The Hafod Estate
Hafod Uchtryd, 12 miles south-east of Aberystwyth, is recognised as one of the finest examples in Europe of a Picturesque landscape.
Its most celebrated owner, Thomas Johnes (1748-1816), built a new house in this remote location and laid out its grounds in a manner suited to displaying its natural beauties in sympathy with the ‘Picturesque principles’ fashionable at the time, with circuit walks allowing the visitor to enjoy a succession of views and experiences. Johnes also used the land for farming, forestry, and gardening, in each case trying out new ideas and experimental methods. Hafod became an essential destination for the early tourist in Wales.
Today the Hafod estate occupies some 200 hectares of the Ystwyth valley and surrounding hills. Most is owned by Natural Resources Wales who, in partnership with the Hafod Trust, is managing a conservation and restoration project with public and private funding.
Each week the Sixth Form take on an adventurous activity whether it be caving, mountain climbing, canoeing or walking. This March we went to Hafod House about an hour’s drive from school.
What are the benefits of so much walking?
* Maintain a healthy weight.
* Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
* Strengthen your bones and muscles.
* Improve your mood.
* Improve your balance and coordination.
It also gives us the opportunity to work together, organise our kit and learn how to use a map or guide. The other benefits are that it gets us out into our local area discovering new places and having new experiences. Not everybody finds it easy but we try to organise the walks in such a way that all can participate regardless of ability or fitness levels.