Hengoed Station - Mynydd Meio - Cefn Onn - Lisvane & Thornhill Station

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Hengoed Railway Station - Llanfabon - Mynydd Meio - Thornhill - Cefn Onn - Lisvane & Thornhill Railway Station

The Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk is a challenging circular trail along mainly clear paths and tracks either side of the Rhymney Valley. Beautiful scenery, excellent waymarking and views that stretch from the hills of Exmoor to the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons make this a must-do walk for South Wales ramblers. However, at 28 miles in length, the full walk is too much for most people to complete in one day. Fortunately, a regular train service connects the southern and northern ends of the loop at Lisvane and Hengoed, allowing the walk to be divided into two more manageable sections of roughly equal length.

We begin with an easy, level start at Hengoed, joining Route 47 of the National Cycle Network and continuing through Penallta Country Park to the edge of Nelson. From here we climb up to Llanfabon and then across Mynydd Eglwysilan to Eglwysilan itself. A further climb takes us over Mynydd Meio and down into Groes-wen. It is worth pausing here to explore the overgrown graveyard of Groeswen Chapel, filled with the ornate tombs and headstones of some of Welsh Nonconformity's most respected poets and preachers. The chapel was the first Calvinistic Methodist chapel to be built in Wales and has been referred to by some as 'the Westminster Abbey of Wales' (an unofficial title also claimed by the Galilee Chapel in Llantwit Major and St Mary's Church, Abergavenny).

From Groes-wen, we drop through farmland to the western edge of Caerphilly (there is a cafe and restaurant at the nearby Caerphilly Garden Centre). We then climb again, crossing Caerphilly Common and dropping across a golf course to the A469 at Thornhill. A gently ascending woodland track takes us up to the splendid vantage point of Cefn Onn, where we say farewell to the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk and descend steeply through woodland into Cefn Onn Country Park. The section through the exotic trees and flowers of the park – only a stone's throw away from the Lisvane & Thornhill Station - is one of the highlights of the whole walk.

Wales - South Wales - Central South Wales - Caerphilly

Features

Ancient Monument, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Moor, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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