Added - Tue - 21 / Aug / 18

About Merthyr Tydfil’s leading role in Valleys walking festival

Merthyr Tydfil’s countryside, culture and history will play a leading role next month in a festival celebrating the beauty of the South Wales valleys.

The 14th annual Wales Valleys Walking Festival from 1–23 September features four hikes around Merthyr Tydfil’s stunning mountain scenery, including that of the celebrated ‘Giant’s Bite’.

The festival is organised by The Valleys Partners, a consortium of South East Wales county borough councils set up to encourage residents and visitors to explore the region’s numerous attractions.  

This year it offers 16 walks ranging from challenging all-day treks to easier strolls and special interest walks.  All have been graded to help people choose those to suit their interests and abilities.

Merthyr Tydfil walks include the Bedlinog Mountain Circular on 1 September, a ‘moderate’ eight-mile walk from the picturesque Parc Taf Bargoed up to the mountain top for views of the area.

On 8 September, there’s a chance to follow in BBC Wales weatherman Derek Brockway’s footsteps in his Weatherman Walking series and discover Masters of Iron, Medieval Marcher lords and millstones on this 8-mile circular ‘Castle to Castle’ route.

The strenuous trek starts from Cyfarthfa Castle and heads to the site of the old Cyfarthfa Ironworks before continuing up the Taff Trail.  After calling in at Vaynor Church, the party will then climb to the summit of Morlais Hill, site of a ruined Norman castle, before returning down along the banks of the cascading Taf Fechan river.

On 15 September, ‘Walk The Gap’ with local walk leader Harri Evans starts in Quaker’s Yard and takes in the Taff Trail, offering spectacular views of the valley from the mountain landmark affectionately known locally as The Giant’s Bite.  A moderate walk, it covers four miles.

The final Merthyr Tydfil walk of the festival is on 18 September.  The moderate Heolgerrig Circular will be led by the local ramblers’ group and participants can enjoy breath-taking views towards Bikepark Wales - a stop for refreshments - before retracing their steps along the Taff Trail. 

County Borough Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas said: “This popular annual event in the UK walking calendar is a fun and challenging way to explore what we have on our own doorstep.

“It’s surprising how many local people have never ventured to the tops of the mountains we have all around us.  This is their opportunity to see parts of the countryside they’ve never seen before, to socialise and to learn about our heritage from experienced and knowledgeable guides.”
Booking is essential, so please pre-book to avoid disappointment.

For full details of all walks and more information call 01495 742333.  To book your place on a walk, visit or

Last Updated - Thu - 04 / Oct / 18