5 of the best walks in Rhondda Cynon Taff

From bracing waterfall walks and gentle countryside strolls there’s plenty to discover in Tom Jones’ ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’.

Bwllfa Trail

The Bwllfa Trail is a circular walk around the valley floor of Dare Valley Country Park – built on land reclaimed from over a century of coal mining.

Offering stunning views of the lake and an abundance of wildlife including dippers on the stream, little grebe, coots and moorhens, this walk offers a perfect afternoon stroll.

The 3.5km walk starts and finishes at the Visitor Centre, and is way-marked with red arrows on red banded posts.

Pontypridd Circular

This walks provides a view of the town from the surrounding hills; passing through ancient woods, open common, moorland, farmland and ffirdd. It climbs to panoramic vantage points for views across the valleys to the sea and to the Brecon Beacons. Mostly on countryside footpaths and quiet country lanes.

The walk is signposted and waymarked throughout. It can be followed in either direction and can be started at any point. The complete route is about 12 miles (18km) long and makes a good day-long walk. Walking boots or strong shoes are recommended.

Cwm Hafod Trail

Providing stunning views of the Rhondda, this circular walk offers you an interesting look into this famous coal mining valley. Concentrating on the once industrialised landscape, the walk departs from the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery site, which is now home to the Welsh Mining Experience and embarks on a steep climb towards Llwyncelyn. Once on top, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Rhondda Valley beneath.

The 2.5km walk departs and finishes at the Welsh Mining Experience, a visit to which offers the perfect complement to your visit.

Sgwd Yr Eira

Sgwd yr Eira is one of the most famous walks in Rhondda Cynon Taff; meaning “falls of snow” the waterfall is so large, you can walk behind it!

A route once walked by “cattle-herders, silica miners, gunpowder monkeys – and fairies” in the words of Country Walking Magazine’s Nick Hallisey, the route is strenuous but so worth it, you’ll be rewarded with a walk behind the stunning 50 foot curtain of water deposited from the River Hepste.

The 9.6km circular walk departs from the gorgeous country pub, The Red Lion Inn and follows the route of the old Tramroad line, takes you passed the mythical Iron Age defensive site of Craig Yr Dinas and offers stunning views of Moel Penderyn.

Llantrisant and Graig Commons Walk

Located in Llantrisant, one of the oldest towns in South Wales the trail explores the biodiversity of the town’s historic Llantrisant and Graig Commons.

Departing from Llantrisant Town, the walk crosses a mixture of marshy grassland and drier pastures which is home to a diverse range of wildlife and grazed daily by a herd of cattle and horses. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see views across to the Vale and Bristol Channel to Exmoor from the Graig Common.

Visit RCT www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Tourism/Home.aspx