Walking Long

The Group meets monthly, on a day arranged by the designated walk organiser, for a walk of about 6 to 9 miles. New members are always welcome. See below for dates of forthcoming walks and events.

A useful Hiking Map? No stepping stones for this group


A warm welcome awaits all new members. Mud is always a possibility on our walks; you are advised to wear boots.

Eventually, members are expected to lead a walk.

Sorry, but no dogs allowed on walks (due to previous experiences!).

Contact Marian East


(click on coloured text to open Links)

AGM and lunch on 31 October 2017, Steve Monaghan, after 5 years in post, stepped down as Group Leader, to be replaced, unopposed, by Marian East.
The membership fee remains unchanged at £1.00 per person.
One walk attracted 15 attendees and two each had 11 participants. One walk was lost to the weather (11 walks; 74 miles total). Two members did 7 out of the 11 walks, with two others each participating in 6. The longest trek was 8.8 miles, followed by one of 7.8 miles. Congratulations (and prizes) went to Marian East, Linda Cox, Penny Jarvis and Jo Ilsley.

The October 2017 outing was more of a guided walk, led by Roger Bradshaw, around some of the less well-known historical sites of Cardiff. The party of 5 saw the old West Gate of the town, two of the few surviving parts of Cardiff's town wall, the site of the Dominican Friary (Blackfriars) in Bute Park, then the nearby location where the long-gone Swiss bridge provided an entrance to the castle from the park, the well-known Animal Wall on Castle Street, an old Glamorganshire Canal tunnel (now used as a pedestrian subway under Kingsway) and, in Greyfriars Road, where the Franciscan Friary (Greyfriars) used to be.

Blackfriars Priory ruins West Gate of Cardiff town One of the animals on the wall A remaining piece of Cardiff town wall

The group then walked past the Cardiff Royal Infirmary complex on the way to St Margaret of Antioch Church, Roath, where volunteer guide Jean Rose gave an hour long talk, with tour, on the church and its connections with the Bute family.

Canal tunnel, now a pedestrian subway St Margaret of Antioch Church Stained glass window in St Margaret

From there, it was a short stroll to the Waterloo Gardens Tearoom for welcome refreshments (including excellent cakes). The return leg of the walk was through Adamsdown, where the party had a quick peek inside the imposing Church of St German, followed by a visit to the tranquil (and unknown to most) area of the feeder canal, off Schooner Way, just behind the Novotel Hotel. Overall, the walk was around 6 miles.

A view of the Dock feeder canal Another view of the Dock feeder canal

The September 2017 walk started at Cyfarthfa Castle, Merthyr Tydfil, on a reasonable day weatherwise, overcast with sunny intervals. The party of five, led by Steve and Val Monaghan, crossed over the Pont y Cafnau (Bridge of Troughs), the oldest surviving cast iron bridge in the world, before detouring to view the substantial remains of the Cyfarthfa blast furnaces.

on the Pont y Cafnau viewing the Cyfathfa blast furnaces on the Cefn Coed Viaduct on the Pontsarn Viaduct

The route then followed the Taff Trail, crossing the Cefn Coed Viaduct, before continuing along the track of the redundant Brecon and Merthyr Railway to pass the old Pontsarn station platform. The Pontsarn Viaduct was then traversed shortly before the party left the disused line to descend into the valley, eventually reaching the small village of Vaynor.

the old Church Tavern at Vaynor Grave of Robert Thompson Crawshay Robert Thompson Crawshay Vaynor churches

St Gwynno's churchyard was visited to see the grave of Robert Thompson Crawshay, with its 10 ton slab of Radyr sandstone and "God Forgive Me" inscription. The ruins of the older church at Vaynor and the Vaynor motte were then viewed by the group. The pleasant (and busy!) Aberglais Inn was reached shortly afterwards and lunch was taken here.

the ruined old church at Vaynor bridge over Taf Fechan near Vaynor near the Blue Pool Gurnos Quarry dram near Cyfarthfa

in the Taf Fechan Nature Reserve

On the return leg of the walk, the group passed the Blue Pool (just below the inn) and then followed a delightful riverside path, where dippers were seen, through the Taf Fechan Nature Reserve to Cyfarthfa Park, completing a walk of about 7.1 miles.

Fortunately, unlike most of the school holiday period up to then, the weather was appropriate for summer for the August 2017 walk, led by Colin and Judith Nunn. The party of eleven started from the Ivor Arms in Pontyclun and headed towards Llanharry, passing through the village.

Keith and June near Ash Hall Ystradowen Cattle near Ash Hall near Ystradowen
Coffee stop at Ystradowen Jo and Marian at Ystradowen Ystradowen coffee stop

A quiet lane was taken towards Ystradowen, where there was a coffee stop, not far from the ancient motte and St Owains Church. The quiet road towards "Bordervale Plants" and Hensol Forest was then taken for a while, before turning off to take the circuitous, narrow footpaths that skirted "Llwyn ddu", a previous home of Tom Jones (one of the the group managed to put his foot in an animal snare along this path!).

Bucolic view near Ystradowen Cartreglas Farm The group with Talygarn Lake behind them

The route then went past the extensive grounds of the impressive Cartreglas Farm, now owned, it appears, by footballer Gareth Bale. The return leg to the starting point went by Keepers Lodge Farm and through the grounds of Talygarn Manor, to complete a walk of 7.5 miles. Most of the walkers then took lunch in the pleasant surroundings of the Ivor Arms.

The forecast for heavy rain may have deterred some from joining the July 2017 Long Walk, but there was a period of about two hours during the event when showers were absent. A group of five, led by Steve and Val Monaghan, met at the hidden-away Hailey Park car park and went southwards, following the route of the long-gone Glamorganshire Canal. The park was traversed near the defunct bowling green and a northerly direction along the Taff then taken. The river was crossed by an old railway bridge and the entrance tunnel (under the railway line) to the old Radyr Quarry entered; this gave access to a high level route into Radyr, passing the Burnt Mound.

The group on the old railway bridge A view over Radyr group at the Burnt Mound The Burnt Mound at Radyr

There was a café stop for coffee and croissants, before the river was re-crossed on the nearby pedestrian bridge. The Taff was followed northwards as far as the M4, where a track was taken, past the substantial remains of a railway bridge, to access the Forest Farm Nature Reserve near Asda’s.
Keith at the Melingriffith water Wheel
The pleasant stroll alongside the water-filled stretch of the Glamorganshire Canal (lots of water lilies) was interrupted by the return of heavy rain; the consensus was to cut short the walk and return to Hailey Park by the quickest route (which went past the Melingriffith Water Wheel).
The length of the truncated walk was just 5 miles – but the rain had set in for the rest of the day, so a good decision.

The starting point for the June 2017 walk was close to Nash Manor (near Cowbridge), on a day that was bright and warm, if somewhat windy. June and Rhys Morgan took the party of nine on a route that skirted the grounds of the manor and headed across fields in the direction of Llanblethian, with good views of that village as it was approached.

Cleaning creosote off hands Linda negotiates a stile nr Llanblethian The group near Llanblethian
Walking towards Llanblethian The wood near Llanblethian church

The group passed directly by the church and then went down to the Llantwit road, which was followed as far as the Cross Inn, before the isolated church of St Brynach at Llanfrynach was passed. A circuitous route led to Llysworney, where a lunch stop was made at the Carne Arms. Quiet lanes were used to return to the starting point, completing a walk of nearly 6.2 miles, most of which was new territory to the majority of the party. Welcome refreshments (including homemade Welsh cakes) were provided by June and Rhys in their garden to those that were able to stay on.

May 2017, another long walk, and another fine day. The party of six met in Llandaff for a 7.5 mile walk, led by Penny Jarvis and Marian East.

A view of Llandaff Cathedral Llandaff Cathedral interior

The route essentially followed the River Taff downstream into Cardiff, via Llandaff Fields, Pontcanna Fields and Bute Park, crossing the river by the pedestrian bridge at Sophia Gardens.

Near Llandaff Fields Coffee stop at Pettigrews

A coffee stop was taken at the Pettigrew Tea Rooms (named after the brothers who were the first two heads of Cardiff Parks), located in the West Lodge. The return part of the walk was on the eastern side of Bute Park, initially following the remains of the old canal (which once linked up to Merthyr Tydfil) to Blackweir.

Giant rhubarb/Gunnera manicata Along the route of the old canal Entrance to the old Radyr quarry

Naked Bike Ride poster

Staying on the east bank of the river, the group eventually reached Hailey Park, where the Taff was re-crossed using an old railway bridge. The entrance tunnel (under the railway line) to the old Radyr Quarry was passed - this was the source of the attractive red sandstone used in some Cardiff buildings and also the Gorsedd Circle in front of the National Museum. A quiet road and paths were used to regain the starting point.
Lunch was taken at the "Maltsters" in Llandaff (fortunately after the large party of teenagers, celebrating the (pre-exams) end of school, had left!)

Dates for your Diary
Fri Feb 9th Keith Kennett to lead
Fri Mar 9th Penny Jarvis to lead
Fri Apr 6th Roger Bradshaw to lead
Fri May 4th Marian East to lead
Mon Jun 25th Colin and Judith Nunn to lead
Fri Jul 27th Val and Steve Monaghan to lead
Fri Aug 10th Walk to be led by Linda Cox
Tue Sep 18th Walk to be led by Steve and Val Monaghan
Tue Oct 16th Walk to be led by Jo Ilsley
Fri Nov 2nd Claire Fawcett and Keith Morgan to lead
Fri Dec 14th John Andrew to lead

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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