An attractive circular walk that passes by two ruined farmhouses, Nant Herbert, and Lluest, along the 400Metre climb. You return along part of Coed Morgannwg Way and along the tramway of the disused Argoed Coal Level.Walking through the valley look out for pieces of dead wood which may have some really interesting fungi on them, quite different from those in a broadleaf forest. Keep listening for birds in the treetops, especially Goldcrests which have a very high pitched call.
This section of the Coast Path is the least explored of the Neath Port Talbot Coast Path, following a newly formed link over the River Kenfig into Bridgend. From Graig Fawr, follow the Wales Coast Path waymarkers down the road to the roundabout over the M4, crossing over to Longlands Lane. There is some informal parking at this point which may have some spaces. The route crosses the main South Wales train line so care will be needed in this area. The path takes you along a dismantled railway line which skirts the northern edge of Margam Moors, a 100 hectare site of low lying reclaimed wetland. The majority of the moors is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) recognised for its fen marshy grassland and ditches criss crossing the area, home to a number of rare plants and invertebrates. Nearby is the prominent Port Talbot Steelworks, opened in the early 1900’s and now producing steel as part of one of the largest plants in Europe. Passing the moors, follow the route through woodlands and dunes to reach the River Kenfig where the footbridge leads on to Kenfig National Nature Reserve and the vast stretch of Kenfig Sands. To return to the starting point, retrace your steps back through Margam Moors.Wildlife Watching: In the spring migrant birds arrive and start to sing. Listen for the explosive song of the elusive Cetti’s Warbler or you may see a Whitethroat singing from a tree top; like its name suggests its throat is a striking white.
Following the B4242 briefly, the public footpath sign for the start of this walk is clearly visible on your left hand side. Commencing at the foot of the Roman Road, Sarn Helen, you can quite easily forget about the steady 1km ascent as you’re distracted by the attractive mix of farm and woodland and the Red Kites flying overhead. Veering left just after the cattle grid this is where the path provides you with some of its best moments; as you walk just beneath the mountain ridge take a moment or two to savour the sweeping views of the Neath Valley. On reaching the next juncture you could follow the main track right, heading back to the B4242 if pushed for time. However, it is recommended to go on and enjoy the tranquillity of Craig Ynysbwllog Woods that offers a picturesque little waterfall at the end. Following the sharp descent down to the road, turn right to follow the road back to where you started, passing the Rock and Fountain Pub on your way. Wildlife Watching: Look out for Ravens soaring overhead with their loud ‘cronk’ call. A more musical bird is the Skylark which can be heard singing high up over grasslands. If you are lucky you may spot a Brown hare.
Follow the path below the entrance to the visitor centre, following it through the underpass and across the cycle track. The route crosses the river, picking up a circular section before returning to cross back over the river and back to the start point.Follow the banks of the Afan River and former route of Brunel’s South Wales Mineral Railway. The River and Railway Walk is mostly easy with a few short, steep sections climbing up from the river and onto the forest road at the furthest end. This walk is a pleasant combination of woodland trails, an easy stroll along the riverside and taking in the industrial heritage. As you return, there is a field which has picnic tables and barbeques which is an ideal resting place before setting off back to the Visitor Centre.Wildlife Watching: As you cross the river you may see a streak of blue as a Kingfisher shoots past, the bobbing head of a Dipper waiting to dive into the water, or a flash of grey and yellow of the Grey Wagtail. On the higher route look out for Siskins and Crossbills in the trees.
The highlights of this trail are the spectacular views of the Afan Valley and Pontrhydyfen village.From Rhyslyn car park, briefly follow the road back towards Pontrhydyfen and take the footpath which climbs up to the right above the road. There is a steep 180 metre climb up this track to the top where it meets the country road taking you over the hillside. The road carries directly onto the ruins of Gyfylchi Chapel, but the recommended route turns right off the road for a gentle climb to the viewpoint and round to the chapel. It’s thought that this chapel was already in ruins by the mid 18th century, but it was rebuilt in 1775 by a local Anglican clergyman. It remained an important methodist centre until it was replaced by a chapel in Pontrhydyfen in 1826. There is a steep decent back to the car park.Wildlife Watching: This dynamic landscape offers many opportunities for species such as Nightjars and reptiles. More permanent areas are colonised by Heather. Redpoll can be seen in the Conifer plantations.