Radyr Woods and Glamorgan Canal
An easy, mostly level walk, taking in Radyr Woods, Hailey Park, the last surviving section of the Glamorgan Canal and a final stretch along the River Taff. A more up to date description of this route is available in our walks leaflet series.
Distance: 8 km (5 miles)
Difficulty: Grade D
Start Point: Radyr station car park [Grid Ref ST135804 ]
Maps: Landranger 171, Explorer 151
Getting there from Cardiff Central:
by bus: No. 33 or 133 from Central Bus Station to main street, Heol Isaf in Radyr, then turn right, down Station Road to the station.
by car: through Llandaff and out of Cardiff on the A4119 Llantrisant Road. Turn right onto B4262, Heol Isaf, signposted "Radyr". After 1 kilometre turn right into Station Road. Carry straight on to the bottom of the hill, and the car park is on the left.
by train: from Cardiff Central on either Pontypridd or City Line to Radyr Station.
From the car park entrance, walk straight ahead due south into the low-lying Junction Terrace (street sign on left). Carry on past a "No Through Road" sign with a line of terraced houses on your right. At the end of the road bear right then left, into Radyr Woods (Information Notice Board). Follow the main path straight through the woods. ignoring steps on right, then up a gradual hill for about 120 metres. At the top go straight through a kissing gate, with a wire fence on your right. Continue through another kissing gate and enter Danescourt Housing Estate. Walk straight ahead, ignoring paths on the right. Down a flight of steps to reach the end of a cul de sac road.Turn left onto a path across some waste ground. To your left are views of Castell Coch and the hills north of Cardiff, including Craig yr Allt and the Wenallt. When you reach a narrow metalled road follow it left, underneath a railway bridge, then right, alongside the River Taff. You may see boats on the river from the rowing club at Llandaff. As you approach Llandaff North Bridge, the spire of Llandaff Cathedral comes into view behind the bridge. Immediately before the bridge the remaining stone piers of Old Llandaff Bridge, built in 1766, can be seen.Walk left over Llandaff North Bridge, immediately left again into Hailey Park, open to the public since 1926. Follow the good metalled path, with at first the tennis courts on your right, beside the river bank in the direction you have come from, up-stream, north-west. This is the Taff Trail, used by cyclists and walkers. On the left the river is hidden behind a variety of trees, including oaks and willows. Many grey squirrels normally play here.Follow the Taff Trail as it bears to the right, away from the river (marked by "Please Cycle Carefully" and "Three Castles" signs, the request is not always obeyed!). The path is well surfaced up to a few metres beyond these signs then it goes through a clump of trees to the left of a car park. As you join a road proceed straight ahead along it, (blue footpath sign "Castell Coch, 2 miles, Tongwynlais 2 1/4"). Where the road bends right, there stands, on the left, the Melingriffith Water Pump, constructed in 1807. A noticeboard gives details of its history. Across the road is a cast iron post beside Oak Cottage. with rope marks worn into it by boats which once used this now vanished section of the Glamorgan Canal.As you proceed straight along the road, ignoring the Taff Trail, which turns left, the housing estate on your left is built on the former site of the Melingriffith Tin Plate Works. Bear left at a T-junction, at another blue signpost, into Forest Farm road. then shortly after leave the road by turning right into the Glamorgan Canal Nature Reserve. By the reserve notice keep left along the lower path beside the water. This path continues for a while with water on both sides (Melingriffith Feeder Canal on left), then with only the Glamorgan Canal on your right.Opened in 1794 and closed in 1942, this 40 kilometres (25 miles) long waterway linked the iron and coal industries of the Taff Valley from as far away as Merthyr Tydfil with the port of Cardiff. Today this last surviving section is a haven for bird, plant and insect life.Walk on for about 2 kilometres to the end of the canal. Turn left over a stile. Straight ahead to join a road. Left along the road, passing the award winning Amersham International building on your left. Where the road bends left, turn right onto a footpath past a pylon. with the M4 visible behind. Before you reach the motorway, bear left (blue sign for Cardiff). This is now the Taff Trail again, but it was originally a tram road to the Melingriffith works. Proceed ahead, following the river on your right. Cross the Melingriffith Feeder Canal, then pass Radyr Weir (built in 1775). After another half kilometre, by the blue footpath signs, turn right over the footbridge to arrive back at Radyr Station.
Alternatively, you can leave a message on our Facebook page Current comments about the route:
Great route to cycle although watch out for miserable old ramblers. They think they own the world and love nothing more than letting you know it - 2014-02-24
have to complain about the dogs and cyclists scaring the wild away thus making my day fruitless - 2011-03-16
I agree with your comments. This walk is infested with cyclists with a bad attitude! - 2009-03-30
Totally agree; although nice park and could potentially be a nice walk for my dog and I, we have had some close calls with collisions with the cyclists. They just have no respect or thought for anyone else using the walks in that area! Its almost like, get out of my way or be sorry! Real shame.Mandy - 2009-03-17
Accurately described, but you left out an important piece of information. This walk is infested with cyclists. Fast ones, rude ones, wobbly ones, little ones constantly whizzing through. The bits where they couldn't be were fine, good even.Martin & Joe - 2008-09-20