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Castell Coch Circular

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Castell Coch Circular
Author: melanzana, Published: 21 Jan 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide star1 Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide star1 Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide star1 Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide star0 Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide
Glamorgan, Cardiff
Walk Type: History trail
Castell Coch Circular
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide boot Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide
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A pleasant 1.5 mile stroll around the castle and woods at Castell Coch in Tongwynlais near Cardiff. The castle is well worth a look around, a real Gothic fantasy. It has lovely views over Cardiff and the River Taff. The walking route leads you through beech woodland, visiting a haematite mine and a pretty blue pool with a stunning arch.

The route follows a waymarked trail, the yellow Burges' Trail, making it fairly easy to navigate so it is not one you'll get lost on. It is also not too muddy as the paths are well made, trainers or walking shoes are required though. There is a steep climb to to the ridge from the castle but then the route is flat with a moderate descent. There are no stiles or gates. Allow 1 hour.

The walk starts in Tongwynlais near Cardiff, just off the M4 Junction 32. Follow the signs in the village to the Cadw Site. You can either park inside the castle grounds (free) or on the road outside if the car park is full or if the gate is closed. The route is on the Taff Trail cycle route and public footpath so it is always open even if the castle itself is closed. Approximate post code CF15 7JS.

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Walk Sections

Start to Castell Coch
Start to Castell Coch

Start point: 51.5367 lat, -3.2493 long
End point: 51.536 lat, -3.2545 long

From the roadside, go past the red gate and follow the access drive (or from the car park, follow the access drive) uphill towards the castle. At the top of the hill, you will discover the wonderful castle.

Castell Coch to Beechwood Path
Castell Coch to Beechwood Path

Start point: 51.536 lat, -3.2545 long
End point: 51.5371 lat, -3.2525 long

Castell Coch is a fantastic Victorian castle designed by William Burges. Built on the ruins of a medieval castle, the name Castell Coch translates in English to Red Castle, taking its name from the red sandstone from which it is built. It is an excellent example of Victorian Gothic Revival. The castle is situated with a commanding view of the Taff Gorge. If the castle is open, it is well worth exploring (entrance fees apply). You can visit www.cadw.wales.gov.uk for details.

When you have finished at the castle, the walking route follows a waymarked trail around the grounds, the yellow Burges' Trail. Cross over the road to join the well-signposted footpath and walk up the hill. This is a well-made but steep path.

Beechwood Path to Haematite Mine
Beechwood Path to Haematite Mine

Start point: 51.5371 lat, -3.2525 long
End point: 51.5383 lat, -3.2527 long

Carry straight on along the trail. The surrounding beech woods contain rare plant species and unusual geological features and are protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Along the way you will pass a tree sculpture (remember to look up!). At the junction, follow the Burges' yellow trail (the shorter trail). Follow the waymarked path along and, on your right, the mine workings are visible.

Haematite Mine to Blue Pool
Haematite Mine to Blue Pool

Start point: 51.5415 lat, -3.25 long
End point: 51.542 lat, -3.2505 long

Tongwynlais and Pentyrch were once the setting for an early industrial landscape with coal, limestone and iron ore deposits in close proximity. It is thought that Sir Henry Sidney, a courtier to King Henry VIII, had a smelting site near Tongwynlais in the 1560s. He is credited for developing the iron industry of southeast Wales. The workings you can see are the disused haematite mine workings.

It is worth braving the mud to see into the mine workings, fenced off safely at the end. There is a blueish pool and a natural arch above the cave which gives a stunning setting. The beautiful woodland and caves in this area have drawn the attention of TV location scouts. The woodland and nearby caves have featured as backdrops for several BBC TV series including Merlin, Casualty and Dr Who.

Blue Pool to End
Blue Pool to End

Start point: 51.542 lat, -3.2505 long
End point: 51.5367 lat, -3.2494 long

Just carry on down hill, still following the waymarked trail. There are nice views across to the hills in the winter. You will emerge to the main drive by the entrance gate. Depending where you parked, go up to the car park or down back to the main gate where the walk began.

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Check out these resources for your walk

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network Castell Coch Circular Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author melanzana and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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