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Dinas Powys - Michaelstone le Pit

A walk to explore the attractive countryside and introduce some of the local history of these 2 communities. The walk takes in a delightful wooded ravine, a staircase of weirs, agricultural land (some very muddy patches here!), a brief contact with a golf course and passes near to a ruined Norman castle, an Iron-Age settlement and an old Manorial Mill.
Part of the route is a much used circular walk, well-waymarked for most of its route. A short cut can be made to reduce the distance walked by about 2 kilometres.

Distance: 9 km (5.5 miles)
Difficulty: Grade D
Start Point: Lane opposite Millbrook Rd, Dinas Powys [Grid Ref ST154716 ]
Maps: Landranger 171, Explorer 151

Getting there from Cardiff Central:
by bus: From Central Station services nos. 305 and P7. Call 01222 396521 for times.
by car: A4161 to Canton, fork left at disused St. Davids Hospital into Wellington Street then left at Leckwith Road (B4267). Follow this road over roundabout (signposted "Dinas Powys") for 3 kilometres then, at left hand bend, after a public telephone box, bear right uphill, through a wooded road, Pen y Turnpike. In 2 kilometres and at foot of a steep hill turn right at road narrowing into a small car park space at the entrance to a lane called Millfields, not marked as such, but directly opposite clearly marked Millbrook Road.


From the car park space turn right and walk along the road, past St. Peters church to the second turning on the right. Broth Lane (Heol y Cawl). Walk up the steep lane, pass Ebenezer church, then turn right into Highwalls Road, which leads to Dinas Powys golf club and car park. Go to the rear of the clubhouse and at the first tee turn right and follow the hedge as it turns left around the green. In about 50 metres, at golf club notice, turn right over a stile to descend via 2 more stiles in quick succession, to the entrance to Cwm George, a wooded ravine.

Turn left to enter the gorge, via kissing gate/field gate and walk past a row of beech trees on a wide track. In about 500 metres, towards the western end of the cwm, opposite a steep limestone cliff and on top of the wooded hill to the right of the track, is the site of an iron age settlement whose defensive banks are quite well defined and worth exploring.

Walking on up the slight incline (ignoring stile to the right) go through a stile/gate to follow the old Cwrt yr Ala estate driveway through cultivated land with a fence to the left. Michaelstone le Pit can be seen to the right and Leckwith Hill beyond. Cross a second stile in 150 metres and a further stile/gate after same distance to reach the road via a bridge crossing the Wrinstone Brook. At road turn left and walk for 150 metres to reach, on your left, a kissing gate entrance to a series of weirs known locally as Salmon Leaps. (sign, "Private. No Fishing" but there is a right of way throughout.) Go through the gate and follow a clear waymarked path alongside the man-made weirs, part of the Cwrt yr Ala estate, the house (private) lies above the rise to the right.

Cross a stile into a wood in 400 metres and follow path as it rises briefly then turns slightly left before continuing ahead into an initially denser part of the wood. Follow the clear path which borders the Wrinstone Brook on the left for about 600 metres until the path rises to leave the wood at a stile leading into a small meadow. (The wood and Cwm George have been the location for a number of television films over the years where a rural "closed" setting has been required.)

Turn left from the stile and walk to another easily seen stile. Cross the stile and turn right along the concreted driveway of Wrinstone Farm with Wrinstone House behind you. Once beyond the short driveway entrance turn right onto a wide stony track. In 400 metres and just beyond 2 pairs of adjoining wooden electricity line poles turn right onto a similar track going east. As you do you find yourself almost at the top of the hill, look back and enjoy the views of Wenvoe village and its woods and hills. This track soon descends in winding fashion to join, in 600 metres, the unsurfaced road which links Michaelstone le Pit with Caerau to the north. At this road turn right and walk 60 metres to a stile on the left opposite a field gate.

At this point the walk could be reduced by about 2km by walking further along the road to pass the entrance to Salmon Leaps to rejoin the stile/gate, opposite the driveway to Bullcroft Farm, which allows one to cross the footbridge over Wrinstone Brook and rejoin the walk at (J) **. If you are still set on doing the longer walk go over the stile and continue, via a second stile opposite, diagonally right across the field to a third stile in the right hand hedge, near a gate. Cross this stile into the field on your right, turn left and down, crossing the field diagonally right to another stile soon seen in facing hedge. Go over this stile and its attendant metal footbridge.

Look for wire fence 60 metres opposite (no recognisable stile), cross it and look for another fence slightly to the right in 60 metres. Cross the stile here and follow uphill the hedge on left (Coed y Ddylluan Wood) to reach another stile in 100 metres and after crossing this stile look for a rustic stile in the facing hedge. Having crossed this stile and with hedge to left walk to another in 200 metres in hedge ahead. Cross this stile and walk to a visible barn to the right with the hedge on the right. With the barn to your right go through a facing gate. Turn diagonally right to a nearby, waymarked stile and cross to walk immediately across the metalled road into the driveway of facing cottage. The public footpath is not marked but goes to the left of the cottage, then through the back garden and out via a wicket gate into a field.

The lady of the cottage is very pleasant and provided that you respect her privacy by quickly, carefully and quietly traversing her property, she will not object. Follow the hedge downhill to the left and cross a stile to reach yet another stile and footbridge in 50 metres in the left hand hedge.

Having crossed this bridge, walk diagonally over the field. following the line of the telegraph poles, past a small clump of trees towards the easily seen cluster of buildings which constitute Home Farm. The gateway is normally very, very muddy. Walk through the farmyard to gate on the right which leads onto the road. Turn left then immediately right to a group of former forestry houses. Turn sharp right onto a track fronting some of these houses. In 15 metres turn left onto a narrow but clear path between the hedges of 2 adjacent houses. Cross the stile/gate at the end of this path into a field. Turn slightly right and follow a wide green sward to a stile/gate which leads onto the road, ignoring stile and footbridge seen soon in the field to the left.

Turn left and walk 150 metres along road to reach the gate leading to the footbridge over the Wrinstone Brook crossed earlier in the walk.**

Retrace steps to the first stile/gate, do not cross the stile but walk to the left along clear track with fence/hedge at each side to reach another stile/gate shortly. Cross this stile and with the hedge to the right walk to another in 500 metres. When over this stile keep the hedge to the right to reach another stile in 350 metres which leads onto a track (Cwm Drive). Go over the track onto a path, then in 20 metres over/under a sort of stile, the path is bordered by a fence on the left and a ditch on the right. Pass commercial glasshouses on right to reach a stile/gate in in 250 metres. To the right, and above on the hill, lie the hidden ruins of Dinas Powys castle dating back to 1190. (The site can be visited, but care must be taken, from Letton Way, the next road to your start point).

Cross the stile to walk the last 100 metres back to the start point. (On the right, beyond the stream, (River Cadoxton), a glimpse can be had of the Manorial Mill (c.1426), now a private residence. The stream turned part of an extensive mill leet, since dried up, following the disuse of the mill).


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Current comments about the route:

This walk like several others on this site are hard to follow telling you to cross styles that are no longer there or any trace of them ,several field bounderies have changed we got lost twice as the instrucion did not match any thing be were looking at, i think these walks are old and need to be updated and made easier to follow , we also got lost a point H ending up walking back to Dinas through Leckwith on the main road,an extra 3 miles ,it seems this website wants to encourage walkers but is in danger of misleading the walker into getting lost and this time of year that could be fatal as dark falls early. we do not all have fancy gadgets to rely on when in trouble G LUSH 01/11/2012
- 2012-11-01

Thanks for the walk which my wife and I enjoyed very much. I have recorded a .gpx track and waypoints for it matching your map points. Please email me if you want a copy? Some of the text does not match the map, notably in Section A and in Section H, Home Farm seems to have been replaced by a house. Some frisky cattle in H caused my wife some concern!
simonhrowlands@hotmail.co.uk - 2012-06-17

I walked this route with my wife on Saturday and last week really nice walk. i didn’t even know it was there until I saw it on your web page. Which is a little embarrassing for me? I am a keen rambler and this walk is practically on my door step. I follower your directions which I believe I did correctly after comparing your map against my gsp on my phone they match up okay. but I clocked up just under 7 miles and your map says it 5.5mile, having said that this is such a nice walk only the sound of nature(no traffic noise) can get a bit boggy in places but nothing to worry about. Thanks for highlighting this hidden secret walk I will certainly be doing the other Cardiff walks ps i guess i should mention the walk in question Dinas Powys - Michaelstone le Pit (5.5 miles / 9km)
dave jones - 2012-03-12

Having done this walk am a bit confused about stage H, can't see any trace of Home farm am I right in saying it is no longer there?
Nick Adams - 2009-06-15