There is nothing better than getting your kids out and about in the fresh air. I’d like to pretend it is for a genuinely good reason but to be honest nothing tires them out more than being in the fresh air. So I thought I’d do a short series about my favourite walks in and around Cardiff. First in the spotlight? Fforest Fawr.
This is a little treasure of a walk. Sited right next to Castell Coch you can either follow the whole walk down to the castle and back round to the car park (it gets a bit steep in places), or you can just do the sculpture trail. To find it park in the car park at Fforest Fawr, not at Castell Coch, and follow the path into the forest. There are two options, through the woodland which has a red dragon and wizard entranceway, or follow the big man made path. You will see the start of the sculpture trail a short way down this path, you can’t miss the big wooden entrance. If you have gone through the woodland you meet up with the sculpture trail anyway. A lot of the sculptures that used to be there have been taken away but the highlight is a gorgeous view across Taffs Well at the end with a lovely carved oak leaf bench to sit on.
It is flat, has lots of trees and plants for your little ones to explore and some nice photo opportunities by the sculptures. The downside? Not every dog walker picks up after themselves, and treading in a fresh dog turd can quickly ruin an afternoon stroll. If you had a kid like mine who is terrified of dogs you will spend a portion of it trying to stop the terrified screaming as one comes bounding out of the trees.
Although there are wide man made paths, they don’t cover the whole walk so make sure you have suitable footwear. It can get a bit muddy in places.
For the more adventurous you can follow the circular walk that heads to the grounds of Castell Coch and back again. If you do it the wrong way round the walk up from Castell Coch is so steep! My thighs were burning with the effort and our eldest described it as torture. The walk is signposted at intervals but we always get lost!
There is a free car park with plenty of parking space, and the drive after you leave Tongwynlais village is through the lovely woodland. You’ll see the entrance to Castell Coch on your left and Fforest Fawr is a mile or so down the road on the left hand side. Keep an eye out for the 200m marker sign! If you’re hungry a trip to the tea room to refresh yourself with tea and cake is recommended. It is on the circular trail or you can drive to it. The entrance isn’t far from Castell Coch on the main road.
We have had many a lovely family walk here and it is one of my favourite places to go walking with the children. If you live in Cardiff or are going to be visiting the area soon it is definitely worth a visit.