Blorenge Walk From Keeper’s Pond
From the car park, take the path to the left of Keeper’s Pond and follow this along the northern bank of the pond until you reach an information board. Here you can read some useful facts about the valuable landscape that surrounds you.
Cross the bridge, turn right and follow the obvious path in a north-easterly direction across the heather moorland of the Blorenge mountain. The B4246 which initially runs alongside the trail soon disappears from sight as it descends into the Usk Valley below.
You are now left with only the splendid panorama of dark green patchwork valley backed by the baron peaks of Sugarloaf and its neighbouring peaks. Before long, there is a fork in the path indicated by a waymarker, inscribed with “Govilon and Llanfoist”. Here you head left, down a rocky path which gradually descends down the Blorenge’s northern slopes.
After passing between two of the handful of small trees to adorn the heather dressed mountainside, the path splits once more. Here you can take your pick as either option leads you to join the tramroad and the next section of the Blorenge walk.
Following the Tramroad
Once you meet the tramroad, turn right and continue on this relatively flat section of the Blorenge walk as the trail follows the mountain’s contours around its northernmost extents.
Along this section of the walk, you will now spot the unique shape of Skirrid Mountain off to the north-east. You will also see the tunnel through which the Hill’s Tramroad passed which serves as a fine example of this area’s industrial heritage.
The path now begins to wind its way in and out of the mountain’s concave and steep easterly slopes. If you are fortunate enough to be enjoying the Blorenge walk in the spring, you are likely to be treated to some vibrant swathes of bluebells along this stretch.
A short distance further on, the trail leads you into a beautiful wooded haven on the mountain’s eastern side, where a small man-made lake forms its centrepiece. It is easy to see why this is known as the Punchbowl.
This is a serene and beautiful spot and an ideal location to sit and enjoy your lunch while soaking in the scenery.
If you are a lover of wildlife, there is plenty to look out for here. Keep your eyes peeled for mallards, herons, green woodpecker and warbler. Gazing across the lake, dragonflies and damselflies can often been seen manoeuvring at pace across the surface.
You may well receive a friendly welcome from some of the local sheep. No sooner had we sat to eat our lunch when we looked up to find a mother and baby standing no more than a metre from us demanding some food. Do not be bullied (like we were) because as cute as they were, the minute you feed them they do not leave you alone!
Climb to the Summit
With the lake on your right-hand side, walk along the shoreline and then follow the lower trail that leads steeply up into the woods. Towards the top, the path turns sharply to the right and passes through a gate. The trail now levels out and within a few minutes, you will reach two further gates, a short distance apart.
Once through the second of these gates, you will now see a small country road directly in front of you and a traditional stone wall to your right. Follow this wall as it curves to the right.
The path now steepens as you begin the final climb to the summit plateau. As you progress up the southern slope of Blorenge mountain, be sure to take a look back and enjoy the southerly views. On a nice clear day, you can even see the Bristol Channel.
The trail leads you to the eastern edge of the summit plateau where you can now catch your breath while taking in the super views on offer which now include a bird's-eye view of the Punchbowl.
Follow the ridge until you spot a small concrete building. Keeping the building on your right, continue along the trail that gently climbs in a south-westerly direction down the centre of the summit plateau.
This will lead you directly to the trig point which sits atop a mound with a pile of boulders at the top. These mark the location of a Bronze Age burial chamber.
The Blorenge Walk - Return Stretch
From the summit of Blorenge, continue along the trail in a south-westerly direction to the Foxhunter Car Park. It is easy to see where you are headed as there are two radio masts which sit just to the left of the car park.
From the car park, turn right and follow the narrow country road for a few hundred metres. You will then see a grass track (not that obvious) that leads off to the right. Keeper’s Pond now lays ahead of you and within a few minutes, you will be back at your car.