Lisvane & Thornhill Station - Cefn Onn - Machen - Hengoed Station

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Lisvane & Thornhill Station - Cefn Onn Country Park - Cefn Onn - Ruperra Castle - Draethen - Machen - Mynydd Machen - Mynydd y Grug - Maesycwmmer - Hengoed Viaduct - Hengoed Station

The Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk is a challenging but rewarding circular trail, following the ridgeways either side of the Rhymney Valley. With a total length of almost 28 miles (45km), it makes sense to split the route into two linear day walks by making use of the regular train service between Hengoed and Lisvane & Thornhill Railway Stations.

The eastern loop begins with a steep, wooded climb from Parc Cefn Onn (ST 178 836), a delightful country park filled with exotic species of trees and flowers. The trail proper is joined on the open ridge of Cefn Onn, where there are fine views across Caerphilly and the Bristol Channel. Descending off the ridge, pleasant woodland walking leads past two sites of historical interest: a concrete World War II bunker designed as a secret hideout for special auxiliary units in the event of a German invasion (ST 198 864) and the atmospheric ruins of Ruperra Castle (ST 219 864).

The second steep climb of the day begins on the valley floor at Machen and finishes on the summit of Mynydd Machen. At 362 metres above sea level, the mountain marks the highest point of the trail and offers splendid panoramic views stretching from Exmoor to the Brecon Beacons. A long ridge runs west and then north from the mountain, on to Mynydd y Grug, from where the trail descends into Maesycwmmer. A final highlight involves following the former railway line (now a cycle path) across Hengoed Viaduct, an impressive landmark and engineering achievement that has dominated this section of the Rhymney Valley for over 150 years.

Wales - South Wales - Central South Wales - Caerphilly

Features

Castle, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Pub, Public Transport, River, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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