2-4Km

Trotting Track Trail

This circular walk is a superb example of how old industrial areas have been given back to nature. The landscape has been transformed from coal-black to green in a generation, and wildlife is now thriving in places where collieries once stood. Start in the car park at Llwyncelyn Road. Turn left onto the footpath just past the river behind you, and follow the waymark signs in a circular clockwise direction. On the right, the Trotting Track is a real community success story, turning a levelled-out spoil tip into a first-class harness racing circuit. Turn right and follow Heol Hir / Upper Colbren Road for just over 300m before veering right again and picking up the waymark signs back to the car park. Along the way you’ll pass a range of interesting habitats: woodland, brownfield and grassland, all carefully managed to create a rich biodiversity. Wildlife Watching: Lizards bask on warm stones in brownfield areas, as goldfinches forage on the seeds of teasel and knapweed. The woodlands have lovely displays of spring flowers like bluebells, and later in the summer you can snack on wild strawberries.

Cilybebyll Walk

This is a very pleasant circular walk through woods and meadows, passing the sleepy hamlet of Cilybebyll with its ancient Parish church. Starting at Ashwood Drive, turn down the small lane, picking up the waymarked disks on the way. The walk makes its way through the woodland of Coed Cwmtawe, which was once part of the Plas Estate and was used as an area for hunting game. The woodland offers plenty of interest, containing numerous coal drifts, some fine examples of dry stone walling and picturesque streams. As you leave the woodland, the route climbs up towards Cilybebyll, with views of Swansea Valley opening up to the right of you. St. John’s Church at Cilybebyll is worth a visit and dates back to the 13th century. The tower itself is Norman, with the rest of the church having been restored in 1869.
Wildlife Watching: Hedgerows, field margins and wet grassland contain plants like Red Campion, Hedge Woundwort and Ragged Robin. Cuckooflower is the larva food plant of Orange Tip butterflies and the adults can be seen in early spring. Keep a look out for House sparrows in the hedgerows.

Rhyslyn Walk

A flat route most of the way, this is a family friendly and easy walk, however keep an eye out for cyclists when returning on the forest road/cycleway. Beginning at Rhyslyn car park, descend onto the path, following the Afan River upstream. The path gently hugs the riverside and meanders sporadically into shaded woodland for the first half of the walk, offering plenty of opportunities to admire the many tranquil beauty spots along its course. Upon reaching the wooden footbridge there is a quick ascent before veering left and heading back down to Rhyslyn along a disused mineral railway track, enjoying river or mountain views either side. The return route touches briefly on St. Illtyd’s Walk, a long distance route commemorating the late 5th / early 6th century Welsh saint. The 103km route links Pembrey Country Park, in Carmarthenshire, with Margam Park in Neath Port Talbot. Wildlife Watching: In the woodlands look out for birds such as Siskins and Goldcrests. In the open areas look out for butterflies such as Green-veined White and Ringlet.

Gnoll to Mosshouse Reservoir

This walk starts from the visitor centre and steadily climbs up to Mosshouse Reservoir, within the grounds of the Gnoll Estate Country Park. Recent felling work has opened up vistas of the area, providing fine views across the Neath Valley. The reservoir, built at the end of the 19th century, supplied water to the Neath town before being released as surplus to requirements by the Water Authority in 1982. It now provides a scenic destination before retracing your steps to the visitor centre, which has information on the area and a cafe .
Wildlife Watching: You may see Nuthatches in the Beech woodland. Daubenton bats roost here and often feed at dusk over the ponds, which are also home to the Common Frog.

Pulpit Trail

The 800 acres of Margam Park provides a perfect backdrop for a walk in the countryside. The blue way-markers for this walk begin at the track next to the Park’s Visitor Centre, up the road from the park entrance and car park. The Pulpit Trail begins with a nice gentle stroll beside the wooded slopes of the Celtic Iron Age Hillfort, also known as Mynydd y Castell. As you follow the path upwards, Cwm Phillip Valley and the old farm at Cwm Maelwg come into sight. At the Pulpit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Margam Country Park, Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir and the smaller waters of Kenfig pool. In the distance, Swansea Bay and the Gower and Devon coastlines can also be seen. Wildlife Watching: Margam Park is well known for its deer and you are likely to see Fallow Deer on your walk. Further up the ridge you have the chance to see Adders basking and the valley is a sheltered haven for various butterflies. Spring time walkers can enjoy displays of Bluebells, Wood Sorrel and Violets.

Wales Coast Path – Tennant Canal

Access the canal at Jersey Marine, following the Coast Path waymarkers in a westerly direction towards Swansea. Apart from a very short section of gradient at the entrance, the path is flat and easily accessible. The path follows the Tennant Canal towpath which historically linked the Neath canal at the Aberdulais basin to the River Tawe in Swansea. The brainchild of George Tennant, the canal was used for commercial traffic until the mid 1930’s. Since this date, the waters have continued to be used as a supply to local industries and provides a picturesque link between Jersey Marine and Swansea. This is an important wetland habitat forming a hydrological link with the extensive Crymlyn Bog, a site of international significance. The route also takes you alongside fen and through woodland, providing a pleasant change of scenery along the way. The route takes you as far as the Swansea boundary and back, but for those wishing to continue into Swansea, simply continue to follow the Coast Path waymarkers. Widlife Watching: The nationally rare and legally protected Fen Raft Spider may be a lucky sighting in the bankside vegetation, whilst various damselflies and dragonflies, such as the Azure Damselfy, will be conspicuous above the water in the summer months.

Sgwd Gwladys

This walk takes you through one of Neath Port Talbot’s most ecologically important sites, ‘Coedydd Nedd a Mellte’. The start of the walk is clearly visible from The Angel Inn; simply head through the black gates labelled ‘Waterfall Country’. This is a short and easy walk that culminates at the spectacular Sgwd Gwladys Falls, although care is needed in sections where the path passes above steep river banks.The track follows the route which horse drawn drams once travelled to transport silica rock from the mines in the early19th century, one of which is still visible next to the path. You can also see remains of the double race mill which farmers once used to grind corn, with one of the mill stones to be found in the bank above the path. Cross over the river bridge to follow the path on the opposite side of the river up to the falls. The name Gwladys is said to originate from one of the many daughters of Brychan, the 5th-century King of Brycheiniog. Wildlife Watching: Dipper and Grey Wagtail are often found along this wet, wooded valley, whilst the high humidity creates a perfect environment for many rare and interesting ferns and mosses.

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
ErrorHere