Well, the final episode of this season’s Weatherman Walking is finally here – and the weather certainly showed up for this one. Torrential rain, massive gusts of wind, hail and glorious sunshine, leading to outstanding views. Just another day on top of a Welsh hillfort by the sea…
In this episode, after Derek and I part ways at the beginning of the show, I head up to Pendinas Hillfort – a hillfort I have admired for many years; a prominent sight from Aberystwyth. The hillfort itself is fascinating, and unusual. Essentially it is two hillforts in one – two massive enclosures making up the site itself.
Looking from Aberystwyth University, the National Library of Wales, or the offices of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) perhaps, the hillfort sits on the skyline over towards the sea. Its massive ramparts are easily spotted as wavy lines on the horizon. On the top there is an even more prominent sight – the Wellington Monument. From far away it is eye-catching. Close up, it is MASSIVE!
As you may know, I’m a bit (!) of a fan of hillforts. When I was told that we were going to visit an excavation at the site with the Weatherman Walking crew, I was over the moon. The team at Dyfed Archaeology were joined by members from the local community – many of them who had admired the hillfort viewed from their homes for many years. Lots of them enjoy visiting the site for exercise, fresh air, or dog walking. And now they get to see what lies underneath the soil.
I’m not going to tell you any spoilers – you’ll have to tune in and see for yourself. But I can tell you that I got to have a bit of a poke around with a trowel myself and got a fantastic welcome from the team at the dig site. Generally, with hillforts in Wales, you’re not going to find treasure and shiny artefacts. What they did find was unexpected, interesting, and led us to learn more about our ancestors who used the site there over 2,500 years ago. Not bad, eh.
Onkar also joins us in this episode, seeking a bit of peace and quiet in the Welsh countryside, leaving his baby triplets at home… I now see how easy I have it with just Poppy!
Derek and I met back up at the end of the episode at Devil’s Bridge and, much to my delight, we left for home on a steam train. Before we did, however, I handed him a home-made birthday card from Poppy and a special present from the team.
We had a fantastic time in Ceredigion, and I’ve had so much fun working with Derek and the Weatherman Walking team again this year. What a joy it is to explore our beautiful country, meeting new people who share their stories with us, and getting to find out more about our history and heritage. And then share it with you all too!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed the show and can join us to watch the last episode this Friday, BBC1 Wales, 7.30pm, repeat on Saturday, 5.30pm BBC1 Wales, and on iplayer at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b006rh64/weatherman-walking