Cardiff has some fine walks along the coast and great riverside trails along the River Taff. The Taff Trail and the beautiful Bute Park are great options in the city. If you go north of the city you can enjoy a climb to Garth Hill and pick up long distance trails including the Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk.
This walk takes you along a section of the Wales Coast Path from Cardiff Docks to Barry Island via Penarth.
The walk starts at Atlantic Wharf and follows paths around Penarth Flats and Cardiff Bay to Penarth. There's views of the River Ely, the attractive Penarth Marina and the Victorian Penarth Pier as you pass through the popular seaside resort. The town is located at the top of limestone cliffs that have a distinctive rock formation and are referred to as the Penarth Group of rocks.
The route continues south to Lavernock Point with splendid views overlooking the Bristol Channel. Here you will find a lovely nature reserve with varied and colourful plants and several species of butterfly to look out for. The area is also noteworthy as the place where Guglielmo Marconi transmitted and received the first wireless signals over open sea between Lavernock Point and Flat Holmisland in the late 19th century.
At Lavernock you have the option of taking a detour from the coast to the nearby Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. The lakes have a series of waterside trails with 200 acres of woodland, meadows and wetland habitats to enjoy.
After exploring the park the route returns to the coast at Swanbridge Bay, where there are nice views towards Sully Island. The small tidal island is accessible on foot at low tide from the car park of the Captain's Wife public house. The pretty island is home to several unusual plants including bee orchid, the marine spleenwort and the adder's tongue fern.
The next section takes you along Sully Bay to Barry. You'll pass Barry Docks before coming to the seaside resort of Barry Island. Here you'll find several beaches and the resurrected Barry Island Pleasure Park.
You can also visit the nearby Porthkerry Country Park to extend your walking in the area.
Cardiff Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Cardiff Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Cardiff OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Cardiff Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Walks near Cardiff
- Cosmeston Lakes Country Park - Explore over 200 acres of woodland, meadows and wetland habitats in this popular country park in Penarth.
Cosmeston Lakes has a number of accessible gravel paths and wooden boardwalks taking you around and between the two large lakes which form the centrepiece of the park
- Taff Trail - Follow the River Taff, from Cardiff to Brecon, on this fantastic waterside cycling and walking route.
You start on the River Taff in Cardiff and head along the river northwards passing the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle
- Bute Park - Explore 130 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland in this beautiful park in Cardiff
- Forest Farm Country Park - This lovely country park and nature reserve in Cardiff is a great place for a peaceful cycle or walk
- Castle Coch - Visit this 19th-century Gothic Revival in Tongwynlais and enjoy a walk or cycle in the adjacent Fforest Fawr
- Cefn Onn Park - This gem of a park is located on the northern outskirts of Cardiff
- Garth Hill - This challenging walk takes you to the summit of Garth Hill near Cardiff
- Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk - Follow the Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk/Ffordd y Bryniau through the Ely Valley and Taff Vale on this walk in South Wales
- Cardiff Bay to Penarth Walk - This walk takes you from Cardiff Bay to the seafront at Penarth
- Llanishen Reservoir - Enjoy an easy circular walk around this pretty reservoir in Cardiff
- Llwyn Celyn Forest - These woods on the outskirts of Cardiff have a series of peaceful walking trails to try.
You can start the walk from the car park off the Rudry Road, just north of Lisvane
- Cowbridge - This attractive market town is located in the Vale of Glamorgan near to Cardiff and Bridgend
- Llantwit Major - This pleasant town in the Vale of Glamorgan has some lovely coastal walks along the Bristol Channel
- Hensol Forest -
- Dinas Powys - This village (also known as Dinas Powis) is located a few miles from Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head west of the city and you can visit the Vale of Glamorgan where there are some historic towns and a lovely stretch of coast. You could visit Cowbridge where there's a Physic Garden and pretty riverside park. On the coast there's Llantwit Major where you'll find a number of fine old buildings. Here you can also enjoy a fine coastal walk to the photogenic lighthouse at Nash Point on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Walk. A few miles of city there's peaceful woodland trails to be found in Hensol Forest. The woods are a great place for a dog walk.