Nature & Walks: Locally vs Slightly Further Afield

So, some of our guests are staying longer now we are opened back up. I wanted to prepare a blog post on some of the most noteable places in South Wales for visitation, going a bit further than our already existing guide and providing some much needed information.

For water lovers, or beach lovers, I have prepared a list of reservoirs of which there are many in Wales and also some noteable beaches. I have tried to keep the distance of these within 1 hour of our cottage, as always but some are a little further away. You can see the sights on our Air B n B guide book as to where things are.

Mountains, Castles and Waterfalls — Oh My!

Guest Review – Air B & B

The Line – Bedwellty Pits (0 minutes)

There is a river and beautiful walks outside your front door when you stay with us, you can see all of this and more.

Our cottage is based in Bedwellty Pits and the walk along the river and forests is called “The Line”. This walk is hugely popular among residents in the surrounding areas and villages, and is just a matter of steps from your front door. You will see everything as you arrive at the cottage. If you cross the bridge at the bottom of the river which you can see from the cottage – you will come to a gate, and if you go through that there are paths up to the right of the mountain going through the forest and up towards the wind turbines, so, you can climb to the top of the mountain and look down at where you are staying should you wish! Or, just head left along the bike bath and this walk is 2 miles into town where all the shops etc. are, and you could walk to Bedwellty House which is a historical house with a restaurant and pretty gardens on our list of attractions.

Reservoirs, Caves and Quarries

Trefil Quarry (local 14 min)

This quarry has been reclaimed by nature. The hills and views here are stunning, you will see local grazing wildlife from wild horses to sheep.. and plenty of interesting creatures in the marshlands on the way to Chartist cave should you wish to attempt to find it!

Trefil Quarry Forest/Waterfall (14 minutes by car)

The quarry itself is an interesting sight but if you keep walking past it down towards a crop of trees – there is also a very nice biking (or hiking) route through a forest and past a waterfall. The route is marked by a stone reading “155” and also has a plaque about the history of the quarry before you turn off down it, so history buffs can read about the quarry and its surroundings there.

Hidden waterfall

Parking: just navigate toward Dukes Table, Tredegar NP22 4HF and park before you see a barrier/cattle track. If you park before the barrier then you will not need to worry about the barrier closing.

Toilets & Food: The nearest pub that you will pass on the way to parking is “Top House” and this has good food, and toilets for those who don’t like to partake in wild weeing.

Chartist Cave (15 minutes – to car park)

The cave is also known by two different names in Welsh: Ogof Fawr (the ‘Big Cave’) and earlier as Tylles Fawr (the ‘Great Hole’). 

The hike is a nice one, and dog friendly.

Parking Post Code: Llangynidr Car Park NP8 1LL — this is a beacons path, but there is no information centre and no toilet etc. nearby. If you take this hike, be aware it should not be done in bad or foggy weather unless you are an experienced navigator.

Brombil Reservoir (slightly further afield)

I’ve heard many times “Who needs New Zealand when you’ve got Wales?” True, but how about Canada? Well, I don’t know this is looking very much like a scene out of Banff to me..

I will add my own photos after I visit here, which I have always wanted to do. This is a noteable spot for locals in Cardiff or Port Talbot itself to go visit some local nature. As a whole, both Cardiff and Port Talbot are not known for stunning nature views — at least not in the same way that Brecons and our area are.. but some things are just worth seeing.

(Also called Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir – and I think this is more noteable in google maps)

https://twos-company.com/2020/06/29/brombil-reservoir-a-complete-guide/ – I recommend you visit this guide, and you take note of the post code for parking/driving.

Hills and Hikes

Llangattock Escarpment (local 29 minutes)

The interesting landscapes here in Crickhowell Powys are said to have inspired the late Tolkein when writing The Hobbit. There is a hobbit settlement called Crickhollow, and this is where the inspiration is said to have come from, while Tolkein was staying to write in Talybont on Usk.

Local Eats (yet to have a link)

Car park: TBC

Sugar Loaf Mountain (41 min, 18 miles)

Car park:

Pen Y Fan (27 minutes to carpark)

A scenic shot by your Host

By far my personal favourite in the Brecons and pretty much a guaranteed favourite of any avid hiker in South Wales. The views and landscapes in Pen Y Fan are breath-taking, as is the hike itself. Used frequently by the MOD and SAS for training in the UK – the hikes here are challenging. Hikers come from all around the UK to take part in some of the most difficult obstacle courses and ultra running events here including the ‘Fan Dance’.

Parking: In my person opinion the Pont ar Daf car park is the closest car park to the actual summit of Pen Y Fan, and this car park has toilets: Pont ar Daf LD3 8NL

Southern Welsh Waterfalls

4 Waterfalls – Brecon Beacons

Our dogs loved the walk!

I have to say, the 4 Waterfalls is another favourite of mine in the Brecons area. Less than an hour from the cottage these waterfalls are fabulous and the surrounding forests are like something out of a fairy tale. These photos are my personal photos – some I took on the walk.

Parking: Cwm Porth car park CF44 9FJ — if you use this you will end up right opposite the start of the waterfall trail, however unless you leave early in the morning it is unlikely you’ll get a spot in this car park as it is quite small (and the best one). There are toilets in the visitor centre/building when it is open.

What else nearby…

  • Penderyn Distillery! Why not try out some quality Welsh whiskey after a walk? You’ll probably be driving past it anyway, so..

Pontneddfechan Waterfalls Walk (25 minutes by car)

Guest photo!

This is slightly closer than the walk in the Brecons but it is very close to it. Along this route you will see even more than ‘4 waterfalls’.. including an interesting river that disappears under the rocks.

Park at Craig DDinas. It’s a big slab of rock in a car park just over a tiny bridge. If that car park is full there is plenty back along the road.

From the car park there is a short bank with a hedge. Climb that and head up the hill. It has a handrail. You’ll know you’re on the right track then.

Parking: 5NU, Dinas Rd, Pontneddfechan, Neath SA11 5NE

Beaches

Now, Wales is known for its beautiful beaches especially in the South. So, it’s lucky then that we’re only an hour or so drive away from some of the most beautiful beaches!

Gower Peninsula

A designated AONB (Area of Outstanding National Beauty) this coastal area is full of beautiful walks and geological marvels. Photos incoming.. I love to include my own and this is definitely on my list.

Castles

The nearest castle that I’ve personally been to is the Merthyr Morlais ruins. Per Wiki it is a 13th century castle, and I’d need to look at the map again but it’s less than half an hour drive I believe from the cottage and makes fantastic walking and views.

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