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PEASE NOTE: These routes are now several years old and details are likely to have changed. For more up to date suggestions, please see the more recent collection of leaflets. If you wish to attempt this route, comments made by previous walkers at the foot of the page may be helpful.
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Reservoir Walk

This walk is centred on Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs, which are both SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest): Lisvane Reservoir is noted for the wildfowl that over-winter there and the embankments of both Reservoirs have recently been awarded the status because of the wide spectrum of waxcap fungi that they are a home to. The walk encompasses woodland and open meadows; much of the woodland along the Nant Fawr is maintained by The Friends of Nant Fawr (contact: www.nantfawr.org.uk) . The walk is mainly on pavements and good paths but sections A-B are prone to flooding and B-C can be waterlogged and muddy in wet weather.

Distance: 5 km (3 miles)
Difficulty: Easy
Start Point: Rhyd y Pennau rd - lane to reservoir [Grid Ref ST190813 ]
Maps: Landranger 171, Explorer 151

Getting there from Cardiff Central:
by bus: Bus 52: to Cyncoed Village (Rhydypenau Roundabout) ( go down Rhydypenau Road 100m and turn right up a lane closed to motor traffic by bollards to start Reservoir walk at Point A)
Bus 28, 29: to Lakeside Road West (or East) (for Roath Park Lake) or Rhydypenau Crossroads (to start Reservoir Walk at point F)

by train: Llanishen Station ( come out of the Station and go across the road to start Reservoir Walk at point D)


Just before the southern entrance to the Reservoirs (now permanently locked with the entrance to the Reservoirs and their SSSI sites prevented by high iron railings), there is a kissing gate on the right which allows access to a path following the perimeter of the Reservoirs. The straight path goes down a dip which in wet weather can be a deep lake and an alternative path through a grove of trees has been created. Follow the path along the reservoir side (about halfway along there is a viewing platform giving fine panorama of the over the water to the Graigs north of Lisvane) to reach a stile.

Go straight over the field to reach a further stile an the far end which gives access to a sunken lane. Turn left and follow the lane to reach a field, over a stile and keeping field boundaries on your left, continue through another two further fields to reach a lane . Turn left and almost immediately come out at a mini-roundabout just below Lisvane Church and the Griffen Inn [start point of the Lisvane Walk (Capital Walk 11)].

Turn left and follow Lisvane Road to the railway bridge by Llanishen Station.

On the other side of the bridge on the left is a lane that after about 100m reaches open ground. Follow the track between the open area and the railway to reach Fidlas Road. Turn left under the bridge and turn left after Yapps Garage into Usk Road, after 150m this swings round to the right and becomes Towy Road, where this too swings to the right (becoming Ewenny Road) look for a concealed path on the left which provides access to Rhydypenau Rark.

Follow the path down towards the woodland.

Take the path on the left over a bridge to enter Nant Fawr Woods. Follow the path through the woods to regain point A.

To take in Roath Park Lake, follow the path from E to a kissing gate that allows access to Rhydypenau Road (at G).


Cross the road, veer slightly left and take the entrance to another section of the Nant Fawr Woods. Follow the main path through the woods. This path becomes a tarmac path where it meets another path crossing at right angles. Follow the tarmac path with Cardiff High School on your left and the Nant Fawr on your right to reach Llandennis Road.

Turn left and follow the road to the roundabout which marks the top end of the Wild gardens (I) the northernmost point of Roath Park Lake)

From the Wild Gardens a number of paths lead to Roath Park Lake and Roath Park. For details of the Park complex go to: (www.cardiff.gov.uk) or obtain a leaflet from the Parks Department(?).


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Current comments about the route:

The state of the reservoirs is heartbreaking now. A point of interest easily missed is the historic spring in the greenery of Llandennis Oval just N of point H - there's some info on http://llanishenhistory.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/ffynnon-llandennis/ - there's more in the Cardiff Council History of Nant Fawr (PDF, 5.2 MB) http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ObjView.asp?Object_ID=19500&Language=&YYY=0 [... Llandenis is believed to be a corruption of "Dionysius", the Latin name for Saint Isan, who established the settlement. The ... spring ... "Ffynon Llandennis" was used by the monastic community for baptism, healing and a water supply ...](source of link: search for "History of Nant Fawr" on www.cardiff.gov.uk )
Theo - 2011-03-30

The only point that caused a slight problem was point B. What I thought was the sunken lane was overgrown, so I walked parallel with it but didn't manage to emerge on the road near Lisvane church, emerging instead about 200 yards towards Llanishen. A couple of sign posts at this point would get you on the right path.
- 2010-07-02

The signposting for the paths is inadequate on the walk!
Joanne Saltfleet - 2009-03-22