June 24, 2019. 12 miles. Flat terrain, national boundary, Beacon Hill fort earthworks.

Learning about hill fortsGracie's Journal

The beginning of today’s walk was pretty flat and uneventful. But there were two hills (that were pretty rough, long climbing) that were so beautiful at the top! I’ll never get tired of the green, rolling landscapes and fields dotted with sheep here. 

The second hill is called Long Mountain, and it’s about 2 miles (at least that’s what it felt like!) of uphill climbing. It’s very tiring, especially since it was so humid today.      

Anyways, you’ll climb through the most magical looking forest. It’s so dense and green and quiet and peaceful. It actually reminded me of the hills of West Virginia, which was pretty surprising. At the top of the long hike is an old Iron Age Hillfort with trees planted to spell out “ER” as seen from above; the trees were planted at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, and now they’re so tall and lush, and it’s easy to get lost in them if you don’t stick to the path. Being in the Hillfort was SO NEAT because man it’s old! It truly felt like I had been transported back in time, and I could picture all of the people who would have gathered there before and after the Roman period in Britain. Definitely a place to spend a lot of time reflecting on the past and looking forward towards the future! I got to lead a discussion on Iron and a Bronze Age hillforts while sitting under the trees on the hillfort, so that was a neat moment of actually being present in a place you’ve researched; history came alive for me there! My discussion was on theories regarding the purpose and function of hillforts: Were they defensive structures or community gathering places? Why are some seen as being more important than others? What was the strategic value of placing a fort on top of the hill versus the side of the hill?

On the descent from the hillfort you’ll go through an extremely muddy lane that seems like a logging road, so be ready for that! I almost lost my shoes in the mud more than a few times. Good luck! Make sure you go on the correct path... our group learned the hard way that if you go to the right you’ll go down a very small path covered in various thorns and pokey things... not fun. 

Make sure you stay the night at the Tynllwyn Farmhouse if you can.... the owners are so wonderful and caring, and the place is absolutely beautiful and so cozy. 5 stars, would recommend!



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