The Taff Trail - NCN Route 8

Discover The Taff Trail - NCN Route 8

The Taff Trail takes you on a 55-mile journey from the waterfront of Cardiff Bay up to the pretty little market town of Brecon through the heart of Merthyr Tydfil’s historic villages.

The Merthyr Tydfil section of the Taff Trail (National Cycle Network Route 46 & 8) is a 14-mile, mainly traffic-free route, designed for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders. 

Using former tramways, railways, canals and towpaths you can enjoy all that Merthyr (once the iron capital of the world) has to offer.  Travelling north through Merthyr Town takes you across the spectacular Grade II listed Cefn Coed Viaduct. You’ll pass through woodlands and nature reserves crossing the historic Pontsarn Viaduct as you climb gently to Pontsticill Reservoir and onwards to Brecon through the National Park. Following Route 8 from Merthyr Tydfil to Brecon Town is a 25 mile (40k) route that takes around 2hrs on a mixture of Asphalt (60%) and loose (40%), and it's 60% traffic-free.

With the heart of the Taff Trail running through Merthyr Tydfil, there's plenty of occasions to stop off for a spot of lunch or explore many of the historic villages and sites that are situated nearby.

The Taff Trail is just a part of the spectacular NCN Route 8, also known as Lôn Las Cymru. It's an exciting long-distance route that will challenge and amaze you as it passes through wild and beautiful Welsh landscapes. The route starts in Cardiff and passes two national parks - Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia, before finishing on the island of Anglesey. It's 243 miles long and takes around 20hrs to complete. Follow the link to the Sustrans website to find maps of the whole route.

Brochures

We have created new information packs to help explain the landscape you'll be travel through and the benefits it brings. Find out more about the flora and fauna you can expect to see or learn about the history that surrounds the many heritage sites you'll pass on your journey. Download your information maps below.

Flora and Fauna                                Heritage & Lost Stories                 Trails Workout

  Trailgazers Taff Trail Lost Stories & Heritage Map   

Information

We hope you enjoy the Taff Trail by whatever means you've chosen, but please travel responsibly. Take care of yourself, your surroundings and each other. Download your information leaflets below.

 Mental Wellbeing                                  Enjoy Nature Responsibly                Hiking Safely

      

 

Map - choose and download your map today

If you're travelling through Merthyr Tydfil on the Taff Trail (South to North), then why not download the latest directions map to help you on your way.

Taff Trail Directions Map

Apps

Take a look at the new LOST Stories app we've created to help you learn about the historic monuments you'll be passing on the route and much much more.

 

Use the QR codes below to download the LOST Stories app.

App for Android                                             App for Apple

 

Videos

Our latest video helps to capture the essence of the majestic Cefn Coed and Pontsarn Viaducts both found on the Taff Trail.  See what else is on offer in the splendour of Southern Wales.

 

Links

Alongside Treasuring our Trails we have a responsibility to ensure we, as custodians, maintain them for generations to come. Please respect the countryside and each other.

Follow the Countryside Code.  Find more information and guidance at the link below.

 Natural Resources Wales Countryside Code

Sustrans Cycle Route Network - Route 8 Merthyr Tydfil to Brecon. Click below to find out more about the cycle networks throughout Wales and the UK.

 

Ramblers Cymru- Find out more about Ramblers Cymru by clicking the link below.

 Wales Ramblers

 

The Taff Trail is just one of a series of trails running right through the county borough that encapsulates the area's history complemented by miles and miles of natural beauty. So if you want to take time to stop at one of our amazing adventure attractions, learn about our history, shop, eat, sleep or just take a moment to savour the breathtaking scenery. Merthyr has it all.

TRAIL GAZERS

 

Trail Gazers is a European partnership project established with a common set of economic, social & environmental Key Performance Indicators; it will develop innovative technologies & systems to capture trails activity and develop plans to sustainably manage trails.

Trail Gazers will measure socio-economic impacts from investing & promoting trails in areas of rich natural heritage. The project aims to create a trails dashboard, utilise tools to digitally target visitors and boost Tourist numbers.

Trail Gazers Partners - find out more about our Atlantic Partners Trails by clicking on the links below.

Donegal - Inch levels 

https://www.govisitdonegal.com/things-to-do/activities/inch-wildfowl-reserve or http://www.inchwildfowlreserve.ie/walks.html

Inch levels Donegal

Inch Wildfowl Reserve - Situated in the shadow of Scalp Mountain on the eastern shores of Lough Swilly, tucked neatly behind Inch Island, you will find Inch Wildfowl Reserve. The combination within this site of extensive feeding areas and safe resting and roosting sites makes this site one of the most important wetlands in the country for wintering waterfowl. This site is situated to the east of Lough Swilly, approximately 8 km to the south of Buncrana. It supports a wide diversity of wintering waterfowl, notably swans and geese, as well as breeding terns, gulls, waders and duck.

 

Sligo – Knocknarea

https://www.trailgazers.eu/pages/knocknarea-killaspugbrone or https://sligowalks.ie/walks/qmt/

Knocknarea Mountain (320m) dominates the skyline of Sligo. Formed from limestone over 300 million years ago, the summit is crowned by the great cairn of Queen Maeve (Miosgan Meadhbha in Gaelic language) and has been an important ritual focal point since Neolithic times.

France – Chemin de memoire

https://www.trailgazers.eu/pages/chemin-de-memoire or https://www.louvignedudesert.org/decouvrir-louvigne/patrimoine/chemin-de-memoires/

The Path of Memory(s) goes through 8 km of Louvigné du Désert and invites you to discover the history of granite of our city along with the people who make this story.

Let yourself be surprised by ten unique testimonials and discover the daily of the Picaous (stonecutters) in careers before meeting with young apprentices who are now engaged in Stone crafts.

Come on the path and meet them: old Picaous, Sculptors or young apprentices. They will be your private guides throughout the Memory Path(s).

 

  

Spain – Plazaola

https://www.trailgazers.eu/pages/plazaola or https://www.plazaola.org/en

The very first Plazaola train departed Pamplona on 19 January 1914. The old mining train had been turned into a passenger train linking the cities of San Sebastián and Pamplona, resulting in a spectacular, winding railway line replete with tunnels and full of magic and history.

The floods of 1953 and strong competition of the coach lines caused the tracks to be dismantled in 1958, leaving a deep mark on the landscape.

Recently 53 km of the track have been adapted as a greenway and its spectacular route opens to the passage of cyclists and walkers eager for almost virgin natural spaces.

 

 

Portugal - Montanha Sagrada

https://www.trailgazers.eu/pages/montanha-sagrada or https://www.cm-viana-castelo.pt/pt/rede-percursos-pedestres

The Serra d'Arga is a high granite plateau that rises between the municipalities of Viana do Castelo, Caminha and Ponte de Lima, outlining the horizon of the western sector of the Alto Minho region. An emblematic mountain in the Portuguese territory, that stretches between the Minho, Coura, Âncora and Lima rivers, both for its natural and scenic values and for its geological, archaeological and ethnographic interest. The Serra d'Arga is part of the catalog of sites of Community Importance of the Natura 2000 Network, a Community initiative for the conservation of biodiversity in the European Union.

Portugal - Sete Vales Suspensos

https://www.trailgazers.eu/pages/sete-vales-suspensos to https://www.visitalgarve.pt/en/menu/41/lagoa.aspx

“Seven Hanging Valleys” walking trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the Algarve, and was recently voted the best hiking destination in Europe. The approximately 6 km (12 km round trip) course is made along the coastal cliff, between Praia da Marinha and Vale de Centeanes Beach, and offers fantastic landscapes of the Algarve coast.

It passes by Alfanzina Lighthouse, famous beaches of Albandeira, Benagil and Carvalho. It follows along a continuous line of cliffs, interspersed only by waterways that, in winter, flow above sea level. This gives rise to hanging valleys.

There is interesting shrubby vegetation to be seen all along the trail including species such as mastic trees, junipers and Kermes oaks which in some places grow to full tree height. The third valley houses Benagil beach where fishing boats nowadays offer trips to isolated beaches.

La Palma - Caldera de Taburiente

https://www.trailgazers.eu/pages/caldera-de-taburiente or https://www.facebook.com/Parque-Nacional-Caldera-de-Taburiente-409861502450450/

Among the network of trails that exist in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, two of the most affordable to the general public have been selected.

Both paths pass through a pine forest upholstered with an undergrowth of endemic species and allow access to some of the most characteristic sites of this national park product of the great landslides caused by volcanic eruptions over the centuries.

The geology of the park is made up of an extraordinary circus of more than 8 kilometers in diameter in which the water always present is precipitated in a multitude of streams and waterfalls, along an unevenness that sometimes reaches 2,000 meters.

 

 

 

 

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