Awaken in the peaceful heart of the Afan Forest in South Wales at the idyllic Willow Springs Campsite. Offering gorgeous views, an exciting landscape and an oasis of hushed quiet. You can best appreciate your getaway by immersing yourself in nature and disconnecting from the usual chaos of everyday life.
There’s no better way to explore the area than by bike and the Afan Forest offers some great family trail riding. Start your day by exploring the routes yourself or a local guide can show you the network of tracks. Campbell Coaching provide friendly guided rides and coaching for families of all abilities and ages. Local coach Ally is a fully qualified MTB coach and guide and has been coaching Mountain biking for over 17 years. She will ensure that your journey through the forest visits the best historical sites as well as the dramatic views and scenery which await you.
Young and aspiring bikers who want a taste of adventure can develop tricks and skills at the Afan Bike Park, whilst the more novice or younger cyclists can meander on the easier trails. The ‘Rookie Trail’ in particular is built in sections, allowing you to experience as much or as little adventure as you desire. This is a perfect introductory route for newcomers, with a wide trail and slightly sweeping declines. At the end of this trail, there is an optional 2.6km blue graded loop that provides a taster for those wishing to progress. Dropping down to the River Afan, the serene loop exposes some of Wales’ unspoiled secret beauty spots, an ideal stop for a family picnic.
Stop off for lunch at Cedars Tearoom at Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre or head to the Corrwg Cwtch Café at Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre. Both are run by local families and serve up excellent quality and locally sourced food.
Bike hire is available at the Afan Valley Bike Shed or your bike can be delivered to Willow Springs Campsite. There’s a wide range of high-quality bikes – from children’s trailer bikes to full suspension mountain bikes. The team are experienced mountain bikers and mechanics, providing you with the equipment, advice and knowledge that you need to enjoy the dramatic landscape of the forest and the best of the biking trails. The friendly team of locals can also service your bike and make any repairs so that there are no hold-ups to your biking adventures.
After a busy day of action and adventure, it’s time to relax for the evening. The eco-friendly campsite offers the choice of glamping, with heated camping huts or post-card pretty shepherd’s huts.
The shepherd’s huts comprise a beautiful wooden interior and wood-burning stove, ideal for cold crisp nights in the warming orange glow of a wood burner. Relax as you listen to the gentle crackle of the logs burning and toast marshmallows to top off a warm hot chocolate or sandwich between cookies for an indulgent s’mores experience. The pet-friendly heated camping huts are a great option if your dog is coming along for the adventure too.
Prefer to do things your way? Pitch your own tent, motorhome or campervan at one of the many camping pitches. There is a range of added luxuries for rent such as BBQs, fire pits and firewood, and eco toiletries made in the local village available to purchase.
Willow Springs also offers a large rain/wind shelter with picnic tables, a dry and shaded area perfect for cooking and socialising. The campsite regularly hosts events and workshops here; from willow weaving and soap making to storytelling and bat walks.
If you prefer to leave the cooking to someone else, you can find the local’s favourite pub, the Refreshment Rooms, just a 2.5 mile drive away. Enjoy a cold drink and a hearty pub dinner to replenish after a day of adventures. Highlights on the menu include a generous mixed-grill and a trusty fish and chip supper.
Once your belly is full and you’re unwinding before turning in for the night, watch as the dark skies come alive. With low levels of light pollution, the Afan Forest is a superior spot for stargazing. Scan the mesmerising sky with your eyes or take a closer look through binoculars or a telescope to reveal the wonders of the universe.
Memories will be made to cherish for a lifetime at Willow Springs in Neath Port Talbot.
- Morning – Visit Afan Valley Bike Shed to get kitted out with mountain bikes and safety equipment for the whole family. Head for the Rookie Trail at Afan Forest Park and build your confidence on a great track for beginners.
- Afternnon – Enjoy a picnic on the banks of the River Afan and try some of the more challenging trails at your leisure.
- Evening – Retire to Willow Springs and toast marshmallows by an open fire outside your Shepherd’s Hut.
- Morning – Visit Port Talbot’s sandy Aberavon Beach and treat yourself to a coffee and ice cream from Café Remo’s.
- Afternoon – Meet with Ally from Campbell Coaching who can guide you on a mountain biking adventure through Afan Forest Park.
- Evening – Dine at the Refreshment Rooms for tasty pub grub before heading back to Willow Springs Campsite to gaze at the night sky.
The Dramatic Heart of Wales is a great choice for a socially distanced mini-break. With so many outdoor attractions from country parks and our epic seafront through to our expanse of mountains and natural landscapes, you can relax knowing you are having a ‘safe-cation’. Many of our tourism businesses have achieved ‘Good to Go’ status and made a commitment to maintaining the highest standard of safety and cleanliness.
Protecting our land for future generations while caring for one another is part of what makes us who we are. Visit Wales is inviting you to make your ‘Addo’ (the Welsh word for promise), please join us by making your pledge before you visit. By working together to keep each other safe we can all enjoy what the Dramatic Heart of Wales has to offer.