There are several local walks we enjoy, all within easy reach of Gellihaf House. We have marvelled at the beauty and the fascinating industrial legacy of our local area and have discovered many hidden gems. A particularly enjoyable option is the route over Hengoed’s Viaduct, always a favourite and one that we regularly undertake when family and friends stay and Sunday lunch lies heavily within. It’s about 6km long and you’ll need a pair of sturdy shoes/boots especially if it’s been raining (which of course is a rare event in Wales :).
We start at Summerfield Hall Lane, just a few steps away from Gellihaf House. We meander along through the narrow hedged lanes until we get to the old railway bridge. We then turn left up the grassy path and follow it along until we reach a point adjacent to the main road. There we find a footpath which is route number 47 of the national cycle network. To continue the walk you’ll need to turn right onto it and keep following the woodland path until you stumble across the locally named ‘Stargate’ or Wheel O’ Drams (its official nomenclature); a fairly recent addition to the locality by sculpture Andy Hazell, an unusual piece of modern art formed from a 8.5 metre circle of coal carrying waggons to commemorate the industrial heritage of this locality within the history of the South Wales Valleys. The Maesycwmmer viaduct is an impressive stone construction, and grade II listed. It’s a real feat of engineering and a great vantage point for observing to the north and south of the magnificent Rhymney Valley. You can see Gellihaf House from it too!
Once you have traversed the full length of the viaduct you then turn off to the right adjacent to Hengoed Railway Station. From here it’s downhill (via the ‘Junction’ pub and a well-earned pint of Shandy) until you’re back at the base of the viaduct. Cross the main road and follow the narrow road under it. Stop temporarily at the river crossing beneath and simply marvel at the detail in its construction. Try to imagine the physical effort required by the men who built this massive structure and how on earth they manhandled the huge stone sections into place! Once you’ve completed your musings then proceed back to Gellihaf House by simply returning up Summerfield Hall Lane!
Your hosts, Catherine & Howard