Woodland Walks South Wales – 15 Wonderful Walks

I love a woodland walk, whatever the season, but in Autumn, with its flamboyant display of colours and crisp crunch of leaves beneath your feet, a woodland walk takes some beating.  Below we have listed 15 wonderful woodland walks South Wales for you to try out.

To make the walks more interesting for kiddies, why not download our FREE Autumn Activity pack .  This includes a nature trail spot sheet, tips on how to build a woodland den, word searches and autumn craft ideas.

Click here for your free Autumn activity pack

 

Woodland Walks South Wales

1. Penllergare Valley Woods, Swansea

There are plenty of walks and routes to choose from at Penllergare Valley Woods in Llanngyfelch / Penllergaer.  You can either pick up a map detailing various walks from the cafe or just go for a wander and head where the mood takes you.  Features include the large lake, the waterfall, stone stepping stones and open fields ideal for a picnic.

Facilities – Car parking, toilets and a small cafe.

Location: Penllergare Valley Woods is around 5 minutes from Junction 47 of the M4.  The woods are signposted from the roundabout and A48.  Postcode: SA4 9GJ

Length of walk: Various.  Difficulty: Easy.  Dog friendly: Yes

Additional information: www.Penllergare.org 

Penllergare Valley Woods

Penllergare Valley Woods

2. Fforest Fawr, Cardiff

The Fforest Fawr trail, which is not far from the fairytale castle of Castell Coch, takes you on a journey past wood carvings of woodland animals. Natural Resources Wales commissioned award winning chainsaw artist Simon O’Rourke to craft 10 animal sculptures from a redwood tree.

Each one features a poem telling the story of the forests history.  Kiddies will love running from sculpture to sculpture and discovering which animals used to live in the woodlands years ago.

Facilities – Car parking.  No toilets or cafe, but a detour will take you to the nearby Forest Tea Rooms.

Location: Exit the M4 at junction 32 and follow the signs for Castell Coch.  Off road parking is available on Heol Fforest Road. Postcode CF83 1NG  You can also access the walk from Castell Coch and combine with a visit to the Castle.

Length of walk: 1.5 km / 2.6 miles  Difficulty: Easy  Dog Friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.naturalresources.wales

 

3. Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend

Bryngarw Country Park, has over 100 acres of beautiful parkland to explore, with its nature woodlands, formal gardens and walks along the River Garw, there is plenty to keep you busy.  The visiting centre and information board at the car park will provide you with an option of routes to try.

After your walk, you could head to the childrens play area with its impressive tunnel slide.  The combination of play area and walks makes this an ideal choice for families.

Facilities – Car parking, toilets and a small cafe.

Location: Bryngarw Country Park is about a 10 minute drive from Junction 36 of the M4.  Postcode: CF32 8UU

Length of walk: Various  Difficulty: Easy.  Dog friendly: Yes

Additional information: www.bryngarwcountrypark.co.uk

Bryngarw Country Park

Tunnel Slide at Bryngarw Country Park

4. Craig Gwladys, Neath

This circular walk will reward you with views of the lower Neath Valley and takes in the Aberdulais Waterfall and woodland trails in Craig Gwladys Country Park.  The rugged hillside here was formed by glacial ice during the last Ice Age making it even more impressive.

The walk starts at a short walk from the falls.  Interestingly, Aberdulais has drawn power from the waterfall since the late 16th century, initially providing power for the production of copper.

Facilities – Car parking.  Toilets.

Location: Exit the M4 at junction 43 and follow the A465 to Merthyr Tydfill.  From there follow signs to Severn Sisters and then Aberdulais Falls.

Length of walk: 6.4 km / 4 miles  Difficulty: Easy   Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.nationaltrust.org

5. Porthkerry Country Park, Barry

Porthkerry Country Park has 220 acres of woods and meadowland in a sheltered valley which eventually leads to a stunning pebbled beach.  There are a number of nature trails to try here.  For sunnier days there are picnic tables and there is a small play area. They even have a mini golf course.  The walks are easy and are ideal for families.

Facilities – Car parking, Cafe and Toilets.

Location: Park Road, Barry Postcode: CF62 3BY

Length of walk: Various  Difficulty: Easy  Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Den Building

6. Capability Brown Walk, Llandeilo

This is a circular route on which you may catch sightings of the fallow deer that roam there.  Autumn is the rutting season when the males have impressive antlers that they use to fight for the female deers.

You can take a short detour and visit the Castle with its views over the Tywi Valley.  While you’re in the area, be sure to make a stop into the charming village of Llandeilo, with its independent shops and cafes.

Facilities – Car parking.

Location: On the western outskirts of Llandeilo you will find Dinefwr Park.  Postcode: SA19 6RT

Length of walk: 2.4 km / 1.5 miles    Difficulty: Moderate     Dog friendly: No

Additional Information: www.nationaltrist.org.uk

Woodland Walks South Wales

The Pretty Village of Llandeilo

7. Afan Forest Park, Neath

A very popular spot for walkers and mountain bikers.  Walks vary from a one mile leisurely stroll to an ambitious ten mile hike.  Enjoy the forest trails and have peak at the tunnel designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel which runs through the mountain.  For an additional charge you can also pay a visit to the South Wales Miners Museum.

Facilities – Car parking, toilets and a small cafe.

Location: The starting point for the walks are at Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre.  Postcode: SA19 6RT

Length of walk: Various    Difficulty: Various     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.afanforestpark.co.uk

8. Hensol Woods, Welsh St. Donats, Vale of Glamorgan

There are a labyrinth of woodland walks here to explore.  The path network is extensive and surrounds a pretty lake.  For a longer walk you could do the Magical Forest Walk which is a 7 miles circular route which takes in the woods, pretty villages and views of the coast. 

Otherwise just explore the area taking reference of where you’ve been so you can find your way back to the car.  In the woods here you will find plenty of opportunities to try your hand at den building.  Being so close to where we live, this is a regular walking spot for us.

Facilities – None.

Location: Head towards Welsh St Donats, then on the road you will see several parking places and an access to the woods.

Length of walk: Various    Difficulty: Easy     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

9. Monknash Walk, Vale of Glamorgan

This monknash circular route first takes you through beautiful woodland before reaching the first beach. You will then walk along the clifftops before reaching yet another beach with its impressive cliff formations.  Not far from the second beach is where you can take a detour and visit the lighthouse at Nashpoint. 

The final stretch takes you over several stepping stones over a meandering stream, into more woodland, before reaching some pretty hamlets.  If you don’t want to do the full walk you could always do the first part, which is through woodland, and return the way you came.  You can download our plan of the walk below.  The local Plough and Harrow is a very cosy pub and its dog friendly too.  

Facilities – None.

Location: Start at the Plough and Harrow at Monknash in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Length of walk: 4 1/2 miles    Difficulty: Difficult     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.welshcakesandwellies

Woodland Walks South Wales

Monknash Circular Walk

10. Cwm Clydach, Swansea

Cwm Clydach reserve is a narrow reserve of around 50 hectares, which follows the river Clydach as it winds its way up the valley.  The woodland is easily accessible (mostly buggy friendly) and is home to breeding wood warblers, grey wagtails and spotted flycatchers.  In the winter months keep an eye out for red kites that circle above you.

The paths natural end is at a series of impressive waterfalls.  There is also evidence of industrial activity here as the path follows the line of an old aqueduct that was used to carry water to power the bellows at the iron works.  It is easy here to vary your walks here to suit the time you have.

Facilities – None.

Location: Car park situated in village of Craig Cefn Parc close to the New Inn public house on the B4291.  Postcode SA6 5SU

Length of walk: Various    Difficulty: Easy     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.rspb.org.uk

11. The Four Falls Trail, Brecon

The full Four Falls Trail takes you around four stunning waterfalls with the climax being a waterfall that you can walk behind.  But of course, you could also just walk to the first waterfall and back for a much shorter walk.  Or do the walk backwards and you will come to the waterfall you can walk behind first.  But if you are up for a challenge, we would definitely recommend the full walk.  The majority of the walk is in luscious woodland.

Facilities – Toilets at the carpark but not on the walk itself.

Location: You start the walk by parking in Cwm Porth car park.  OS grid reference
SN935123 or SN928124

Length of walk: 5 1/2 miles    Difficulty: Difficult     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.welshcakesandwellies.com

Four Falls Trail with Kids

The Four Falls Trail

12. Pembrey Country Park, Llanelli

There are a number of trails to choose from at Pembrey Country Park from short nature trails to a full days rambling.  You can try out your orienteering skills or take a guided walk.  There is lots to do in the park too, from dry slope skiing, tobogganing, cycling, archery and golf.

Facilities – Toilets, Cafe, Camping.

Location: Head towards Llanelli and then follow the signs to Pembrey Country Park.
Post code: SA16 0EJ

Length of walk: Various    Difficulty: Easy     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.pembreycountrypark.wales

13. Ty Canol Nature Reserve, Near Fishguard, Pembrokeshire

Ty Canol is part of the largest block of ancient woodland in West Wales, and is famous for its archaeological sites.  It is for lichen (types of fungus) that nature seekers head here for, with more than 400 species having been recorded here.  A great place for some mushroom spotting!

Facilities – None

Location: OS grid reference SN089368

Length of walk: Various    Difficulty: Easy    Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.firstnature.com

14. Blackweir Wood, Cardiff

Blackweir woods are part of the larger Bute Park in the centre of Cardiff.  The wood is in narrow strips alongside the river Taff at the northern end of the park. There are nature trails through the park and the woodland.  You can pick up a number of self led trail leaflets to guide you.

The best entrance is next to Cardiff Castle.

Facilities – At Bute park there are a couple of cafes including the very popular Pettigrew Tearooms.  Toilets are at the Tearooms.

Location: Next to Cardiff Castle, Cardiff City Centre

Length of walk: Various    Difficulty: Easy    Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.bute-park.com

 

15. Cwm Ivy, Llanmadoc, Swansea

A lovely walk that takes in the wildlife reserve of Cwm Ivy Woods near Llanmadoc in the Gower with stunning views over the neighbouring Burry Inlet.  The route takes in two bird hides with lots of opportunity for wildlife spotting.  If you’re lucky you may even spot an otter in the salt marshes.

Facilities – None

Location: The walk starts at Cwm Ivy Nature Reserve postcode: SA3 1DJ

Length of walk: 2.2 km /1 1/2 miles     Difficulty: Moderate     Dog friendly: Yes

Additional Information: www.nationaltrust.co.uk

 

Remember to download your FREE Autumn Activity pack which includes a Nature Trail Spot sheet, a word search and some Autumn craft ideas.

Click here for your free Autumn activity pack

I hope you like our list of Woodland Walks South Wales – if you found it useful please share, or why not pin for later.

We always love to hear from you, and share in your adventures.  If you try any of the walks why not tag us using #welshcakesandwellies or #littlewanderingwellies  You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Woodland Walks South Wales

Make sure you wear appropriate footwear (unlike me on this walk)

Note about the walks

Always be wary of the weather and take appropriate footwear.  Being woodland walks, these walks can get pretty muddy.  Whilst some of the walks are buggy friendly, due to the paths often getting wet, a baby carrier may be a better option.

Please check out the suitability of each of the walks for you and your family by clicking on the websites for additional information.

Most car parks carry a small charge. 

Whilst the walks are listed as dog friendly the nearby cafes may not allow dogs inside, please check with them directly.

 

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