There is some sort of perverse pleasure us cyclists seem to get dragging ourselves up steep hills. Sweat dripping off our noses, eyes bulging, legs burning and panting furiously, it all makes for a pretty picture when you reach the top. Just look at me – all fat and red in the face. The sense of achievement and the thrill of the descent must be why we do it.
It must also be why people from the ‘flat lands’ of England bring their bikes to Wales so they to might get a few miles climbing followed by the fun of sweeping through the bends on the way down.
About six miles from Gliffaes is a famous climb up the shoulder of the Blorenge. The Blorenge is the large hill that dominates Abergavenny to the south. The route is know as ‘The Tumble’ and is in fact the B4246 from Govilon to Blaenavon. The climb is about 3 miles long and gains around 1200 feet in height finishing at a place called ‘Keepers Pond’. The climb is often included in the Tour of Britain and various races around South Wales.
It starts off quite gradually going up through the woods but once out of the trees the gradient kicks up through the open moor, if you have the energy to look around you the views are spectacular. Just don’t pick the warmest day of the year to head up there like my friend Rob Lewis and I did this week.
I will be more than happy to show you a route from the hotel that that takes in The Tumble and one or two other well know climbs. If it looks like I might be able to keep up with you then I could be persuaded to come with you.
We are still unsure as to when we can re-open. I think it will be around the 24th May.
Gliffaes will not be open for outdoor dining only – I am afraid the numbers don’t stack up for us.
Mark Drakeford, The Welsh First Minister has given no definitive date for the opening of indoor hospitality in Wales.
This matter is further confused by the local elections on the 6th May. If Labour is returned to power he tells us that he will be minded to consider the opening of indoor hospitality on the 17th May and I guess he will give us about a week’s notice taking us to the 24th May.
Online booking is available and reception will be staffed from 9am to midday from Monday to Saturday, so please do call us.
Thank you for all your support and we hope to see you in May and beyond.
James & Susie Suter and all the team at Gliffaes.