Cistercian Way - Map area

Caerphilly to Pontypridd

Distance: 14 km

Grade: a long walk but moderate difficulty, mainly good paths

Transport: Caerphilly is on bus services from Cardiff, Pontypridd and Blackwood and train services from Cardiff and Rhymney. Pontypridd bus station is ¾ km S of the end point of the route: buses from Cardiff, Rhondda, Merthyr, long distance and local services. The railway station is 1.5 km from the end point: trains to Cardiff, Merthyr, Aberdare and the Rhondda. See for details.

From Caerphilly Castle, follow the waymarked Sustrans Route 4 (the ‘Three Castles’ route). The cycle route goes through the park to the left of  the castle moat, crosses Crescent Road, through the car park, up a ramp and under the railway line. There’s a rather awkward wiggle through the housing estates and across a main road, then round the backs of more houses, through the park and more back streets to the road up Caerphilly Mountain.

At ST 13808 86046 cross the road and turn right then left to keep on the cycle path

At ST 13744 86051 the cycle path turns left.  Go straight on, rejoin the main road and walk up to the Penrhos  roundabout.  There is a VERY difficult road crossing to the left of the roundabout.

At ST 13528 86319 take the waymarked path ahead: you are back on the line of the Ridgeway. The path rejoins the Groeswen road. (Ths is a very unsatisfactory bit of the route but there isn’t a viable alternative – and it does take you past the cafe at the garden centre.)

At ST 13324 86350 turn right up Gypsy Lane. (The Ridgeway is waymarked  through a kissing gate and across the fields in the angle between Gypsy Lane and the Groeswen road but it is impassable in wet weather – knee-deep mud across the access to one of the gates. You can try it in dry weather; otherwise, keep to the road.) At the top of Gypsy Lane turn left and walk along a slightly bigger road to Groeswen.

At ST 12746 87003 (opposite the entrance to the car park of the White Cross pub) go up steps to a kissing gate. Walk diagonally to your right across two fields.

At ST 12884 87464 cross the stile in the top corner of the field. Turn right and follow the hedge around the field. 

At ST 12773 87702 cross the gate into the open moorland. Follow the edge of the field to your right then bear left with the track to walk over Mynydd Meio. Walk under a line of pylons.

At ST 12037 88074 you meet the great Senghenydd Dike, the boundary of the deer park belonging to Caerphilly Castle. Medieval peasants would not have walked through the park! Keep the boundary to your left.

At ST 11581 88316 bear left towards the trig point (magnificent views from here). Continue on the same line past the trig point and down a steep slope to rejoin the road.

At ST 11085 88341 turn right and walk along the road to Eglwysilan.

There is a footpath from Eglwysilan down towards the top end of Pontypridd but there are several problems with stiles and waymarks, and part is currently so heavily overgrown that it really isn’t walkable at the moment. There are alternatives – one going SW from Ffynnon Rhingyll, one going straight down hill just before the pub in Eglwysilan and through the quad bike track to the cycle path. Both involve a lot more road walking. The other alternative is to stick to the road past Eglwysilan and turn left at Penheol Ely: this is as far as we can see the medieval route but it’s all road.

For the route as we’ve walked it in the past: go past the church and churchyard.

At ST 10635 89081 take the waymarked footpath to the right. Follow the churchyard wall then bear slightly to the right to cross the fence (there has been a stile but the step has gone; it’s waymarked but only in the other direction). Keep on the same line and walk across a very marshy field and down the bank (very wet and uneven underfoot).

At ST 10368 89080 cross the footbridge. Turn left and follow the path which gradually climbs the bank. When you reach the top, follow the fence.



At ST 10228 89063 cross a stile. Walk below the farmhouse and across another stile. Walk across the next field with the hedge on your right.

At ST 09998 89291 cross a stile just above the next farmhouse. Walk above the farmhouse on a stony track through several gates.

At ST 09815 89419 the waymark on the last gate is misleading. It suggests you bear to the right towards the top corner of the field. The online Ordnance Survey map may be out of date: the farmhouse at Tir Cae Mawr is tumbled stone and the field boundary past it which the footpath followed is no longer there. Instead, bear slightly to the left and go a little down hill to the mid point of the far hedge.

At ST 09653 89450 there there is an old iron kissing gate. Through this, turn left and walk a little way down stream to ford the stream, then go straight on  round the top of the next field.

At ST 09528 89448 go through a gate and pick up a rough track which takes you through more gates to the metalled road by Hendre-Prosser.

At ST 09218 89565 go straight across the road and down the bank. There is no footbridge but the stream is fordable. Go through the kissing gate and up the far bank. Keep just below the hedge to your right and walk across the top of the field.

At ST 09011 89647 cross the stile, take the track to the left of the waymarking post, downhill through the bracken. This is VERY overgrown – you will need sticks. There is a broken stile into the woodland  and a kissing gate a little further on, after which the path becomes clearer. Walk down to a gate to the right of houses (very muddy underfoot). Take the track to the left which becomes a metalled road and bears right.Turn right on Rockingstone Terrace, which becomes Hospital Road. Opposite the entrance to the Cottage Hospital turn left into  Pontypridd Common (now a public park) and follow the main metalled footpath which goes gradually downhill past the War Memorial then more steeply downhill to the bottom corner of the park where Common Road meets Merthyr Road.

The path south-west from Ffynon Rhingyll is a little better, though still very overgrown near the bottom, and with a lot of up and down and doubling back.

The third alternative is to take the footpath just before the pub. Walk between fences and through a gate. The waymark here is slightly misleading – you need to bear slightly left towards a stone track and a gate. Go through the waymarked gate to the left and down the slope with the hedge to your right. At the bottom right corner of the field is a very overgrown gate. Turn right on a grassy track then left on the lane down to Pant-drain. Walk through the farmyard and keep straight on following the track down hill. Past the Dynea Mobile Home Park, turn right on the road then left almost immediately, following a footpath sign down steps, At the bottom turn left and follow the road down to the cycle path. Turn right and walk along to Glyntaff then along Graig-yr-Helfa Road and down through Pontypridd Common. This is straightforward but not such an attractive walk. We are working on getting the others cleared.

Cross Merthyr Road, head towards the A470 and turn right on Coedpenmaen Close. After the school, take the footbridge across the A470. Walk straight on along Foundry Place, left into Ralph Street, right immediately into Dorothy Street, bear left with the street, turn right on The Parade and left to the bridge across the Taff.


Caerphilly to Pontypridd

Places to visit along this route


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