Stage 9

Pontypool to Usk: 13 miles

Stage 9 of the Monmouthshire Way crosses the Usk Valley for the second time and heads across agricultural land towards the Roman town of Usk. Leaving Pontypool, the route climbs to the Folly Tower. The tower was probably built between 1765 - 70 by John Hanbury and is situated on the eastern side of the ridge thus providing far reaching views over the Monmouthshire countryside. In 1940 it was demolished because it was feared that it would act as a guiding beacon to the Luftwaffe as they sought to bomb nearby Glascoed. It was rebuilt in 1994 and officially opened by HRH Prince Charles.

Heading north the Monmouthshire heads onto moorland to reach the summit of Garn Wen. The route soon leaves the moorland behind for the final time and descends via the medieval Holy Well. This water source was certainly here prior to medieval times and the visiting Romans would have been aware of it. The route reaches the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal and this is followed for a short distance to reach the village of Goytre. From Goytre, the Monmouthshire Way heads east to reach the River Usk. This great Welsh river is followed to reach the historical town of Usk.