With lakes, ponds and big valley views, this circular walk at Craig y Nos is short but sweet. You’ll be crossing rivers via stepping stones and passing the National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan-yr-Ogof – a real rock star.
Need to know
Length: 2½ miles (4km)
Time: Around 1¼ hours (add another 2 hours if visiting the National Showcaves Centre)
Start and finish: Car park at Craig-y-Nos Country Park, Abercraf
OS map ref: SO 840156
OS map: OL12 Explorer (1:25 000 series)
Facilities: Refreshments, visitor information and toilets at Craig-y-Nos Country Park
Along the way
Craig-y-Nos Country Park
A lush 40 acres (16ha) of riverbanks, lakes, woodland and meadows, the park was once the ornamental grounds and ‘pleasure gardens’ of nearby Craig-y-Nos Castle. The park is a haven for walkers, wildlife spotters and picnickers. The castle, an imposing 19th-century ‘sham’ in typical high Victorian style, was the home of international opera star Madame Adelina Patti, who lived here for 40 years up to her death in 1919. It’s now a hotel and popular venue for weddings.
This subterranean marvel is part of one of the largest cave systems in Europe, stretching for at least 11 miles (17km) beneath the Brecon Beacons. All the classic features of the action of water on limestone rock are here, from vast underground chambers to delicate stalagmites and stalactites. Three separate cave experiences are available – the main showcaves complex, the Cathedral Cave named after its epic central feature, the 13m-high ‘Dome of St Paul’s’, and the archaeologically inspired Bone Cave. Dan-yr-Ogof is one of Wales’s prime family attractions with entertainment above ground too at its Bronze Age village, Shire horse centre and dinosaur park.
St Callwen’s Church
Though the church itself is a simple building, the churchyard is home to a few interesting memorials. One honours local people who risked their lives searching for the crew of a plane that crashed nearby in the winter of 1939. You’ll also find the grave of Morgan Morgan, a local farmer and industrialist who sold the land for Craig-y-Nos Castle to Adelina Patti. Two of his grandsons were the first to explore Dan-yr-Ogof caves by coracle and candlelight in 1912.
For a full route description, please click here.