Cefn Onn Park is one of North Cardiff’s favourite parks, its wonderful flowers providing a colourful display at this time of year.
The views from the ridges at the top are pretty impressive too. They stretch all the way from the Severn Estuary, down to Steep Holm and Flat Holm and beyond. Looking north, Caerphilly offers itself to the onlooker with views as far as Pen-y-Fan on a good day.
This walk will take you through Cefn Onn Park and up to the two ridges that dominate the North Cardiff skyline where you can take in those views.
Head out of the main entrance to Lisvane & Thornhill station car park and cross the road. Then turn left towards the roundabout. At the roundabout, turn right into Parc Cefn Onn itself.
Follow the marked path under the motorway bridge and continue straight ahead on to the path through the trees. At the wrought iron fences turn right, through the cycle barrier, and then left following the path alongside the railway line cutting. Go around the gate and then head straight ahead, following the direction of the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway path marker. Keep the golf course on your left until you reach a gate.
Head left along the path with the golf course on your left and trees on your right. The path will go downhill slightly before curving upwards to the right at the path junction. Pass a chimney-like structure with ‘Shaft 4’ written on the side (this is a ventilation shaft for the railway tunnel) and continue straight ahead, ignoring paths to the left.
Go up the slope through the bridleway gate with a small stream on the left. Follow this path uphill as it turns sharply to the right. Along this path you will see a rocky outcrop above you to your left and a field boundary below you to your right. The path turns sharply to the left, continuing uphill through deciduous woodland. Turn right at the unmarked path junction and continue upwards to the crest of the ridge.
On the ridge, take the path to the right. Follow the path through grassland. Follow the waymarks through the wooden gate. Look slightly behind you to the left for a view across the pine forest to Caerphilly Castle. Continue along the ridge path descending slightly to a minor road.
Cross the road and follow the waymarked path through two wooden gates and then between the field and the shrubby woodland. Continue along this path past the end of the field through mature deciduous woodland to a set of bridle path gates.
Immediately after the gates, turn right following the path downhill past ruined buildings. At a path junction, take the right fork along a smaller higher path. Follow the path as it bends to the left past a stile.
After about 10 yards, the path goes downhill into a small wooded valley. At the bottom, cross a stream using the footbridge, then follow the path straight ahead as it ascends through shrubs with a stream on the right. Enter a deciduous forest and bear right.
Cross a stream using the footbridge and then up wooden steps. A large track comes in from the left, but continue straight ahead and slightly uphill. Soon you will see a fence on your right, follow this (ignoring paths off to the left). You will see a forest on your left and rough grassland on your right. Continue until you get to the top of the ridge and a path running along the top of the ridge. Turn right onto this path.
To your left, you will now see a spectacular view across the estuary. The two small islands are Flat Holm and Steep Holm. As you continue along the path, you will also see Llanishen Reservoirs on your left, the Principality Stadium and Cardiff Bay. Just before you reach a small mast, you will see a Trig point on your left near the path. The path ends at a minor road.
Turn left and follow the road downhill. At a road junction, go straight ahead passing a building on the left, then after 20 metres take the track on your right.
Follow the track past houses to a way-marked path junction. At this point, you should turn down the path you came up on to retrace your steps back to the start point.
Information and photos kindly provided by Ramblers Cymru