The Raven Walk follows footpaths, bridleways and cycleways with only short sections on road or lanes. The paths are mainly dry in summer but can get boggy in winter and after wet weather. The weather in the valleys is changeable, so you'll need to pack waterproofs and wear stout footwear.
The path is waymarked with the distinctive black and white Raven walk logo. Walking the route in one day will take about 8 hours, be warned, there are come challenging climbs! Public transport information is included on the amps but you'll need to check times of services beforehand.
There are plenty of pubs and shops along the route or close by but its always advisable to take food and plenty to drink. Please follow the countryside code as you 'leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but memories!'
The Raven Challenge / The Raven Walk
Along the route, in the least likely place, you will find four different raven sculpture. On each sculpture there is a hidden letter from the ancient Ogham alphabet. These four letters spell a Welsh word. Use the alphabet translation provided in this leaflet. Send us this work by post or e-mail (you can find the contact details in the useful information section at the back of this guide) and you will receive a free enamel Raven Walk badge. Good luck!
Ogam, or Ogham, is an ancient Celtic alphabet found on standing stones across Britain and Ireland. It consists of a series of slash marks arranged vertically. Use the alphabet below to decipher the letters on our sculptures.
The route has been divided into four sections split over two maps. Map 1 shows sections 1 (red), 3 continued (purple) and 4 (blue). Map 2 shows sections 1 continued (red), 2 (orange) and 3 (purple). You can park your car at each start point but parking at the start of section 2 is limited. All start points are accessible by bus, except Mynyddislwyn.
Third Best View
Voted to have the 3rd best view in Wales, it's worth a detour to the top. You won't be the first though; people have been coming here for thousands of years. It’s thought to have been a Bronze Age tomb (robbed), a Silurian stronghold (defeated), a Roman signalling station (abandoned) and a Norman (or Welsh) castle. Enjoy the views!
|Distance:||19.3 km / 12 miles|
|Approximate Time:||8 - 9 hours|
|Climb:||900 feet / 270 meters|
|Start Point:||Visitor Centre (GR: ST229936)|
|Finish Point:||Visitor Centre (GR: ST229936)|
Stride out... series (Raven Walk)
Available from the Visitor Centre.
Cwmcarn Forest Visitor Centre to St Tudor’s church Mynydd Islwyn
- Follow the black ash path from the bottom of the main car park at Cwmcarn Forest Drive.
- Follow the path until using the underpass and linking with the path at the bottom of the playing field.
- Turn right onto Feeder Row.
- Take the first left, and then right onto Newport Road.
- Turn left after the post office and follow the road until using the subway.
- Straight down Chapel Farm Terrace over river.
- Bear right and over the railway bridge.
- Turn left.
- Cross over former railway line and onto a narrow path up hill.
- Cross a forest road.
- Follow steep path uphill for about 30 mins.
- A stile leads onto the common.
- Head for the fence and wall straight ahead.
- Keeping the fence to your right, cross a stile and turn right.
- 3 more stiles lead you behind the shooting ground (where you can stop for a cup of tea), and onto St. Tudor’s church, Mynydd Islwyn.
- Turn left and follow the road.
St. Tudor’s church Mynydd Islwyn to Ynys Hywel activity centre
- Turn right down Cwm Cae Singrug Farm track and follow the path left through the gate before the house.
- Go down the steps at the back of the house.
- Down field to the reservoir and across.
- After turning left, it is about 300m to the stile.
- Right up the field to the road.
- Left for 300m.
- Right down track.
- Turn right down the lane by the converted chapel.
- Zig zag down to Ynyssddu.
- Cross the main road and river to the Ynysddu Hotel.
- Go under the railway bridge and left onto a disused railway line.
- Follow this for over 1 km to find steps leading up bank on the right.
- Turn left at the top of the steps and follow the path 800m to Ynys Hywel activity centre.
Ynys Hywel activity centre to Glenside
- From Ynys Hywel, walk left and turn past the camping barn.
- Follow the path to the forest road and turn left.
- Turn right up the bank to a track, by a waymarker post.
- Follow track for approx 1km.
- Turn right up steep scree track and follow along the ridgeline.
- Follow the track up to the masts, (take time to enjoy the views), and down the steep bank until reaching the waymarker post.
- Follow the waymarked track through the bracken down to the road.
- Cross the stile into the field and go straight down for 300 metres to the waymark post, turning left into the woods.
- Follow waymarked track through the woods to join the tarmaced road at Glenside.
- Turn right passing the new bungalow.
Glenside to Cwmcarn Forest Visitor centre
- Follow the road under the bypass, over the river Ebbw and straight up Blackvein road.
- Right along Medart Place.
- Left up Medart Street.
- Over the railway and onto the Monmouth to Brecon canal (turning right).
- Cross over the bridge and continue up into the forest.
- Follow the path around to the right (following the waymarkers).
- The path continues alongside fields and down into a small valley.
- Climb back out of the valley and over the stile onto the road.
- Now begins a long uphill climb, initially on a tarmac road, and then tack the right fork onto a stony track.
- You will reach a car parking area with a wooden sculpture of a search and rescue dog and handler, just off the shoulder of Twmbarlwm Iron Age hill fort.
- Walk down the steps through the forestry, turning right when linking up with a wide track.
- Bear left down the footpath, and beware of cyclists, who may also be using a linking path lower down.
- Turn left down the footpath on the bend and through the gate at the bottom.
- Follow the tarmac road to the left, and continue around the lake, (on the right hand side) following the track to Cwmcarn Forest Drive visitor centre.
Congratulations, and enjoy a well earned cup of tea.
Raven Walk - map and route description (pdf 6.68mb)