Woodland / Riverside

Cwm Du Glen and Glanrhyd Plantation

This hidden gem of the valley is accessed from ‘The Cross’ at Pontardawe town centre (entrance opposite the Dillwyn Arms)
Follow the Cwm Clydach River until you take a flight of steps to the left, which leads up to the old estate known as Glanrhyd. Take the circular path around this top section, looking out for the dramatic specimen trees, such as the Giant Coastal Redwood, that were planted by the Gilberton family. The estate, dating back to to the 1870s, is now mostly demolished and reverted to secondary woodland, however remnants of the historical interest still remain and plans to install interpretation and improve access to these features will provide even greater interest to this diverse woodland.
Wildlife WatchingSpring flowering plants such as Wood Anemone, Tutsan and Yellow Pimpernel are best seen in May. In the trees, flocks of Tits can be seen including Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit.

Pontardawe – Ystalyfera

At its southern end the walk starts at Pontardawe Recreation Ground. Briefly follow the riverside path south until you come across the bridge over the Tawe River. Cross over and the route now follows National Cycle Trail 43, a cycleway that forms a continuous link between Ystalyfera and Swansea City Centre. The majority of this route is tarmacced, therefore offering an easy route that is accessible for all. The cycleway heads up to Ystalyfera following the route of a disused railway. It is a pleasant walk, following the River Tawe and passing alongside attractive wooded slopes. The walk ends at the crossing point back over the river, at which point you either need to retrace your steps to Pontardawe or make alternative travel arrangements to return. Head North to get into Ystalyfera or parking is available left of the bridge.Wildlife Watching: As well as the many common woodland and river birds, such as Chaffinches and Dippers, you may be lucky enough to see a Goosander on this walk. These striking birds occasionally breed in Neath Port Talbot and regularly winter on our rivers.

River & Railway Walk

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.

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