Distance: 12 km
Grade: Moderately severe, mainly good paths but several very steep climbs.
Transport: Pontypridd bus station is ¾ km S of the start point of the route: buses from Cardiff, Rhondda, Merthyr, long distance and local services. The railway station is 1.5 km from the start point: trains to Cardiff, Merthyr, Aberdare and the Rhondda. Local bus services to Penrhys; longer distance buses serve the valleys on either side. Train services from Llwynypia.
See http://www.traveline.cymru for details.
Cross the bridge over the Taff at ST 07763 91011, turn left on Berw Road then right up Graigyrhesg Road and under the railway bridge.
At the end of the houses, at ST 07470 91160, the road becomes a stony track: this is the old road but it becomes impassable further up. Bear up to the right and follow the waymarked footpath parallel with the old road.
At the top of the ridge, at ST 07142 91686, bear right to rejoin the old trackway and follow it down to a metalled road. Turn left and walk down to Ynysybwl. Turn left on the main road then left again almost immediately into Brookfield. The path is waymarked ahead of you, at ST 06411 92886, between a bungalow and a garage. Follow the stony track along the pretty valley of the Llys Nant and past some fish ponds. Bear right with the track in front of a farmhouse (which is on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map but not on the 1:25,000).
Technically the right of way from here goes to the left of the track, through the farmyard of Cribyn-du and along the top of the field. This is awkward and there is an acknowledged permissive alternative. Continue along the stony track which becomes a roughly metalled road. Soon after the road bends to the right, at ST 05496 93875, go through the gate to the left (there used to be a stile and waymark here) and walk up the field to the top left corner. At ST 05270 93913 there is a footbridge and stile and the path you have taken is waymarked back in the direction from which you have come.
Over the stile, bear slightly to the right across the next field and down to the gate at ST 05226 94151 (this may be very wet under foot). Head for the small conifer plantation ahead of you and go through the gate at ST 05185 94367. Walk along the track through the middle of the trees. Continue along the same line with the hedge to your left until you reach Buarth Cottage. Here you go through the garden and down the (slippery) steps to the road at ST 05064 94746. Turn right and look out for a waymarked footpath down to your left (the waymark can be hidden by trees).
|Pontypridd to Penrhys
Over the footbridge at ST 04977 94755, do not cross the stile to the left but take the track up to the right and over a stile at ST 05014 94837. Bear up to the left across the fields and join the farm track below a modern barn at ST 04921 94952. This leads to a roughly metalled road. To your right is all that remains of Mynachdy Farm. Turn left and follow a stony track up hill past a modern farm.
When you reach the open moorland at ST 04348 94835, go through the gate to your right. Walk along the stony track towards the wind turbines. Go through the gate at ST 04212 95166 then bear left across the next field to a stile in the far left corner. (You are off the line of the right of way on the map but this is where the stile is.)
Follow the fence to your left and cross a stile at the top left corner of the field. Turn left on a track which leads down through the trees. At ST 03441 95595 look out for a faint track to your left. Cross another forest road at ST 03318 95606 and continue along the same line up the bank and over a stile out of the forest. Walk over the little hillock ahead of you and down to the road below Llanwynno church.
(The stiles are steep and difficult for dogs: if you are walking with a dog, you may be better following the stony track through the scrambler circuit to ST 03496 95088 then taking the forest road to the right.)
Turn left between the pub and the church and take the road to the south. On your right, look out for a plaque inscribed with words from Psalm 34, in Welsh and English: 'Bendithiaf yr Arglwydd bob amser. Ei foliant fydd yn fy ngenau yn wastad. I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth'. Shortly after this, at ST 03087 95428, take the waymarked footpath up the bank to the right.
At ST 02744 95305 cross a forest road: the path becomes very faint here but keep going on the same line. The map shows the footpath crossing the forest fence at ST 02519 95140 but the stile is a little further to the right, by a metal tank on the skyline. After crossing the stile, bear left down the slope, following what tracks you can, until you join a very steep, very rough stone track at ST 02187 94956. Follow the track down to Cefn Llechau farm, from which point it is metalled, and down through Stanleytown towards the bridge.
At ST 01005 94516, just before the bridge, take the cycle track down to your left. Cross the roundabout, go up the steps ahead of you and a little to the left at ST 00938 94492. Turn left at the top then right at ST 00877 94475 to walk up a path alongside the stream. Eventually this bears right just before the rugby club to meet the main road just below the modern statue of the Virgin Mary.