Walking in Glamorgan, South Wales. Guided walks, routes &
Last updated 18.3.10
Click on any image to enlarge it
Walks around Llanwonno
Left, St Gwynno's Church and surrounding countryside. Right, waterfall.
Three walks around Llanwonno between the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys. Walk A is 3.7 miles, B is 7.5 and C is 3.4 miles but you can link C to A or B to make them longer. Most of the walking is at or above 1,000 feet but the going is good. Whilst there are plantations of conifers there are also many deciduous trees. Fine views, pleasant countryside, a variety of wildlife and historical connections make for a good day's walking. Refreshments near the start at the Brynffynon Hotel, but no facilities en route.
Explorer Map 166 - ST 03338/95943 is the start point - a car park set in woodland. Easiest approach by car is probably via Penrhiwceiber which is also the nearest railway station - about 2 miles from the start.
For a map to get to the start click here. This map also covers walks A and C and most of B.
A short, fairly level walk of 3.7 miles on good surfaces which includes a church, reservoir and waterfall. The reservoir and waterfall are good stopping places.
The grave of Griffith Morgan or Guto Nyth Bran
From the car park, turn left along the road passing the Brynffynon pub on left and church on right. At a road junction turn right along the road. On the right is the entrance to St Gwynno's church with the gravestone of Guto Nyth Bran just to the right of the porch. After a few hundred yards turn right off the road along a bridleway signposted Daerwynno and past a green metal barrier, descending through beech trees. (ST 02688/95741). After about 7 minutes turn right down a winding track when you see a marker post pointing to Daerwynno. Go through the metal kissing gate to enter the Daerwynno centre and head to the right of the main building, leaving the centre by another kissing gate. Turn left along the main track for about half a mile where the track meets a T junction with stone pillar on right. (32 mins, 1.52 miles, ST 02266/97217).
The Clydach Reservoir
Turn right along another track. Ignore a track descending to the left. After a while you will get glimpses of the Clydach reservoir through the trees on your left. As you get level with the far end of the reservoir you can take some wide steps to the left which gives access to the reservoir area. (42 mins, 2.06 miles). Continue along the track passing a low marker post on left with blue, red and green arrows and a track off to the right. Keep ahead a hundred yards to reach another low marker post this time following the green arrow pointing to the left which brings you via some steps to the Pistyll Goleu waterfall. (49 mins, 2.42 miles).
Return back along the track to the previous low marker post, now turning left to follow the track. Stay on the track as it curves right, where a narrow grassy path goes straight ahead. Pass through green barriers. The track curves left with marker post on right and emerges on the main track opposite the Daerwynno centre. (1 hr 5 mins, 3.08 miles). Turn left along the track following the red arrow direction which brings you back to the car park. (1 hr 18 mins, 3.74 miles).
See route map below
Adder basking on a footpath
A longer walk of 7.5 miles covering the main features on the short walk - church, waterfall and reservoir but heading further into the forest. Good, firm walking and mostly level. After heavy rain the stream crossing needs care. Good stopping places are the Quarry viewpoint, waterfall and reservoir.
From the car park, turn left along the road passing the Brynffynon pub on left and church on right. At a road junction turn right along the road. On the right is the entrance to St Gwynno's church with the gravestone of Guto Nyth Bran just to the right of the porch. After a few hundred yards turn right off the road along a bridleway signposted Daerwynno and past a green metal barrier. (ST 02688/95741). Ignore a main track to the right signposted Daerwynno and then another main track off to the left. Later, where the main track curves to the right keep ahead along a narrow path. This subsequently curves right to meet a main track - head left along this track. The track meets a quarry on the right and just beyond this is a viewpoint. (2.14 miles, 43 mins, ST 01504/97913.)
View from the Quarry
Take the broad track to the right just past the quarry and then ignore the first track to the right. At a junction of tracks with power lines clearly visible overhead, take the right fork which heads uphill following the direction of the power lines. (ST 01635/98093). Where you meet another track, turn right along it, still following the power lines. After 100 yards at a major junction where many of the trees have been felled and which is marked by a stone pillar, turn right for another 100 yards and then left along a broad track, initially parallel with the power lines which are now over to your left. At a T junction (ST 03362/97646) turn right curving downhill. Later, where the main track curves right uphill, follow the narrower path which descends to the left by a waymark post. The path brings you down to a stream, the Sychnant, which you need to ford at the most suitable point and ascend on the far side onto a path. (ST 03612/96466, 4.44 miles, 1hr 30 mins).
Turn right towards green metal barriers, cross a drive, and take the path beyond a second set of barriers, following a route marked by red arrows. At a marker post turn right down through the trees to the Pistyll Goleu waterfall viewpont. Retrace your steps and continue to the right along the main track ignoring side paths to the left. Shortly after a stone wall on the right take the wide steps down to the right to view the Clydach Reservoir. Retrace your steps and carry on to the right along the main path. Where a main track forks sharp left, marked by a stone pillar, (ST 02266/97217) follow this track, almost doubling back on yourself. You pass the Daerwynno Centre on your right - keep ahead to emerge on the road opposite the car park. 2 hrs 20 mins, 7.5 miles.
See route map below
Viewpoint by the quarry; the Brecon Beacons just visible in the distance
This short walk of 3.4 miles heads in the opposite direction from the first two, towards Mynachdy and Ynysybwl. Although the shortest of the walks, it is the least level with a couple of steady ascents. The going is quite good and route-finding straightforward. You could start this walk from Mynachdy, heading up Mynachdy road and then turning left over the stone bridge.
From the car park and with your back to the road, take the footpath which ascends to the left, parallel with the road on your left and passing through some large stone boulders. When you reach a broad track, turn left, continuing uphill. At a junction of tracks head left along the main track. Just this side of a quarry on your left you will find a good viewpoint over the valley with the Brecon Beacons in the distance. Stay on the track which soon descends, leaving the forest. Cross two cattle grids and then some conifers on your right. Where the main track curves left, go right towards a metal gate and stile. (27 mins, 1.37 miles).
A wooden gate! So what? Find out here.
Cross the stile and head left to cross another stile, the track now curving right. Pass a new wooden gate on right, keeping ahead to pass the large barn on your left via a metal gate. The track passes a stile and 30 yards beyond this turn right over an old stone bridge (ST 04788/95219) and follow the track uphill passing buildings on your left. Carry on to the top of the hill where the track levels and take the marked footpath to the right via a metal gate. (43 mins, 2.1 miles, ST 04354/94849).
Head up the stony track for 100 yards then diagonally left along the field - the path is unmarked - and drop down towards a metal gate with wire fence on left. Go through the gate and continue alongside the fence to the end of the field with stone wall beyond and crossing a wooden stile on the left by a metal gate. Continue towards the plantation with the wire fence now on your right. Just before reaching the plantation head left along a broad track towards a footpath sign. Cross the stile by the sign and turn left along a track. (58 mins, 2.78 miles).
The track passes through some large boulders. 100 yards beyond this point take the footpath to the left by a waymark post, dropping down through the trees to meet a forest road. Cross the road and keep ahead, following the direction of the waymark post. After 50 yards a stile brings you out of the forest and follow the waymark direction ahead through bracken. The path becomes fainter as bracken gives way to grass but keep in the same direction, the tower of St Gwynno's church becoming visible to the left as you head just to the left of a telegraph pole and drop down to meet the road by a stile. Now head right up the road to return to the car park. (1 hr 12 mins, 3.41 miles).
Route map of all 3 walks