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Fforest Fawr, near Caerphilly

Gateway to Castell Coch, one of the most picturesque castles in Wales

Autumn view at Fforest Fawr

Overview

Fforest Fawr is the stunning backdrop to Castell Coch, a famous castle nestled in the trees above the village of Tongwynlais.

This beautiful woodland is frequently used as a film location for productions ranging from Welsh historical dramas to children's TV programmes.

The forest has an industrial history and there are some impressive deep holes left by iron mining here.

There are two trails to the castle and a sculpture trail for children.

Part of the Taff Trail, a long distance route for walkers and cyclists from Cardiff Bay to Brecon, passes through Fforest Fawr.

Closures and diversions

Please note:

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations
  • Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff
  • Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place

Plans to remove infected larch from Fforest Fawr

WarningFrom September 2018, we will begin a programme of work to remove approximately 4000 diseased larch trees from Fforest Fawr.  This is part of a nationwide strategy to combat larch disease which has affected approximately 6.7million trees across Wales.

The work is likely to continue through to 2021.  During this time, there will be some disruption to footpaths, mountain bike trails and bridleways. All closures and diversions will be clearly signposted, and published on this page and through our social media channels.

The work is being planned in two phases, so we can always keep areas of the forest open for people to enjoy, and so we can minimise the impact on protected species and local wildlife.

Walking trails

There are two waymarked walking trails from Castell Coch car park which is 1.5 kilometres from Fforest Fawr car park.

Sir Henry’s Trail

2.31 miles, 3.72km kilometres

Sir Henry’s Trail is a circular route through the forest, past Castell Coch and the former mining site known as Three Bears.

Burges’ Way

1.77 miles, 1.12 kilometres

Burges’ Way is a short circular trail through the forest. It goes past Castell Coch and the Blue Pool, one of the many former iron mining sites here.

Other activities

Children's Sculpture Trail

1.5 miles, 2.6 kilometres

The sculpture trail was created by the Cardiff Outdoor Learning Wales network group.

They worked with local children to design and develop a trail linked to Welsh Government literacy and numeracy curriculums.

The sculptures tell a story of a giant creature living in the woods. Although the creature is never seen, the sculptures give clues for children to use their imagination to create and share their own story.

It starts and ends in the Fforest Fawr car park.

How to get here

Fforest Fawr is near Tongwynlais off the A470. 

The OS grid reference is ST 143 838.

Car parking is free of charge.

Download the location map.

Directions

From the A470, follow the signs to Castell Coch. Continue past the castle entrance for 1.5 kilometres to Fforest Fawr car park.

Public transport

The nearest train station is in Taffs Well.

Fforest Fawr is on the Taff Trail cycle route, which goes between Cardiff and Brecon. For details of public transport visit www.traveline.cymru

Find out more

Contact details

Tel: 0300 065 3000

Email: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk 

Related document downloads

Fforest Fawr Location map PDF [153.0 KB]

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