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Kidwelly Races

 

This walk (May 2020) has to be a local one.  What miserable times are upon us…


On the old Portway between Llansaint and Kidwelly there is a wartime gun emplacement on the crossroads at SN 393085.  Take the little road NE towards Allt Farm – there’s a wide passing place to park on the way – after which it gets interesting…


At Allt, you meet a cluster of old tracks.  If you imagine Allt as the centre of a roundabout, take the second exit, up the hill.  (The third exit goes down to Kidwelly, another good walk.)


You’ll pass a ruined farmhouse, Ty Newydd, on your right and not long after that the metalled road swerves to the right.  But the original road carries straight on as a green lane (#1). Choose a sunny day for the walk because soon you’ll see most of Carmarthenshire laid out to your left with the Preseli Hills (and some more in Ceredigion) as extras.  Quite a view.  (#2)


Then the path closes in on itself and you trample through bluebells (#3); the final stage, the other side of a gate, is via a causeway laid along the top of a sloping field, sure sign of an old road (#4).


But what was the road for?  I’d like to be able to say that it follows the contours to Kidwelly more than the Portway does, is therefore less steep, so would lessen the possibility of wagoners with primitive brakes coming to a sticky end as they went down the hill.  The old road, however, is steeper than the new one as it nears Kidwelly.  So what was this beautiful old road for?  Stone to build Llansaint with…?  


Not at all.  The answer is revealed in #5, the last thing I would have thought of.  But in future, when a road goes round in circles and/or leads nowhere, I shall always bear this possibility in mind: it was a race course.


What a view from the saddle!

Kidwelly Races image 1
Green Lane Starts here...
Kidwelly Races image 2
View...
Kidwelly Races image 3
Bluebells
Kidwelly Races image 4
Causeway
Kidwelly Races image 5
The Answer is here.