Valleys 100 Section 8 - Deri to Butetown

Section 8 of The Valleys Hundred will probably be the most difficult section of the entire route navigationally. It will leave Deri, and head north to the delightful village of Butetown where there will be a checkpoint in St. Aiden's Church, which is believed to be the smallest church in Wales.

On leaving Deri Community Hall, the route rejoins the cycle track that it was following to come into Deri. The route will enter Parc Cwm Darran, another reclaimed area that once housed a massive colliery, and now houses a countryside park complete with anglers’ lake and caravan site. The route starts to climb gently through Parc Cwm Darran before it becomes steeper as it climbs to the shoulder of Cefn Brithdir.

The route will pass the remains of Tyla Du Farm as it gently climbs through forestry on a wonderful pine strewn path. The path soon levels out and emerges from the forestry onto the open hillside above Fochrhiw. Even at night, the views with the street lights below will be far reaching, as the further north that the path goes, the towns of Rhymney and Pontlottyn will be visible below to the north east.

And so to the difficult navigational area!! North of Pontlottyn the route heads on to open moorland. The path is very faint, and the South Wales group have even constructed a small stone cairn to assist with the navigation over the hill. In addition, the difficult area will be flagged to assist walkers at night to cross the hill safely. The route takes you to a metal arch known locally as ‘Rhymney Bent Iron’ before descending to the delightful village of Butetown where a small checkpoint will welcome you.

Butetown was built in 1825 to a very high standard to house iron workers who were to work on the new ironworks built by the Crawshay Ironmasters. The village consists of three roads and all buildings are now listed to protect them for future generations to enjoy. The checkpoint in Butetown is delightfully located in St. Aiden's Church and is reputedly the smallest active church in Wales.

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