Walking in Glamorgan, South Wales. Guided walks, routes &
Webmaster, Angus McDonald
Last updated 27.04.04
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Parks in Glamorgan
(Listed in alphabetical order)
Country and town parks can be good for a gentle stroll but may also often be useful as a base for longer walks.
AFAN FOREST PARK AND COUNTRYSIDE CENTRE. This Forest Park has 9,000 acres of woodland with walking, cycling and pony-trekking opportunities. Bicycle hire for the disabled and some parts of the park are accessible to those in wheelchairs. There is the 'Wayfarers rest' cafe and Forest Gift Shop. Also the Countryside Centre and Miners Museum. Tel: 01639 850 564. For more on the park click here.
BEDFORD PARK, Cefn Cribwr. On the site of the former 1780s ironworks, the park is a mix of rare plants and flowers along with industrial archaeology. Base for country walks and nature trails. Access, Cefn Cribwr near Kenfig Hill. Open daily. Tel: 01656 725 155.
BRYNGARW COUNTRY PARK, nr. Bridgend. 113 acres with visitor centre, Japanese gardens and pagoda. Access, signposted from Brynmenyn. Open all year 10am - 4.30pm (8pm in the Summer). Tel: 01656 725155. A good starting point for a longer walk with footpaths radiating out from the park. A challenging 14 mile walk via Bettws and Llangeinor starts from here.
CLYNE GARDENS, Swansea. An excellent rhododendron collection, bog garden and collection of exotic trees. The landscaped gardens were laid out by the Vivian family in the 19th Century and are particularly spectacular in May when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom. Access by Woodman Inn off Mumbles Road, A 4067. Open all year, free of charge. Tel: 01792 401 737. Click here for more on Clyne.
COSMESTON LAKES COUNTRY PARK. A variety of habitats covering over 100 hectares of land and water including a Site of Special Scientific Interest. There is a walk leaflet available from the Visitor Centre with a short scenic walk of 1.5 Kms suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and the elderly and a longer 4.5 Kms route around the park, across open meadows and through woodland trails. Click here for more on Cosmeston.
CRAIG GWLADYS COUNTRY PARK. Tel: 01639 635 808. The park covers an area of hillside principally covered in trees and is situated near the village of Cilfrew. For more on the park, click here. A couple of walks start from here and the walk routes give additional information on the history of the park.
DARE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK, Aberdare. Opened in 1973 on land reclaimed from former collieries. 200 hectares of countryside gives a good base for short and long walks. There is an interpretive centre, cafe, gift shop and exhibition galleries. Access from Aberdare. Open 9am - 4pm Mon-Fri (10am-5pm Sat/Sun) but 7pm in Summer. Tel: 01685 874 672. For walks from the country park, click here.
DYFFRYN GARDENS, St Nicholas near Cardiff. Designed by Thomas Mawson and currently being restored with a Heritage Lottery fund grant. Access from A 48, well signposted. Open all year, free December-March, charge April-November. Tel; 029 2059 3328. The Wenvoe long walk goes past Duffryn Gardens. For more on Dyffryn gardens, click here.
GNOLL ESTATE, Neath. A mix of cascades, lakes, vistas and buildings can be found in this landscaped garden of the early 18th century. Access from Neath town centre. Open all year, free of charge. Tel: 01639 635 808. Click here for more on Gnoll. For a walk based on the Estate, click here.
LLIW VALLEY RESERVOIRS. North of Swansea and close to the village of Velindre the two reservoirs and surrounding area offer varied and interesting walking. Good car park, toilets and cafe. Tel: 01792 799 479. There are several walks starting from the park including one suitable for wheelchairs.
MARGAM PARK, Port Talbot. Extensive walking opportunities in this large park. Includes an Orangery and the remains of Margam Castle and a Cistercian Abbey. Japanese garden dates from the 1920s but much of the rest is 19th Century. signposted from the M4, junction 38. Open all year but in Winter closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Charge for entry. Tel: 01639 881 635. Click here for more on Margam. For walks around Margam click here. There are also some trails in and around the park with details here.
PORTHKERRY COUNTRY PARK, Barry. 220 acres of parkland including woods, meadows, seashore, nature trails, mini-golf, picnic and barbecue areas, car park and café. Good walking from here along the cliffs or inland via footpaths and bridleways. A walk route starts from here. Tel: 01446 733589
ROATH PARK, Cardiff. An urban park dating from the 19th Century with many trees including some champions. Good walking, access all year round, no charge. 2 miles north of the city centre.
ST FAGANS, Cardiff. The Museum of Welsh Life is spread over many acres with good paths. From junction 33 on the M4 it is well-signposted. Open all year except December 24th and 25th. 10am - 5pm, (6pm in Summer). Currently no charge for entry.
SINGLETON PARK, Swansea. Ornamental gardens and parkland dating back to the 19th Century. The Swnsea Botanical Garden can be found in the walled garden. Access from Brynmill Lane, Gower Road and Oystermouth Road. Park and gardens open all year, free of charge. Tel: 01792 298 637. Click here for more on Singleton.
SKETTY HALL, Swansea. 19th Century version of an Italian parterre garden; access from Sketty lane - open all year, free of charge.
VICTORIA GARDENS, Neath. 2 acres of lawns, paths and ornamental bedding, dating from Victorian times. Access from Neath town centre. Open all year, free of charge.
(Source: A Guide to the Nature Reserves of Wales… - see Books section)
These can also be good for a rural wander but check access details first. See OS Grid reference for location of these reserves.
Aberdare Canal: SO 013024 Cynon Valley BC. Disused canal and woodland
Abergelli Wood: SN 655015 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Woodland with small pool
Aberthaw Shore: ST 043659 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Foreshore, saltmarsh, limestone cliffs
Afan Argoed Country Park: SS 821951 West Glam CC. Afforested steep valley
Berry Wood: SS 436585 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Coastal oak woodland
Bishop’s Wood: SS 594878 Swansea City Council. Dry limestone valley
Blaenrhondda Waterfalls Walk: SN 922021 Mid Glam. CC Moorland walk
Bolgoed Quarry: SN 603027 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Woodland and sandstone quarry
Broad Pool: SS 510910 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Freshwater pool and bog.
Bunkers Hill: SS 428881 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Scrub and grassland
Bute Park Nature Trail: ST182767 Cardiff City Council. Parkland nature trail beside Taff
Castle Wood Field: SS 472931 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Saltmarsh
Cefn Onn Nature Trail: ST 184843 Cardiff City Council. Trail through limestone and sandstone woodlands
Clyne Valley Country Park: SS 610915 Swansea City Council. Wet valley floor and wooded hillside.
Coed Garn-Llwyd: ST 062715 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Limestone woodland
Coed Gawdir: SN 783007 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Small pool.
Coed-y-Bedw: ST 117829 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Rich valley woodland.
Coed-y-Bwl: SS 909749 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Elm woodland. Walk
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park: ST 180693 Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council. Two large lakes, grassland, woods.
Craig Cilhendre: SN 719022 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Escarpment woodland
Craig-y-Llyn: SN 905038 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Corrie lake and crags
Crymlyn Bog: (no access) Can be viewed from lanes around, e.g. SS 700963. Large wetland
Cwm Cladach: SN 682953 RSPB reserve. Woodland and heathland.
Cwm Ivy Wood: SS 443938 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Mixed wood and small quarry. Walk
Cwmllwyd Wood: West Glamorgan CC reserve. Woodland, grassland and marsh.
Cwm Risca: SS 881843 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Woodland and pond.
Dare Valley Country Park: SN 962027 Cynon Valley BC. Reclaimed mining valley. Walks.
Dunraven Park: SS 890729: Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Parkland and restored gardens. Walk
Eglwys Nunydd: Access by permit only. Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Large reservoir.
Flat Holm: Access by permit only. details from Flat Holm Project. Small island in the Bristol Channel.
Frog Lane: SS 447933 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Hedgerow, scrub and meadow.
Gelli Hir Wood: SS 563925 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Mixed lowland woodland.
The Glais: SO 041105 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Woodland, stream and limestone caves.
Glamorgan Canal: ST 143803 Cardiff City Council. Canal, old railway cutting, grassland, marsh, woodland. Walk
Hambury Wood: SS 472929 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Oak woodland.
Ilston Quarry: SS 555905 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Mixed woodland and pool.
Kenfig Pool and Dunes: SS 802825 Mid Glamorgan CC. Dune system and pool. Walk
Lavernock Point: ST 182680 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Limestone grassland and scrub.
Llanrhidian Hill: SS 497922 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Grassland, scrub and rock.
Llantwit Major Beach: SS 497922 Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Coastal cliffs and rocky shore. Walk
Margam Country Park: SS 813849 West Glamorgan County Council. Parkland and woodland. Walks.
Melincourt Waterfall: SN 825017 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Waterfall, gorge, oak woodland
Nightingale's Bush: ST 082898 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Disused canal.
Ogmore Down: SS 897762 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Limestone grassland and heath
Oxwich: SS 501865 NCC reserve. Dunes, saltmarsh, freshwater marsh, wooded limestone. Walk.
Pant-y-Sais: SS 713939 Neath Borough Council. Narrow strip of rich fen.
Peel Wood: SS 607883 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Wooded quarry.
Penmoelallt Forest: SS 995093 NCC-FC reserve. Mixed woodland.
Porthkerry Country Park: ST 092672 Vale of Glamorgan BC. Woodland, grassland, cliff, shingle. Walk
Prior's Wood and Meadow: SS 577938 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Wood and wet meadow.
Pwll Waun Cynon: ST 034997 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Pool and river meadow.
Redley Cliff: SS 589875 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Coastal grassland and scrub.
Ridgewood Park: SS 611906 Glamorgan Wildlife Trust. Grassland, scrub and woodland.
Rudry Common Walk: Mid Glam. CC. Moorland and valley.
South Gower Coast: GWT, NCC, NT. Foreshore, cliffs, dunes, marshes. Walk
Swansea Canal: SN 743060 West Galm CC. Derelict canal with woodland.
Taf Fechan: SO 045097 Merthyr BC. Steep river valley.
Wenallt Nature Trails: ST 153831 Cardiff City Council. Woodland and heath.
Whiteford: SS 438938 NCC reserve. Sand dunes, saltmarsh, foreshore. Walk
Woodland Trust woods
The Woodland Trust owns a number of woods throughout the United Kingdom and there is public access to most of them. For more on the Woodland Trust, click here. The Trust's woods in Glamorgan are as follows with grid references:
Coed Maesmelin: Skewen, Neath. 40 acres. SS 725982. Waymarked walk.
Common Wood: Llanridian, Swansea. 39 acres. SS 507925. Parking.
Cwm George and Casehill Woods: Dinas Powys. Combines Casehill Meadows (ST 152723), Casehill Wood (ST 155724), Cwm George Wood (ST 144723) and Pen-y-Turnpike Wood (ST 156724). Around 200 acres in total. Parking and waymarked walk. Walk.
Dyffryn Woods: Neath. 288 acres. SN 729000. Parking and waymarked walk.
Goitre Coed Fach: Quakers Yard, Abercynon. 10 acres. ST 090965. Parking.
Graig Fawr: Margam. 127 acres. SS 793869. Parking. Walk.
Monks Wood: Wick, Bridgend. 10 acres. SS 914717. Walk.
The Brynna: Cwmfelin. 17 acres. SS 854894.
Trafalgar Wood: Porthcawl. 1 acre. SS 816775. Parking.
Tyn yr Heol: Bryncoch. 2 acres. SS 742991
Worney Wood: Llysworney, Vale of Glamorgan. 12 acres. SS 963745. Parking.