy, built in the 1880s at the height of the Victorian passion for Scots Baronial architecture. It was built for the Vaughan family, who were Catholics, and has a lovely little chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart (http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/300014407-glen-trothy-house-including-attached-sacred-heart-chapel-llantilio-crossenny#.WMqeo6JBrIV ). The house isn’t open to the public. (If you Google for places to stay nearby you may find the Glen Trothy Caravan Park but that’s nowhere near – it’s in Mitchel Troy, south of Monmouth.)
Scramble down the bank below the stile, turn left on the metalled drive, immediately right over a little bridge and immediately left up the bank. You are now on the line of the Three Castles Way – a promoted route, and reasonably well waymarked. Cross the road at SO 37675 18743, scramble up the far bank (there are steps but they are worn) and over the stile. Bear up to the right across the next field to a stile about ⅔ up the far fence. Continue bearing round to the right past Cae Scybor. Cross the drive and walk to the left of the hedge ahead of you. When the hedge bears to the right, keep straight on to cross a stile at SO SO 38102 18930. Bear slightly to the left across the next field. The map shows the RoW going along the hollow lane at the far side of the field but this can be very muddy (police have put warning signs about off-road activity) so the RoW is now (2017) waymarked along the far edge of the field to a stile and gate at SO 38295 19093.
Turn left and walk along the lane. Turn right on the metalled road and right again at the fork following the sign for Cat’s Ash. In about ⅔ km you reach Llanfair Cilgoed, site of Dore’s grange. (Details below.) You can cross the stile at SO 38976 19088 and walk diagonally across the field to look at the earthworks of what may have been fishponds and vineyards.
|Offa’s Dyke Path to Grace Dieu|