River and waterways walk
NEW! This walk has been temporarily closed during the construction of the Newtown bypass. Walking Newtown is working on an alternate walk and it will be posted when available.
This walk starts and ends in the centre of Newtown. It leads you out alongside the river Severn and its tributaries and includes some road and off-road walking. The walk returns through woods eventually skirting industrial and residential areas to reach the town centre. The walk takes you around the western boundaries of Newtown and is rated as easy to moderate.
Distance: 5.3 miles (8.5 km).
Timing: 2 hours.
This walk starts under the Town Clock (1) at the intersection of Broad St, High St and Severn St., the area known locally as ‘The Cross’. The building now housing Barclays Bank was erected by Sarah Brisco, a descendent of the Pryce family of Newtown Hall, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897. Opposite the clock on Severn Street is the Robert Owen Museum and the Robert Owen Memorial Rooms are over the HSBC on the other corner. Robert Owen, the founder of the Co-operative Movement, is one of Newtown’s most famous sons.
Walk along Broad St towards Longbridge until you reach the bridge and the old woollen exchange on your left. This building is now the Regent cinema, a night club and the Exchange pub. After the woollen exchange and before the bridge turn immediately left onto the tarmac footpath. This footpath looks over a lower footpath and the river Severn. Stay on this higher footpath until you reach the footbridge over the river to Dolerw Park, where you switch to the lower path. Continue on this path alongside the river.
Take a small footbridge (2) over a stream into the grassed area. Leave the path here and walk along the river bank passing the new skate park and football pitches on your left. Continue following the river on grass, fenced walkways behind housing, informal paths and some tarmac paths. Take the right fork on the tarmac footpath at the fingerpost which points back to Dolerw Park. After the path takes you through a second area of housing there is a steep muddy descent to the river which needs some care to arrive safely at the bottom.
After more football pitches look out for a path to the right which takes you down to the water’s edge and on through woodland until you come to the tributary joining the river. This is the Mochdre Brook and it prevents you from going further along the banks of the Severn.
Follow the brook, under the railway bridge (3), over a stile and continue until you come to the road bridge over the brook. This is the A489 road to Llanidloes and the west. Slightly to your left you will see a large gate with a pedestrian gate alongside. Go through this gate and cross the road, bear slightly right to the fingerpost and follow the brook. Follow the path with the brook on your right over stiles, gates and small footbridges, alongside a pipeline running above ground for a time until you coming to a well signposted stile leading you through an area resembling a private back garden. A gate then leads you out to another stile onto the Stepaside Road (4).
Cross this road, turn right then take the steep side road immediately on your left. A sign warns that there is a weight limit on this road. Go up to the first junction on your left. Take the left turn, up over a hill and then down a dip to another stream on the left.
Ignore the stile on your left before the stream and take the gate (6) on your left on the other side of the stream. Once through the gate you will see a stile and footbridge on the left that takes you back over the stream. Follow the markers (it is well signed with footpath markers) as they continue along the stream, now on your right, to another footbridge to cross. Follow the indistinct path above and to the right of the stream through the wood until you come to a track with a stile leading onto it.
Cross the track, go through a gateway, cross the field following the fence on your left to a metal pedestrian gate. Follow this footpath through the wood and small park with pond, picnic area and herb garden. Go through the gate (7) on to the road in front of the buildings of Castell y Dail.
From Castell y Dail follow the road down into the start of the industrial estate. Turn right then immediately left on to the main road, Heol Ashley. Take the first right (8) with Links Electrical Supplies Ltd on your left and Laura Ashley on your right. The road ends at a tarmac footpath. Ignore a turn off to the left and bear right with a large grey industrial building with green trim on the right (Control Techniques). Playing fields are to your left.
Go past the school playground on your left and immediately after the playground (9) turn left off the paved path, through a wooden gate on to a path that takes you up into the wood. Follow the path through the wood, ignoring the occasional side paths. At the end of the wood, go straight across the field to a gap in the trees ahead.
Go down the steps, over three stiles (10) and onto the road. Turn left and follow this road to the T junction. Turn right on to the bigger road, Plantation Lane. Follow this road until you reach the High School on your left. Take the pedestrian path between the school and the hedge. This turns left to lead you parallel to the A483 Dolfor Rd. Here the path alongside a final, surprising bit of running water (11) where the stream from Blackhill and Dolfor is briefly allowed up to see the light in a concrete culvert before being submerged again in subterranean pipes. Go under the railway bridge, cross the A489 at the pedestrian crossing. Turn right then immediately left into Park St. Follow this past the library and the Castle Mound in the park on your left to the cross roads at New Church St. Turn left then cross the street, continue left then first right down High St to return to the clock.