Walks In & Around Welshpool, Newtown & Montgomery
[ISBN 978 1 908748 48 5]
Our Price: £4.95
20 walks/40 pages
Kittiwake's original guide to Welshpool was first published in 2003, and had reprinted regularly since then. We have now reached the decison to expand its coverage to include not only Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinion, but also Newtown and Montgomery, towns which, for a long time, have been deserving of our attention.
Welshpool is a busy market town, founded in the mid-13thC. It was described in 1822 as being 'large and populous, and the appearance of opulence is very predominant throughout the place, perhaps owing to its trade in Welsh flannels, which is carried on here to a very great extent'. This trade was further enhanced with the building of the Montgomery Canal.
Newtown is the largest town in Powys, much altered since its founding at the end of the 13thC, but with plenty of interest surviving and some very fine countryside in the surrounding Severn valley. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, had an administrative centre at nearby Dolforwyn Castle (visited on one of these walks). Edward I, not being entirely happy about this, seized Llewelyn's land and transferred it to the Mortimers at Newtown. The town thrived and became a centre for the textile and flannel industries during the 18–19thCs, and it's transport links were also greatly improved with the building of the Montgomery Canal, and later with the coming of the railway. Cambrian Mills, opened in 1856 beside the canal basin (no longer there), was the first steam driven mill in Newtown, later to become the largest Welsh woollen mill. Newtown is well known today as the birthplace of the social reformer, Robert Owen. This area is also notable for a large number of impassable footpaths. You will need this book!
Montgomery is a totally charming small border town – if you are fortunate enough to visit on a warm summer's afternoon, you could imagine you were in a sleepy Mediterranean village. The spectacular castle, now a picturesque ruin on a crag overlooking the town, was built in the early 13thC to replace Hendomen, an earlier motte & bailey nearby. With an excellent café on Broad Street, pubs and a couple of museums, you can spend a great day there.
This is an excellent area for walkers – try some of these routes and you will surely not be disappointed.