Parking on the northerly edge of Brynna we took the track to the hills. It was a cold but beautiful sunny morning, and we were looking forward to some good views. Soon we came across a farm with lots of vehicles, some obviously still in use but many abandoned and one so deeply buried in brambles it was anybody’s guess how long it had been there.

Approaching another farm, I saw from a distance, a woman in full riding regalia mount a horse and ride off. Getting nearer we could see that there was ice on the surface of a pond, a sheep covered in mud from head to toe apparently stuck in a feeding trough, as it attempted to negotiate a very muddy area to access the trough.

There were ducks on the pond, hens and quail wandering around the farmyard and a couple of geese. Our ‘horse whisperer’ tried to soothe a horse in its stable who seemed to have something caught in its throat – probably just a seed from the oats but it was causing obvious irritation.

Back out on open areas we could see the tops of wind turbines sat stationary on the hill. A tree trunk facing the full sun had a hole which was alive with honeybees buzzing in and out of the trunk, a few of them even seemed to be sunbathing as they perched with their backs to the sun on the edge of the hole.

Before long we were off the track and on mountain paths, crossing a field near Mynydd Hugh to the track which passes in front of the original wind turbines on the Taff Ely Ridgeway. When we reached the noticeboards, we had brilliant views of the channel and the vast field of turbines turning slowly. It was a still day and we wondered whether they were not producing electricity but being turned by motors.

As we continued the distinct outline of Tylor’s Town tip came into view. Then a member of our group pointed to some animals in a distant field ‘look how the long shadows of those sheep make them look like human beings staring our way’. As we got closer, we realised that they were not sheep at all but people on horseback all done up in their riding best

But curiously they didn’t seem to be moving.

It was lunchtime so we made our way to some rocks near the remains of St Peter’s Church. The church had a head stone for someone buried in the 18th C. We draped ourselves across the stones above and watched the ‘action’ as we ate. There were two Masters of the hunt dressed in red jackets, everyone else being in black. After a while we realised that there seemed to be a problem with the hounds: apart from a brief glimpse of a group of about six hounds descending the hill, we saw three individual hounds which one of the masters was calling from the valley just in front of us. But curiously most riders were just hanging around in the distant field.

As we resumed our walk, we realised that the riders were coming towards us along the path we were about to take, so we kept out of their way. We waited on the edge of a field as a long line of riders passed us. Later we met a few people who were leaving, and they said that they had indeed been watching the hunt rather than participating which meant that children could join.

Walking east a short way we spied the green Daffodil sculpture at Caerphilly and explored some tracks, then it was time to swing round to get back to Mynydd Coedbychan for the descent to the cars. Unfortunately, this bit of the walk was very wet and involved crossing a fast-flowing stream to an island before crossing a second stream to terra firma – it was clearly marked with footpath signs but once again rainfall had altered the terrain. Lots of encouragement was needed for some of us (me in particular) but as usual we found a way through.

At this point I spied my first buttercup of the season, just a tiny spark of yellow in the grass. Soon we gained the main track. Small groups from the hunt shared the track with us as they made their way downhill. After a sunny day the sky was darkening with clouds at dusk and the temperature was dropping as we arrived back at the cars.

A lovely walk on good paths, highlighted by the entertainment provided by the local hunt. Refreshment at a local hostelry rounded the day off nicely.

Walk 7.2m 1000ft Map OS151.