5.Henllys Vale Miners' Walk, Black Mountain range – audio trail
Start / Finish points: Ystradgynlais
Distance: 1.61 km / 1.0 miles
This audio trail takes you along an almost level path from Bryn-henllys Bridge to the former colliery at Henllys Vale with its imposing chimney and limekilns. The footpath offers a smooth and continuous surface along the majority of its length. However, short and moderately steep natural inclines either side of stop four can be avoided by following the path alongside the river.
Stop 1 OS Grid Ref: SN 756 126
Explorer Map or Landranger Map 160
1. Lower Brynhenllys Colliery
Henllys Vale is just off the A4068 at Ystradowen between Ystradgynlais and Brynaman. The start of the walk can be reached by turning off by the bus stop on the corner of the main road (A4068) in Ystradowen. Follow this road past the park and down a hill to the stone bridge (Brynhenllys Bridge). Cross the bridge and listen to track one besides the large boulders near the kissing gate.
2. Hole in the wall
With the river to your left, head through the kissing gate and along the path upstream. Within two minutes you will see a stone wall to your right. Listen to track 2 when you see an arched hole in this wall.
3. Flashy Floods & Sparky Rivers
Continue along the path and soon the river will pull away to the left. Listen to track 3 when you reach a large stone slab overhanging the tramway above, and to your right.
4. You are now going to leave the main path and head up the grassy track on the right. Listen to track four when the weir, in the river below, is directly to your left.
5. Opencasting & Rotten Eggs
Continue along the path, over the brow and back down to rejoin the main path. Listen to track 5 approximately 20 metres before the grassy area on the right gives way to woodland.
6. Ice Age Boulders & Rotten Stones
Carry on along the path and as you pass another weir see if you can work out how high it would have been. Listen to track 6 at the second bridge you encounter.
7. Wild Boars & Runaway Trams
Listen to track 7 after crossing the bridge onto the other side of the river.
8. Geological layers
Follow the path alongside the river (and not the path through the gate to the left), go through a bridle gate and listen to track 8 by the exposed rock face a further 20 metres ahead.
9. Henllys Vale Colliery
Follow the path ahead, keeping the fenceline on your left and listen to track 9 when you have a full view of the chimney from base to top.
Head towards the stone structure built into the bank and listen to track 10 by the interpretation panel.
Return to Lower Brynhenllys Colliery
Return back to the car park along the same route you came.
An audio trail to highlight the important industrial heritage and wonderful geology of the Henllys Vale area within the westren area of the Brecon Beacons National Park. This audio trail will take you back in time to learn about the period when this area was a hive of industrial activity. Learn of the days when miners slaved underground in the coal mines and when women took panniers up into the Black Mountain to carry silica sand.
Download the audio trails below:
10 Limekilns Downloadl
Map and Directions Download