|Forest Farm Country Park||3 miles (4.5 km)||This lovely country park and nature reserve in Cardiff is a great place for a peaceful cycle or walk. There are 150 acres to explore with a section of the Taff Trail running through the park alongside the River Taff. The Cardiff Merthyr canal also runs through the site - look out for Kingfishers and Herons on the water. There is also a peaceful woodland section. View Full Details>>|
|Bute Park||2 miles (4 km)||Explore 130 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland in this beautiful park in Cardiff. The park consists of an arboretum, flower gardens, grassland, woodland and tree-lined avenues. The River Taff also runs through the park so there is a lovely waterside walking and cycling section to enjoy.|
The Taff Trail runs past the park so you could continue your cycle or walk along this excellent route. View Full Details>>
|Cardiff||16 miles (25 km)||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. View Full Details>>
|Cefn Onn Park||1 miles (2 km)||This gem of a park is located on the northern outskirts of Cardiff. It has a large collection of specimen trees, rare plants and flowers with well surfaced, waymarked walking paths to follow. You'll also find rhododendron and azelea bushes, carpets of bluebells and buttercups, ponds and a gently trickling stream. If you'd like to continue your walk you could pick up the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk which runs just to the north of the park and takes you through the countryside surrounding Caerphilly. |
Parking is available at the southern end of the park. Lisvane & Thornhill train station is just a few minutes walk from the park so you can easily come by train too. View Full Details>>
|Garth Hill||4 miles (6 km)||This challenging walk takes you to the summit of Garth Hill near Cardiff. The hill is thought to be the inspiration for the fictional hill featured in the film 'The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain' starring Hugh Grant. |
The walk begins in the village of Taff's Well and follows the Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk to the 307 m (1,007 ft) summit. Here you can enjoy fantastic views of Cardiff, the Bristol Channel and the Taff Valley. You will also find a number of burial sites dating from the early to middle Bronze Age, around 2000 BC. You descend on country lanes, crossing the River Taff and finishing back in Taff's Well.
To extend your walking in the area just head a mile to the east and visit Castle Coch and Fforest Fawr. View Full Details>>
|Taff Trail||55 miles (88 km)||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. There are also views of the attractive riverside Bute park and the Weir on the Taff near Maindy as you leave the centre of Cardiff. You soon come to Radyr where you will pass the splendid Forest Farm Country Park and Castle Coch (the red castle) before passing through the village of Nantgarw. The route continues along the river through Glyntaff and on to Pontypridd where you join the trackbed of a disused railway to Merthyr Tydfil. The final section runs from Merthyr to Brecon passing the beautiful Pontsticill, Pentwyn and Talybont Reservoirs. You'll also pass the beautiful Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls before joining the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal taking you into Brecon. There are splendid views of the Brecon Beacon mountains as you approach Brecon.
The trail is waymarked with a black and yellow disc. View Full Details>>
|Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk||16 miles (26 km)||Follow the Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk/Ffordd y Bryniau through the Ely Valley and Taff Vale on this walk in South Wales. The trail starts near Glynogwr and heads through Llantrisant forest, Llantrisant and Garth Hill before finishing on Caerphilly Common. From Garth Hill there are fine views of Cardiff and the Taff valley. It is thought to be the inspiration for 'Ffynnon Garw', the fictional mountain (or hill) featured in the book, and film, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. The walk also passes near to Taff's Well - the only thermal spring in Wales located in Taff's Well park. The walk finishes on Caerphilly Mountain with more tremendous views to enjoy as shown in the latter part of the video below.|
The walk is waymarked with a yellow and white disc. View Full Details>>
|Cosmeston Lakes Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||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. Around the lakes are bird hides where you can look out for mute swans, mallards, herons, egrets and diving birds such as the great crested grebe. The reedbeds around the lake also support a great deal of wildlife - look out for dragonflies and the rare Bittern.
Other walking paths take you through the peaceful woodland with oak, ash, elm, hawthorn and blackthorn trees. Look out for birdlife that includes woodpecker, tree creeper, nuthatch, tits and buzzards.
The wildflower meadows are also beautiful with the Sully Brook running through and a wide variety of plantlife including cowslips, primrose and birdsfoot trefoil, bee orchid, pyramidal orchid, butterfly orchid and the pink willow herb. Look out for rabbits and foxes in this area of the park
Also in the park is a reconstructed 14th century medieval village where costumed guides show you around the period furnished buildings.
Cosmeston Lakes is located just a few miles from Cardiff and Barry, near to the coast at Penarth. View Full Details>>
|Fforest Fawr||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of woodland has some lovely waymarked footpaths including the delightful Fforest Fawr sculpture trail. It's a lovely, peaceful area with well laid out paths, pretty streams, old mining caves and lots of woodland wildlife to look out for. In the spring months you can also see carpets of bluebells, wood anemone and wild garlic flowers.|
You can pick up the trails from the Castle Coch car park in Tongwynlais. There are several waymarked trails including the sculpture trail with a number of beautifully carved wooden pieces including a dragon, a wizard and other mythical creatures. After your walk you can enjoy refreshments at the tea room.
The Taff Trail cycling and walking trail also passes through the forest so mountain bikers can pick up the trails too.
To extend your walking in the area you can head a mile to the west and climb Garth Hill. From the summit you can enjoy fantastic views of Cardiff, the Bristol Channel and the Taff Valley.
Also round here you can pick up the long distance Taff Ely Ridgeway Walk and visit the beautiful Ely Valley and Taff Vale. View Full Details>>
|Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk||28 miles (45 km)||Explore the beautiful Rhymney Valley on this circular walk through the county borough of Caerphilly. The route starts at the pretty Penallta Community Park and visits Caerphilly, Bedwas, Hengoed, Rudry and Machen. Here you will climb Mynydd Machen (the highest point on the walk) where there are spectacular views of the Rhymney Valley, Cardiff and the Bristol Channel. The route also visits the 17th century Ruperra Castle ruins in Lower Machen. In this area you can pick up the Iron Bridge Circular Walk to explore the area further. |
Also of note is the delightful Parc Cwm Darran where you can enjoy peaceful woodland trails, lakeside paths and sunny wildflower meadows. You'll also pass near Cefn Onn Park which is also well worth a visit.
The walk is waymarked with a green and white disc. View Full Details>>
|Porthkerry Country Park||4 miles (6.5 km)||Explore 220 acres of woodland, meadows and coast in this super country park near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. The route starts at the car park on the coast and takes you along the pretty pebble beach before turning inland into the woodland on nature trails. You will pass through the pretty grassland with its wildflower meadow and calming stream. You will also pass Viaduct wood with super views of the impressive Porthkerry Viaduct. The route below is designed for walkers but a nice easy cycle track runs through the centre of the park just up from the coast. It makes for a nice, safe ride for families.|
Facilities in the park include an excellent cafe, chidlren's play area and a 12 hole golf course. View Full Details>>
|Bryngarw Country Park||2 miles (3.6 km)||This 120 acre country park is situated on the River Garw just north of Bridgend. There are lovely woodland trails with mature sweet chestnuts, ancient oaks and towering beeches. Look out for foxes, squirrels and wood peckers as you make your way through this section of the park.|
The park also has large areas of grassland with wildflower meadows and space where children can run and play.
The formal gardens include tranquil oriental style garden with rhododendrons, magnolia, azaleas, an ornamental bridge and tea house.
You can also enjoy riverside trails along the Garw where you can look out for otters, dippers and kingfishers. Herons can be seen around the lovely ornamental lake. View Full Details>>
|Parc Penallta||4 miles (6 km)||Explore three way-marked trails in this country park created on a former colliery site. There's a delightful wetlands area with boardwalks, peaceful woodland trails, pretty lakes and open grassland. You can climb the High Point Observatory for spectacular views across the county and admire the park's sculptures which include the 'Sultan' pit pony - one of the UK’s largest figurative earth sculptures.|
For cyclists National Cycle Network Route 47 runs through the park. You could pick this up and head east to the lovely Sirhowy Valley Country Park on the safe off road track. The Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk also runs through the park so this is a good way of extending your walk.
The park is located close to Ystrad Mynach rail station and not far from Hengoed. View Full Details>>
|Sirhowy Valley Ridgeway Walk||26 miles (42 km)||This walk runs through the beautiful Sirhowy Valley in south Wales. The trail starts at the delightful Tredegar House Country Park near Newport. Here you will find a 17th-century mansion surrounded by 90 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland. The trail then heads north towards Risca and Blackwood before finishing at Tredegar.|
Highlights on the walk include waterside sections along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal near Newport and along the Sirhowy river through Blackwood. You also visit the pretty Sirhowy Valley Country Park at Risca and climb Mynydd Machen where there are spectacular views of the Rhymney Valley and Sirhowy Valley, Cardiff and the Bristol Channel.
The walk is waymarked with yellow arrow on a white disc. View Full Details>>
|Glamorgan Ridgeway Walk||33 miles (53 km)||Follow the Glamorgan Ridgeway from Margam Country Park, near Port Talbot, through beautiful upland and valley scenery, to Caerphilly Castle. There are fabulous panoramic views of the Brecon Beacons to the north, the Bristol Channel and Devon and Somerset to the south.|
The walk begins at the splendid Margam Country Park (video below). The attraction includes the magnificent Margam Castle, an 18th Century Orangery with ornamental gardens and the Deer Park, all set within 1000 acres of beautiful countryside. From Margam you begin by heading east to Bettws and Blackmill. You then pass through Llantrisant forest, Llantrisant, Garth Hill and Caerphilly Common. From Garth Hill there are fine views of Cardiff and the Taff valley. It is thought to be the inspiration for 'Ffynnon Garw', the fictional mountain (or hill) featured in the book, and film, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. The walk also passes near to Taff's Well - the only thermal spring in Wales located in Taff's Well park. You also climb Caerphilly Mountain with more tremendous views to enjoy as shown in the latter part of the video below. The final section descends into Caerphilly, finishing near the castle. View Full Details>>
|Afan Forest Park Country Park||11 miles (17 km)||Set in the beautiful Afan Valley in Neath Port Talbot, this 48-square-mile forest park has miles of cycling trails, walking trails and several fantastic mountain bike trails.|
For a nice easy cycle the Rheilffordd Trail is a great option. It takes you along the River Afan on a disused railway path.
For mountain bikers there are several well laid out trails. The Penhydd Trail is a 22km loop voted as the trail to ride before you die by What Mountain Bike Magazine in 2004. The 46km Skyline Trail has stunning skyline views of the Brecon Beacons, the Preselis, the Black Mountains and the South Wales coast.
Walkers will find 14 waymarked circular trails taking you along the River Afan, through the peaceful woodland and up to the Ridgetops where there are fabulous views to enjoy.
If you have time you could continue your outing by heading a couple of miles north east to the nearby Glyncorrwg Ponds where you will find lovely waterside walking and cycling trails. View Full Details>>