Great Views (and some VHF) from the East side of the Blorenge


Didn’t plan on going far today (19th April, 2022) due to the cooler temperatures, but as I headed off on the motorcycle – cameras, radio and antennas all packed up, I was enjoying the ride more than I thought and made a spur of the moment decision to head for a smashing little pull-in just on the East side of the Blorenge mountain outside Abergavenny, South Wales. A favourite for walkers, para-gliders and amateur radio enthusiasts alike, and for those who know the area there is a well known spot here called Foxhunter car park, thus named as a once famous racehorse is buried close by.

In 1952, Sir Harry Llewellyn rode Foxhunter to take Gold in the Helsinki Olympic. The remains of the horse are buried near the car park, with a small memorial dedicated to him.

First though, I headed to Thunder Road Motorcycles in Cwmbran to look for some new gloves, alas none found, then took a small diversion over a scenic route towards my destination. In the distance on this image you can see in the distance just under the left side of the tree, the mound at the top of Twmbarlwm mountain. I have operated from that point on several occasions – and have uploaded a few blogs outlining each of the visits, including the comparison between the Slimjim and the Dipole antennas for portable 2M operation.

I tend to stop at a location a mile further on from Foxhunter car park, in a small lay-by offering fantastic views and elevation for a wonderful take off across the South Midlands and West Country; North East to Hereford, Shropshire and Worcester, East to Gloucestershire and South East to Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire. On a relatively clear day one can easily see Worcesters’ Malvern Hills in the distance.

It appears Cheltenham was the order of the day in terms of the geography of my QSO’s as I appeared to manage 4 in a row (other board games are available!!) from this general area. Graham, G8XRS visiting Dunelm in Cheltenham in his car (careful with that light fitting, Graham!!), and Ken, G3LUP both with very strong signals to me. Coming in second furthest of the day was Mike, G8DLXC in Pershore at around 47 miles, but a contact of just one additional mile at 48 miles was made with Tim, G7AWP in Winchcombe. It was also wonderful to have a another chat with Eddie, M0LJT in Bristol who I mentioned in a previous blog and who is currently recovering with a broken back after a dreadful fall in his garden recently.

Once again the FT-70D, coupled with the Slimjim mounted on top of the telescopic fibre glass pole at around 15 feet worked very well.

Such changeable weather of late, with temperatures one day approaching 20˚C then the next down to 11/12˚C meant I wasn’t planning on staying for long, especially being over 1,000′ in elevation. So with the temperature at a not so comfortable level I continued on my route down the mountainside towards the Abergavenny-Newport road.

Stopped briefly at another lovely viewpoint overlooking the town of Abergavenny and the Sugar Loaf mountain in the distance on the left, and the Skirrid further to the right.

The area all around the Blorenge is beautiful and there are many routes to take and paths to explore. My route down the east side of the Blorenge is also quite beautiful, passing a small nature reserve, ponds, several small streams, farm tracks and paths, I must visit this area more over the next few months to wander and explore the streams and paths in search of maybe some Pied Flycatchers, or as this is pretty close to the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, even the possibility of a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher.

Either way it really is a lovely area, which isn’t that far from any needed services but certainly far enough to be in the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of towns, busy roads and built up areas.

Once again, if you have torturously arrived here and managed to read this far… my thanks to you. Keep safe.

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