Pandy to Llanthony Priory: 16 miles
Stage 5 of The Monmouthshire Way is mountainous and the county summit of Chwarel y Fan will be visited. In good weather, this stage will be a delight, in poor weather, walkers will need to be well-equipped and confident that they can navigate in the mountains. This stage will be a long day for many Monmouthshire Way walkers and it could be possible to shorten it at Capel-y-ffin, but public transport is non-existent and car parking is very limited.
From Pandy, the Monmouthshire Way follows Offa's Dyke Path to Hatterall Hill. The initial climb is steep but the efforts are worthwhile due to the views that unfold. The ridge is followed north for several miles and navigation is easy. On clear days the hills of Shropshire and Malverns will be seen to the north east, whilst to the west, the Black Mountains will dominate.
The route leaves the Offa's Dyke Path and descends into the Vale of Eywas passing Vision Farm on route to Capel-y-ffin. Capel-y-ffin translates as 'chapel on the boundary' and here the Monmouthshire Way briefly leaves the county by entering Herefordshire. This foray into England is short-lived and the principality is soon re-entered.
Following the big descent, the Monmouthshire Way climbs steadily to reach the Chwarel y Fan ridge. The summit at 2227 ft above sea level is soon reached where on a good day magnificent views will be enjoyed in all directions. The route heads south and shortly after passing the summit of BalMawr, the col of Bal Bach is reached.
Here the Monmouthshire Way heads east and downhill to reach the ancient Llanthony Priory.