WALK 5: FROM ST FAGANS

Choice of Start Points: GR 121772 The Plymouth Arms has a large car park, (obtain permission first), serves good fare and has recently been refurbished as a theme pub. GR 119771 The Museum of Welsh Life, formerly called the Welsh Folk Museum, also has a large car park and warrants a day's visit in itself. Be warned, the car park closes at 5p.m. An easy walk, with some moderate slopes. Some parts can be quite muddy in winter.

Getting there from Cardiff:
by bus: service 32 from the Central Bus station.
by car: out of city on A4119. At traffic lights on Penhill, just after Cathedral Road ends, do not turn right but go straight through onto Pencisely Road. Carry straight on through next traffic lights to Waungron Road; through yet another set of traffic lights, across Western Avenue, onto St. Fagan's Road, straight through Fairwater to a point where, in sight of St. Fagan's castle walls, you reach the top of a hill bearing left downhill. Here turn right for the Plymouth Arms or carry on down the hill for the Museum of Welsh Life.


From the Plymouth Arms exit towards the Church. Cross towards the Museum entrance but continue past downhill, passing estate cottages to signed entrance road, leading to Museum. Continue 200 metres to stile on left adjacent to field gate immediately before Museum gate-house.

or From Museum car park exit to gatehouse and stile on right by gate.

Cross stile and with the river on your left, make your way towards the fence which follows the road linking the Museum to the A4232 dual carriageway. Follow fence until the road bends away right. Turn left. Cross to field gate via short length of fencing which leads to bridge crossing old railway. Take path immediately left before the gate and go down the slope to the line of the old railway. Go under bridge and follow path adjacent to main railway line under the dual carriageway. Up steep slope and cross stile to rejoin old railway. Follow this for 100 metres then veer left down track into field. Follow line towards church tower at St. George's-super-Ely and railway bridge crossing the river. The footpath crosses the river beneath the railway bridge. Cross to field gate and road.

Turn right and follow road for about 250 metres past the church and until the road bends left away from the railway. A stile in the hedge on the right gives access down a slope and across a small stream to a field running alongside the railway. With the railway on the right, cross field and exit via stile to road and level crossing.

To view the late mediaeval first floor house at Castle Farm turn left for some 45 metres. Return and cross the busy main line at the level crossing and follow the narrow road up to St. Bride's-super-Ely. (While passing through the small village it is worth making a small detour to see the church down a lane to the left). Follow the road to the T-junction.

Cross the road and climb the bank opposite to a stile. Cross the field and bear right up the slope to corner exit over a stile and onto a lane. Turn right to road. Cross to field gate and follow the fence on Your left to next gate. (Turn left to visit the ruined St.-y-Nyll windmill (late C18) which dominates the skyline). Return to gate and turn right following hedge to next field gate-opening and 45 metres further through gate on right down into a sloping field overlooking the dual carriageway. Cross this field towards on-coming traffic and over a stile on left. Turn right and follow the fence down to a stile and the St. Brides road.

Turn left and follow the road for about 275 metres under the dual carriageway until you reach the entrance to Tregochas on right hand side. Enter field by stile immediately on the left of driveway. Cross the field. which is the site of the Civil War's "Battle of St. Fagans", 1648, and go diagonally left down the slope to a kissing gate. Bear left up the slope towards the Museum boundary fence. With the fence on your right, cross another kissing gate and pass fencing to cross through yet another kissing gate in 800 metres adjacent to the wall of St. Fagan's castle grounds.

Facing the gateway take track on right (wall to left) to return to the Museum car park by passing the estate cottages and reaching the entrance road to the Museum. Turn right and follow the road to gate house and car park. Alternatively take the left hand track (wall to right), until reaching the road. Turn right. To return directly to the Plymouth Arms keep on this road.

Optional extra, about an additional 1.5 kilometres. After the last turn right above, walk about 45 metres along the road and then turn left onto a green footpath adjacent to a house. After another 40 odd metres, cross the estate road and continue along the path until reaching the next road, down some stone steps. Turn left and cross St. Fagans Drive into woods opposite. At top of short rise turn right along a path just inside the woods. Keep on track, which opens out, to pass an old reservoir on left and several quarry workings. Continue through wood and down slope to join St. Fagans Road. Turn right and taking care, for this is a very busy road, continue along road until you return to the village and the Plymouth Arms or the Museum car park.


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