This site uses cookies please click 'Accept' to continue and remove this message or 'More....' to view our cookie policy

Continued use of this site indicates that you accept our cookie policy

For full access to iFootpath, to join the walking community, rate the walks, print, leave comments, mark walks as Favourite & Completed (mirror in the App), and much more please register and login. It's free (no subscription, no charge to view or download a walking guide or GPS route) and only takes a moment or two. Already registered? Login here.

Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble

There are currently 0 comments and 0 photos online for this walk.

Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble
Author: melanzana, Published: 27 Feb 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide star0 Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide star0 Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide star0 Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide star0 Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide
Glamorgan, Draethen
Walk Type: Woodland
Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide boot Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide boot Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble Walking Guide
iFootpath home page    Get the iFootpath iOS/apple app    Get the Android app from Google Play    Get the Android app from Amazon

Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.

A lovely 2 mile ramble from the village of Draethan in Glamorgan. The route heads up a steepish hill following the River Rhymney circular walk, up to an Iron Age hill fort with fantastic 360 degree views up the Rhymney valley and out across a wide panorama of the Severn valley and across to Somerset. The return leg takes you down to the ruins of Ruperra Castle, built in 1626, and then back down the hill through the woods and along an old mill stream to reach Draethen. The woods are lovely in the spring when the bluebells are out. The woods are being felled and opened out due to ash dieback disease just now, and they are managed by a volunteer community group.

The route follows well-marked trails and it is rather muddy at points. The climb to the hill fort is quite steep and you will need to negotiate some kissing gates plus two stiles. There are many paths within the woodland so the App's live GPS map will be particularly useful to help with navigation. Dogs are welcome in the woodland and hill fort. Allow 1 hour.

Take the M4 to junction 28, go north on the A467 then take the exit off the roundabout to Machen and Caerphilly (A486). In Lower Machen, turn left to Draethen and park on the roadside near to The Hollybush pub. Approximate post code NP10 8GB.

View Larger Map

Walk Sections

Start to Junction
Start to Junction

Start point: 51.5796 lat, -3.1259 long
End point: 51.574 lat, -3.1257 long

The walk begins at the car park entrance for The Hollybush pub. Walk along the access drive past the pub in the direction of the footpath sign. It is the dragonfly sign on the signposts, marking the Rhymney River Circular trail. Go over the stile and up the field (with the hedge on your left). Go through a kissing gate and join the gravel-topped path, still the Rhymney River Circular trail. Carry on uphill until you reach a T-junction.

Junction to Hill Fort
Junction to Hill Fort

Start point: 51.5748 lat, -3.1201 long
End point: 51.574 lat, -3.1217 long

Turn sharp left at this T-junction (leaving the Rhymney Circular trail) to continue on up to the top of the ridge (signposted to the Iron Bridge).

Until the mid-1990s, this woodland, Coed Craig Ruperra, was covered in conifers and was a dark and unwelcoming place. Now, after clear-felling, and with massive amounts of work since 2000 from volunteers and supporters, it is fast becoming one of the most interesting places in the area to enjoy a walk and appreciate the recovering wildlife.

Carry on uphill and the path ascends all the time and loops around (swinging right) and up the other side of the ridge. You will emerge onto a path with views over the Severn Estuary and all of Newport and Cardiff below. Go through one more kissing gate (alongside a five bar gate) and, at the top of the ridge, you will find the site of the Iron Age hill fort.

Hill Fort to Motte Exit
Hill Fort to Motte Exit

Start point: 51.574 lat, -3.1217 long
End point: 51.5723 lat, -3.1273 long

Take time to explore the Iron Age ditches and the Motte. There are a couple of benches to sit and admire the wonderful views.

When you are ready to continue, walk towards the far end of the ridge (the opposite end from where you entered) before exiting and taking the path to the left down the hill.

Motte Exit to End
Motte Exit to End

Start point: 51.5723 lat, -3.1273 long
End point: 51.5791 lat, -3.1261 long

After joining another part of the Rhymney River Circular trail, you will emerge from the woods above the castle walls. Turn right onto a tarmac road with the ruins of Ruperra Castle below you on your left. You will be able to take a peep at the ruins through the trees over the high wall that surrounds it.

Ruperra Castle was built by Sir Thomas Morgan in 1626. As steward to the Earl of Pembroke, he would have been one of the most powerful men in Wales at that time. The castle entertained a royal visitor in 1645 when King Charles I stayed for a few days, a last desperate effort at gathering support in South Wales after his defeat at the Battle of Naseby. By 1935 the fortunes of the Morgan family, owners of the estate at that time, had declined. The castle contents were sold off, the castle building was abandoned and the grounds left to go wild. During World War II the castle was used as a training base and prisoner of war facility. In December 1941, a fire broke out and the castle was gutted. The castle remains in private ownership but has never been restored.

Follow the line of the castle wall along the road and do not turn off through the grounds (which is the Rhymney River Circular walk) but stay on the road (briefly what has now become the Rhymney Ridgeway walk).

From the castle walls walk on past a cream house on your right and, at the very end of its garden, turn immediately right to a stile and rusted farm gate (the gate was bolted closed when we walked and the stile had had the footpath sign levered out). Cross the stile (leaving the Ridgeway walk) to join the good public path, running parallel at this point. Follow this path which leads you all the way back down the hill. Along the way you will pass alongside a pretty old mill stream. You will emerge back to the main road in Draethan village. Keep straight downhill for 100 metres and you will reach the junction alongside the pub, where the walk began.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

Check out these resources for your walk

hotels Hostel Directory GetMap Rail

network Ruperra Woods and Hill Fort Ramble 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.

Powered by World Weather Online.

We've an App too

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map...

No need to print and no more wrong turns....

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.

Do you want to download the GPX/GPS for for this Walk?

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map powered by the GPX file? - Find out more...

We have an FAQ for GPX files, how to download them and how to translate them for use on a Garmin etc - Click here for help 

Know what you are doing? - then just dismiss this notice and click the GPX icon again.

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.

Share

Walks Nearby

Recently Added Walks.

Kilve and the Coast Path, SomersetMillennium Way: Hawbridge and Drakes Broughton, WorcestershireMillennium Way: Middleton Cheney and Chacombe, NorthamptonshireMillennium Way: Kingswood Circular, WarwickshireWelton Wold and Dale, East YorkshireDouglas to Port Soderick, Isle of ManBaldrine and Groudle, Isle of ManIsle of Man Bottom to Top, Isle of ManMaughold: Belle Vue to Glen Mona, Isle of Man

There are currently 1053 shared walks online. Add yours today!

What our customers say

We've an App too

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map...

No need to print and no more wrong turns....

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.

Do you want to download the GPX/GPS for for this Walk?

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map powered by the GPX file? - Find out more...

We have an FAQ for GPX files, how to download them and how to translate them for use on a Garmin etc - Click here for help 

Know what you are doing? - then just dismiss this notice and click the GPX icon again.

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.