A gentle walk taking in woodlands, ponds and streams and valley views. Suitable for most people, but there are some uneven surfaces, which can be slippery when wet. One kissing gate and a set of steps.
|Distance:||1.8 km / 1.2 miles|
|Approximate Time:||30 minutes|
|Start Point:||Visitor Centre (GR: ST229936)|
|Finish Point:||Visitor Centre (GR: ST229936)|
|Publication:||Leaflet available from the Visitor Centre|
- From the main entrance of the Visitor Centre, take the path that is on the left hand side, turning right immediately whilst on it and follow it down the valley, passing through the first wooden kissing gate (following blue markers).
- Take the next wooden gate on your left into the bottom car park (bike shop on your right), and cross to the otherside heading towards the P&D machine on the top tier. Take the stone path directly next to the machine and follow this up an incline to a wooden gate and follow the fenceline up
- Once at the end of the fenceline, take the right hand path heading towards the Silver Birch trees. Don't stray onto the left hand path as this connects to the bike track. Keep a close eye out for the Fly Agaric mushroom which is bright red and is found at the base of the Birch. Remember, red means danger in nature so do not touch.
- Continue through the trees (taking care in wet weather) passing activity 2 of the Numeracy Trail. Take a moment to enjoy the sound of the birch leaves in the wind!
- Continue along and have a rest on the 2 benches to your right. You can enjoy views of the valley and watch the bikers as they whiz past on the track.
- Cross-over the wooden bridge, where there are many bluebells and foxgloves and continue straight across passing numbered posts on your left. There are more benches to your right for you to admire the views or you can continue on where the plateau opens up. This is a great place to watch butterflies on a hot day and catch glimpses of the green woodpeckers as they fit between the trees. Listen out for their mocking laugh as they fly by. The plateau is part of the reclaimed Cwmcarn Colliery and has been designated as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation. Can you find Aristotles Theory?
- Continue on, passing the metal gate on your right. Do not go through the wooden gate - this is the bike track! You will now see the Pit Wheel monument on the opposite side of the valley which is situated at the site of the No. 2 up-shaft of the Colliery. Stay on this track (keeping an eye out for the different types of fungi on the bankings) until you come across a metal gate. Do not go through the gate, instead take the steps to your left. Take care as they can be slippery when wet and are uneven. During the summer this is full of bluebells and buttercups and the scent is heavenly!
- Carry on until you reach the bottom of the steps and follow the path to the left (you can now hear the sound of Cwmcarn stream!).
- Walk across the boardwalk and take a moment to enjoy the wildlife in the pond. There are ramshorn snails, dragonflies and flag iris around the pond. If you look closely you can even find the remains of the grinding stone which belonged to the mill which was once at this site.
- Follow the stream on your right and keep a close eye out for the vole holes in the banks, or the flash of the kingfisher or dipper. You will soon come across the lake, which is home to herons, ducks and trout which are fished by the Cwmcarn Angling Club.
Follow the path along the left of the lake and head for the footbridge. At this point you can split the walk, i.e. go across the footbridge and follow the tarmac path on your left. This path will take you alongside the steam and campsite and end up at the Visitor Centre.
OR: Do not cross the bridge and follow the woodchip path along the stream edge, enjoying the trees and wildlife as you go. You'll also get a close up view of the downhill course! This path will bring you back into the bottom car park.
Bluebell Walk - map and route description (pdf 1.16mb)