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Risca to Caerphilly

Distance: 13 km

Grade: moderate, mainly good paths but some overgrown sections, one steep climb.

Transport: Risca is on bus services from Newport and Blackwood and rail services from Newport and Ebbw Vale. Caerphilly is on bus services from Cardiff, Pontypridd and Blackwood and trains from Cardiff and Rhymney. See for details.

From the main road through Risca you start on the line of the Raven Walk.

At ST 22779 91531 turn right along the main road to Crosskeys.

At ST 22705 91540 turn left along Blackvein Road, straight across Waunfawr Park Road, across the river and under the dual carriageway. Follow Blackvein Road up hill. Ignore the first waymarked footpath but if passable take the bridleway signposted to the left at ST 22319 91169 (it cuts off a loop of the road).

At ST 22286 91034 cross the road and continue on the bridleway.

At ST 22206 90899 walk a few metres down the drive to a large house then bear left on a waymarked bridleway up into the trees. At ST 22071 90922 turn right on a stony forest road. Follow the road round the contour for about 1.8 km. At ST 20495 90928 turn sharp left and walk uphill. Don’t cross the stile at ST 20619 90899 but bear right with the track and continue up hill. At ST 20457 90637 turn right on the metalled road.

At ST 20232 90469 the road goes downhill to the right: take the track which bears to the left and follow it for just over 1.5 km. At ST 18726 90687 the main track goes left then right. At ST 18569 90661 cross a cattle grid and continue across open mountain land. There are two Bronze Age burial mounds above to your left – Twyn yr Oerfel East and Twyn yr Oerfel West. You can take any of the tracks up to the left to explore them.

 Walk round or over the burial mound and head for the gate at ST 18068 90686. Walk down a stony track. This becomes a grassy lane, then a rather wet and muddy path. When you reach Ty Canol farm, bear right on a tarmac lane (this is technically not a public road but a right of way).

At ST 18142 89373 turn right through some large stones. This isn’t technically a right of way at the beginning and it is marked on the OS map as a track, but it has clearly been a road and on Google Maps it’s marked as Colliery Road. Pass coal tips and the remains of Bedwas Navigation Colliery to your right. At ST 17637 89430 the track divides. Take the left fork. This becomes a metalled road through housing. Continue on the same line until you see the church below you to your left, through the trees. Past the church, turn left on Church Street: this gets you to the main churchyard gate.


Continue down hill to the centre of Bedwas, cross the dual carriageway at the traffic lights and go over the old bridge ahead of you. Just after the bridge, turn left through some bollards. This lane leads to a new housing estate and Llanfedw Close. Walk up the close, turn left into Rhyd-y-gwern Close, right almost immediately into Rudry Close (all these streets are named after old villages round Caerphilly) and after the first house take the waymarked footpath to the left. This winds between gardens and woods to emerge on a side road at ST 17207 88151. Turn left, and in 0.5 km at ST 17636 87930 turn right on a roughly-metalled lane over a disused railway line and up to Gwern-y-domen Farm. (The actual Gwern y Domen is an earthwork castle just north of the railway line.)

Walk between the farm buildings at Gwern-y-domen and continue on the same line on a waymarked footpath through bracken and scrub. At ST 17076 87241 and ST 17022 87121 keep to the right (north) side of the hedge. The track becomes a muddy path, then goes through a double gate, and eventually becomes a metalled lane leading down to the Van ( a complex based on a restored sixteenth-century house). From the Van, walk down hill then turn right along Cwrt Ty Mawr and right again on the Van Road, straight over the roundabout and into Caerphilly.

Risca to Caerphilly

Places to visit along this route


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