Black Mountains under threatening skies.

29th July 2017
The Black Mountains are nowhere near as popular as the Brecon Beacons for walkers, however they still attract many people to their easily accessible tops. Susan and I took a drive from Crickhowell, up past Llanbedr on to Fforest Coal Pit, through the Llanthony valley taking in Cwmyoy Church, Llanthony Priory, Capel y Ffin Church and finally up and over the Gospel Pass to Hay on Wye. Many people still travel to see these sights and rightly so because the Black Mountains are different to the Beacons, there is more history there, in particular from a religious point of view. Many ecclesiastical establishments were built throughout this valley, some taking advantage of its solitude for no doubt periods of quiet reflection, Llanthony Priory being a prime example. The monks brewed their beer here and transported it up what is known as the ‘Beer Track’ to the town of Hay on Wye. I’m sure they must have enjoyed a ‘Swift Half’ of an evening when the abbot wasn’t looking!
It is a gentler landscape here, dotted with small hamlets and farms which is quite pleasing on the eye. The area around Hay Bluff is still very popular and we stopped there to take in the superb panorama that that can be viewed basically from the car park. The skies remain grey and threatening this week but that is not all bad for a photograph as it makes an image busier than a plain blue sky. We travelled back and had some lunch on the way in the Bridge End pub in the village of Boughrood pronounced Bochrood. The food was very nice for a pub and made a pleasant change on a Saturday afternoon.


The Gospel Pass leading down into Hay on Wye, this road featured for a long time on the Antiques Road Show.


Dramatic skies from Hay Bluff.


Black Mountaim tops on the left and the Beacons in the distance.


Black Mountaim tops on the left and the Beacons in the distance.

All taken with;
Canon 1D Mk 2
Canon 17-40L F4 lens
Manfrotto 055 Tripod
Manfrotto MHX PRO 3 Way Tilt and Pan Head
Canon remote shutter release
Hoya circular polarizing filter
Format Hitech - 0.9 ; (3 Stop) ; Soft edged graduated ND Filter