Saturday, 11 February 2012

Machen to St Mellons 6 miles 3 pubs

Distance: 6 miles
Pubs: 3
Longest distance between pubs: 3 miles
Footwear: Walking boots (unless it's been dry)
Public transport: train and bus (1 hour from Cardiff).
Sundayable: Absolutely NOT. 

This is a variation on the Machen to Lisvane walk. It's a flat 6 miles walk that takes in three pubs: The Hollybush, The Cefn Mably Arms, and The Coach House. All of which are cracking pubs. Warning: The Cefn Mably Arms is closed from 3:30 to 6:00 so it makes sense to start the walk early. I now have a nice shinny phone with a GPS on it, so the gmap I link to in this post is accurate enough for others to follow on their phones. I edited out the bit where we got lost and walked in circles for 10 minuets.You can follow the instructions from my Machen to Lisvane Walk for the first section of this walk. I'm repeating them here with a few improvements.
Starting at Cardiff Queen street station buy a return ticket to Caerphilly. The best train to get is the one leaving at five past since this connects up well with the bus in Caerphilly. Once in Caerphilly go over the foot bridge and find bus stand 6. Wait here for the No 50 Newport Stagecoach bus (time table) that is due at twenty five past. You need to buy a single ticket to Machen. The journey takes around 15 mins. Get off at the bus stop just after the Spar, opposite the Fwrrwm Ishta restaurant.
Continue down the road for 100 yards and turn right down Tyn Y Waun road. Cross over the bridge and continue into the estate. Take the second left down Tyn Y Waun road at the end you come out on some playing fields. Walk to the far right of the fields and pass through the kissing gate. From here you can follow the "Rhymney River Circular" markers (see photo). Continue on the path until you come out at an unnamed hamlet. Here walk through the hamlet and south along the quiet country road towards Draethen. After 1 mile turn off to the right on the footpath immediately after the "slow" sign painted on the road (see photo). Once up the steps turn to the left and follow the path across the cleared woodland. The trees here have been felled rather recently and there is the potential for more forest clearance. Staying on the road and walking straight into the village is also an option. Follow the path that is marked by some red and white hazard tape when I did the walk in January 2012. Aim for the corner of the forest you can see to the left. You may have to climb around some fallen branches to reach the path. From here follow the path to a small alley that runs between two houses. You emerge opposite The Hollybush pub (see photo) which is the first break in this walk.
The Hollybush (65%**) serves Timothy Tailor Landord, has cheap but nice food and a big open fire. It is nice enough pub that is littered with signs warning any patrons that the bar staff are gits. There's a particularly heartwarming sign in the girls toilets warning you that children are likely to hurt themselves in the pub, and that one cares if they do.
When you leave the Hollybush turn right and walk through the village on the main road. Follow the footpath on the right immediately after crossing over the stone bridge. Follow the path along the edge of the meandering river until you reach an iron gate. Resist the urge to go through the gate and turn left following the hedge. Turn right when when you reach a farm track. Walk down the track towards the Farm house and turn right onto a second track. Continue down this track until it takes a sharp turn to the right. Here leave the track and go straight on down the footpath at the edge of the field. Go though the gate at the end of the field and follow the well signed footpath for half a mile until you appear on a road. Turn right and walk up the hill ignore the turning to the right and continue through the village. Continue on the road for 1 mile until you reach the village of Michaelston-y-Fedw. You'll soon reach the
The Cefn Mably Arms which is on the left. This is the second stop. Remember The Cefn Mably Arms (60%**) is closed from 3:30 to 6:00 so you may be unlucky if you spent too long in The Hollybush. This is a reasonable pub with a couple of guest beers and a nice log fire. The jokes in the toilets may not be to everyones taste.
After leaving the pub turn right and continue on the road for quarter of a mile. After you cross over the M4 ignore the turning on the left and continue on Druidstone Rd for a further mile. When the road ends at a T-junction turn left down Tyr Winch Rd. After a quarter of a mile you'll reach The Coach House pub (72%**). This lovely pub is the only reason to visit St Mellons. There's a log fire and normally a couple of descent beers.
When you're done in the use the bus stop on the opposite side of the road to get the number 30 bus back into Cardiff.

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