WALK 4: Llanharan Circular

Maps: Landranger 170 Pathfinder 1147 / 1148 Start Point GR 002831

A medium to strenuous, 14 kilometre walk (9 miles), onto the Glamorgan Ridgeway for delightful views over the Vale of Glamorgan into the Bristol Channel as well as glimpses into the Rhondda Valley.

Getting there from Cardiff.

by bus. Rhondda I 22 or X9 services from Central Station to Talbot Green, change at Talbot Green, then service 244 to Llanharan. For times telephone 01443 682671

by car: out of Cardiff on North Road A470, M4 West exit Junction 34, A4119, A473. Park in public car park in Chapel Road (opposite High Corner House public house).

Walk back along Chapel Road to junction and cross main road to Church Road on left of High Corner House pub. Walk past the church and take first left into Danycraig Road. Descend briefly and then begin a long steady ascent along this quiet road passing Llwyn y Brain house on the left in 400 metres. In 300 metres the road becomes a stoney track at a point where 2 gates face each other. Continue up the track and pass through a gate ahead to follow an open sunken lane to the crest of the hill (Mynydd Coedbychan). Pass the entrance to a farm on the right and then, where the track turns sharply left, turn right at gate. Through the gate look for another gate immediately to the left. The wind farm can be seen ahead, slightly to the left. Passing through the gate turn right and with wall on right descend the hill to a gate in 200 metres. Go through the gate and continue descent on clear green track contouring left around hillside. In 400 metres turn sharp right onto a clear track leading to a gate to stabling in a disused colliery (Cwm Llanbad). Go through the gate and walk through stabling area past disused winding house on left and refurbished residence on right to reach a gate ahead in 150 metres.

Go through gate and follow track as it shortly turns sharp left over a stream and pass a substantial farmhouse (Llanbad Fawr). Carry on along clear, wide track as it bends rising to the right, keeping fence/hedge to left. In I 00 metres go through a gate and a second after the same distance where the track descends (passing a sign "Maendy" to the right) to reach a third gate on the right by a stream crossing. Passing through the gate ascend the track to pass Tyn y Cwm Farm on right in 200 metres. Just beyond the farm go through a gate and follow the track upwards. In 100 yards where track divides take left path and pass through another gate. In 30 metres leave the track to follow an open drain as it contours right around the hillside. The drain leads to a pedestrian gate in a hedge directly ahead. Go through the gate and cross (carefully) a stream in a hollow, (wind farm visible to the right). Turn immediately to the left and follow vague path contouring up the hill as it leads in 200 metres to a wider track (Cwm Rydmeilor), going north-east. Follow this track uphill until it levels in 200 metres and then look for a gate in a wall to the right and below the wind farm.

Go through this gate onto a bridleway, which is part of the Glamorgan Ridgeway walk. Follow the wide green track ahead keeping the wind farm fence to the left. In 150 metres go through gate and keep straight ahead with fence to left and wall to right to reach a second gate in 100 metres and a third, bearing left, in a similar distance. Following the clear track ahead pass information boards about wind farm and the view towards the Bristol Channel.

Pass through a gate ahead to leave the wind farm behind. Go straight ahead along clear track with wall to right and in 500 metres go through gateway in wall directly ahead with a wire fence on each side. (Look for a hunter's style gate on right which gives access to the remains of St. Peter's Parish Church). Continue along the green lane eastwards to gate near electricity pylons. Pass through the gate and turn left to go through another adjacent gate to reach a third immediately on right. Going through this gate join a wide track as it turns sharp right between wire fences. Follow the track to reach a gate in 150 metres which leads to a second facing gate - the middle one of three - which leads to a track with fences on each side.

Follow the track, descending initially, with Llantrisant Forest on the right horizon, to a gate on the right, at a stream. Go through the gate and continue east to reach another gate in 150 metres. Through the gate and shortly pass a rocky outcrop with a Welsh inscription, (placed there by a parent grateful for the recovery of a sick child). At a gate on the right walk up a rise ahead going south with fence to left leading to a gate and stile. Go over the stile and keep straight ahead. After going under an electricity line the path peters out but follow the line of the path briefly and look for a stile near a gate ahead. Cross the stile and head for the corner of the wood (Llantrisant Forest), in line with a disused electricity pylon.

Enter the wood at a stile and follow the clear path as it rises to join a four way junction. Taking the forest for a road further 250 metres at a sharp left bend, leave the road to join a woodland path on the right. Ignore the waymarks for the Ridgeway route at this point. The path quickly takes you out of the wood into grazing land via a stile. Keeping the wood and fence to left continue on to pass through a broken wall and then descend westwards to a stile in a hollow. Cross the stile and, continuing to keep the wood on the left reach a stream in a second hollow in 400 metres. Cross stream to a dilapidated kissing gate visible in the comer of the enclosure. Negotiate the kissing gate into a field on the left.

With the hedge to the right follow ill-defined way for I 00 metres to join clear, wide green track still parallel with the hedge. This track leads to gate with stile. Go through this gate and with the wood and fence to left descend to reach a stile over a stream in another hollow. (Meiros Farm above to right).

Go over the stile and bear left to follow edge of wood on left which brings you to a stile and gate at the end of the wood. Over the stile to descend steeply with wood to left (Llanharan ahead) to reach a visible kissing gate near end house of Church Terrace. Go through the kissing gate and walk along the terrace to Church Road. Turn left to reach the centre of Llanharan and the starting point of the walk.

Norman Slater

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