The south Wales area has an abundance of natural places to see Winter in all its glory
Why go to all the trouble of getting to and up Pen-y-Fan when the Garth offers its own magic closer to home? You can start your winter walk in Pentyrch and reach the summit in less than half an hour. The views from the Garth’s ridge are worth the effort.
The Abergavenny to Govilon route takes you past Abergavenny Castle and Castle Meadows before crossing the River Usk and heading under the Heads of the Valleys Road to Llanfoist. Passing canals and wharfs as you continue to Govilon, the return route brings you along the old railway line.
Usk Lady Hill
Starting at Twyn Square, this walk takes in the woodland and farmland of the local area. As well as Usk Castle, it also takes in the site of the Battle of Pwll Melyn (which is also known as the Battle of Usk), a battle that took place between the Welsh and English in May 1405 as part of the Glyndŵr Rising.
The Nant Brynglas Circular Walk is a 2.5 mile walk that can be started either at Coity or Brackla. It takes in the quaint villages of Coity itself, as well as Coychurch, and can be completed in around two hours – just about long enough to clear the cobwebs before heading home to thaw out and warm up.
There’s something magical about waterfalls at this time of year. The crystal cold water leaves you feeling somehow refreshed and the walk at Talybont Waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons will reward you with this feeling plus forest tracks and extensive views of the ridges of Craig Y Fan Ddu and Cwar Y Gigfran.
Situated north of Rhiwbina, the Wenallt is a favourite for walkers and dog walkers alike, and takes in acres of woodland and forests. There are even abandoned caves to be spotted.
Salmon Leaps Walk
Recently featured as one of ’20 of the UK’s most beautiful woodlands for winter walks’ in The Times, this gorgeous winter walk includes a glacial valley and the Cwm George Iron Age hill fort. Starting in Dinas Powys, the walk takes you through fields and forests. You can also take the diversion that leads to Caerau Hill Fort and the ruined church that overlooks the west side of Cardiff.
Cosmeston Country Park features two lakes formed by flooding disused quarries. The lakes attract many waterfowl throughout the year and the trail will take you around the lakes, trees and picnic areas. Some areas are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest, protecting the rare and diverse plant and animal species.
High on a hill near Pwll Du, Blaenavon, you can find The Keeper’s Pond, also known as Pen-ffordd-goch Pond or the Forge Pond.
The large pond was originally built in the early 19th century to provide water for Garnddyrys Forge, which started production in 1817. After the forge was dismantled during the 1860s, the site quickly became a local beauty spot. It also became known as Keeper’s Pond after the gamekeeper of the grouse moors who lived in a cottage nearby.
The short walk from Caerphilly Mountain to the Black Cock Inn and back again via the mountain top affords you stunning 360 degree views of woodland, Caerphilly Castle – and on a clear day, far over the Bristol Channel. Starting from the mountain car park, you can complete the walk in under two hours, taking in the rolling hills, gurgling streams and plenty of fresh air.