Saturday, 20 March 2010

Walk in Carmel Woods

Yesterday my daughter and I managed the longed-for walk somewhere new, and explored a circular trackway around the abandoned limestone quarries at Carmel Woods (now a Nature Reserve).

These limestone quarries were an important source of income for the Ammanford and Llandybie areas up until 1990, when they finally closed down and fell silent. Lime was essential for building work, limewash for painting, and above all, for sweetening pasture land - much of it with acidic soils in this area of Wales. For a full history, see HERE.
The trackway led us to the old quarry face. We passed several ruined buildings which had been in use during the quarry's lifetime.

Silver Birch and Hazel are always the first to colonize abandoned sites -quickly followed by Sycamore and Ash.

The trackway climbed steadily through the woodland.

Moss has softened the sharp edges of the quarried rockface.

Little rosettes of the wild Aquilegia.

View from the top of the quarry looking back down the valley.

The path took us ever upwards.
Looking across towards Carreg Cennen, which you can just see in the photo below, centre.

Entrance to a cave system in the limestone.

Our path back to the car led past the lake.

Footings of an old cottage, probably connected with the Quarry in former times.

My darling daughter
We ended up at Goldstone Books, at the back of a little industrial estate just round the corner from Tesco's. They had an interesting and sensibly-priced bookshop front-of-house but it was the stock behind closed doors (sold on their website) which was tempting and out-of-bounds! I was good and just bought two books for £3, and T bought her boyfriend two books he had been looking for (£4). T goes home tomorrow, so I shall miss her, but her sister returns home for three weeks next week, so I have that to look forward to.


  1. Loved the walk, such beautiful photographs!
    The bookshop looked intriguing... all those books stuffed in the window??? Online the shop looks massive.... what a HUGE collection!!! So glad you and your 'beautiful' daughter managed to find some reasonably priced books!!
    Love Jane xxx

  2. I so enjoy our walks together ! Thank You

  3. That is so beautiful. I love the wild bushes and flowers and the quarry looks beautiful in it's own way too. Have a wonderful weekend !!

  4. I'm pleased you'd a nice time with your daughter. You seemed to have been pining for her and her sister to come home.

    Not long till next weeks visit. A whole 3 weeks should be great I'm sure.


  5. Al - you're right - I have felt completely lost without them. T especially as we are very close and have always done lots together. This long winter hasn't helped as it's knocked outdoor pursuits firmly on the head and got me "down".

    Moncha,TCQ and Aromatic - glad you enjoyed the walk. We went further than we planned, just exploring, and found it was wonderful circular walk AND we had the place to ourselves : )

  6. Wow, love that bookshop and what a great walk, especially the quarry. I so miss Wales!

    I'm going to give the chocolate cookies a go too :)

    Take care and soon you'll have a houseful again. x

  7. What a wonderful day you had with your beautiful daughter! I loved all the pics...thank you so much for sharing. I especially loved all those books in the window of the book store and the stained glass above.

  8. An old quarry! Just the king of place I would have loved to explore as a child -- and even today. Beautiful walk. My son who is a 'spelunker' would be itching to get into that cave.

  9. Lovely photos, and wild aquilegias, never knew they existed, though Burl in his Stone Circle book mentions them at Lough Gur, thought he'd got his flowers muddled up!.