Capital Walk – Graig to Taffs Well

Resuming our walking after Alec’s trip to NZ, we picked-up the Capital walk where we left off … or rather we didn’t. We decided to reverse the first stage of the walk and aim to end up where we’d finished last time – at Fagin’s Ale and Chop House at Taff Well. Graig2Tongwynlais (1 of 7)I can’t think why we did this way round, other than it ensured we finished at one of Alec’s favourite pubs!

It certainly made the navigation from the printed instructions on the Cardiff Ramblers website a little bit more difficult to follow and it’s fair to say we did this leg of the walk rather more to the spirit, rather than to the letter, of the walk – taking in two diversions along the way. OK – we got lost once!

Graig2Tongwynlais (2 of 7)So we persuaded Jenny to take us up The Graig, past the Ty Mawr, and drop us off at the top – neat move eh!

The walk then took us west along the Ridgeway for a couple of miles and through lovely woodland before we dropped down towards Caerphilly and The Warren.

Graig2Tongwynlais (3 of 7)It was here we missed the path, but we navigated ourselves up through the nature reserve to the A469 where we crossed over onto Ridgeway Golf Course and then back along The Ridgeway over towards Rhiwbina Hill.

It being about lunchtime, it would have been criminal not to have looked in on The Black Cock – just to see what they were serving and to check whether their beer was up to scratch, so to speak. So we did!

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We then decided to not follow the printed route but to continue north-west and on to Craig-yr-Allt. Neither of us had been on this hill and so it seemed an excellent choice as an alternative to walking through Fforest-fawr which we both knew reasonably well. It also afforded the opportunity of some views over towards The Garth, Tongwynlais and Taffs Well.

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By this time the morning sun had given way to hazy light and so we didn’t spend too much time enjoying the view – we just plodded on to reach Fagins. A c.11km walk – a good stretching of the legs after a few months of inactivity. I manged to delete the GPS track, so have re-created it here – it might not be a totally accurate record of our walk.

Needless to say the refreshments at the end (although we were too early for food) were worth the walk and after checking on the bus timetables [we’d missed the bus the last time we were in Taffs Well which had meant we’d HAD to go back for another pint, or was it two] and catching the bus, we returned to Cardiff with me picking up some f&c from Birchgrove on the way home.

Capital Walk – Pentyrch and The Garth

A week on from our last walk on the Capital Walk around the “city limits” of Cardiff, we spotted the dryest day of the week and set off on the 122 bus back to the bridge over the M4 on Llantrisant Road where we’d finished the previous stage. Alec thought I ought to have taken some pictures of the mud the previous week, so I made a point of capturing some mud right at the beginning, just in case it was going to be a drier walk this week.

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Of course I had no need to worry about that – given the amount of rain we’d had – neither did we need to worry about these young rams who were really curious as to why we wanted to walk through their field.

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The walk led us through a number of fields – I managed to miss one signpost as we left Tre-wern Farm – and then, a short while later, we decided to divert off the path to walk into Pentyrch along the ridge, which allowed us to see this wonderful view.

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Passing on through Pentyrch village we took a road to the right which led us down to the church, only stopping for a while to admire the work of a stonemason working on facing a new house at the top of the hill. The church is in a striking position, nestled at the foot of a valley.

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Straight across the road at the church and we climbed out of Pentyrch and towards Cefn Colstyn Farm. Near the top of the fields I was able to take this shot, a lovely tree standing on the edge of a spinney with Garth Hill in the background.

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We then meandered around the east of the village before climbing up some more muddy fields, again migrating a little away from the described route.

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Then it was up the road and on to Garth Hill. We paused for a long chat with a fellow walker but hit the top and were able to get great views, north and south, from the top of the hill.

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Striding away from the trig point, we should have taken a left turn almost immediately, we didn’t, which meant that we had to beat back through the bracken to get to a gate which allowed us to get off the common land. Down a couple of fields and then we entered a lane, and somewhere here we missed another path to the right which would have taken us by a more direct route to Lan Farm.

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We navigated our way back to the farm and then started a pathed descent through rough woodland to Gwaelod-y-Garth where we had lunch. The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn is a favourite of both of us, so it was a wrench to leave.

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Descending down the zig zag path to Taff Well, I was persuaded to stop at Fagins. This of course was completely “off piste” and four pints later perhaps I got the spelling of that word wrong. We missed a bus as well, which meant we had to return to the shelter of the pub – what a disaster! The pictures Alec took of me at the bar could be described in the same way – can’t imagine why he couldn’t hold the camera steady …..

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A slideshow of the Capital Walk can be seen on Google+ Photos (Picasaweb) here. The OS Map of our 8 mile walk where you can see our various diversions and meanderings off the “proper” path, can be seen below.