Dare Valley Country Park – Adventure’s in the Rhondda

Nothing beats a good walk to blow away the winter blues and start the New Year on a healthy high.

We have recently moved to the lovely Welsh Valley, Rhondda.

I am so happy we made the decision to move to the Valleys. Although I am born and raised in Cardiff, I am loving the quieter life now.

Rhondda is very different from the concrete jungle that is Cardiff. And although I lived in Cardiff all my life, I don’t miss it.

So new year, new home and new adventures to be had.

I am kicking off my new year blogging by visiting and exploring the Rhondda Cannon Taff with my family.

Each new adventure will be documented on my blog. I do hope you enjoy.

First stop for us, Dare Valley Country Park.

Dare Valley Country Park is in Trecynon, Aberdare. It’s a great place for walking and is suitable for all ages.

The Country Park is free to enter and offers a coffee shop, vistor centre and two playing areas. There’s plenty of benches for family a picnic.

You can stroll around the country park or try one of three marked walks.

All routes start from the visitor centre.

All routes are easy to follow by following the coloured arrows.

  • The Bwllfa Trail is a walk on level, surfaced paths. It has a shorter route and is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Approx 2 miles. 1 mile for the pushchair route. Red arrows.
  • The Cae Mawr Trail takes you off the beaten track on countryside paths, uphill andover stiles. Strong footwear is recommended. The path may be wet and uneven. Approx 2.5 miles. Blue arrows.
  • The Penrhiwllech Trail follows a horseshoe shaped route out of the valley, around Tarren y Bwllfa, climbing high onto the upland plateau on countryside paths, over stiles. Strong footwear and protective clothing is required. There are unfenced cliffs near the path. Approx 4 miles. Yellow arrows.

We decided to follow the Bwllfa Trail as it was our first trip to the country park.

It was a chilly day but the sun was shining. We started at the visitor centre and followed the red arrows.

We had a great start to our walk as we were walking besides children having a riding lesson. The boys loved watching the ponies walk up and down the path.

We didn’t stay on the tarmac route for long. The boys were eager to explore.

While still following the red arrows, the route took us off the path, past little streams, a lake and a reservoir.

The boys loved crossing the bridge.

How beautiful is this lake!

It was nice to see the boys play.

We had a little rest and took some photos of the picturesque valleys that surrounded us.

My four year old did get a little tired on the way back but this didn’t last long.

As soon as we mentioned we were going to play in the park after the walk, he picked up speed and started running.

The walk was pleasurable for the whole family.

We will be heading back soon to try another walk and to check out the visitor centre.

For directions and more information about Dare Valley Country Park head to http://www.darevalleycountrypark.co.uk/index.php/en/

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