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Bargoed Gelligaer common, 18 May 2024

Merthyr Valley Ramblers embarked on an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Welsh countryside. With the sun peeking through the clouds, our group of 10 intrepid hikers and their 5 loyal four-legged companions gathered at the picturesque Bargoed Woodland Park. Led by the ever-enthusiastic Peter, we set off on a 9-mile circular adventure. Following the Rhymney River, our path led us northward, tracing the gentle curves of the Rhymney River, towards Bargoed. Along the way, we passed the majestic angel statue, a silent guardian watching over the valley. As we reached Bristol Terrace, our legs were put to the test with a short but invigorating climb, with rewards of Panoramic views that stretched across the valley, reminding us why we lace up our hiking boots time and time again. Turning northwest, we skirted the edges of the Bargoed Golf Course. The trail led us southward, where we discovered the hidden gems of Gelligaer Common. Ancient oaks stood tall, their gnarled branches reaching for the sky. And then, there they were—the Roman Practice Works, remnants of a bygone era. lunch at St Catwg's Church, our stomachs grumbled, and we knew it was time for a well-deserved break. Homeward Bound: Tir-y-berth and the final Ascent Leaving Gelligaer behind, we headed east toward Tir-y-berth. The landscape shifted—rolling hills, sheep-dotted fields, and the promise of home. Our final ascent, a northward climb, brought us back to our starting point. As we caught our breath, we exchanged stories of the day—the sights, the sounds, and the camaraderie that makes every ramble special.