Weatherman Walking - Porthcawl to Southerndown Beach
Porthcawl to Southerndown Beach is a stunning linear walk, filled with variety. It passes through some of Porthcawl's and South Wales most popular and picturesque beaches before heading inland, through the charming village of Merthyr Mawr. The route continues back along the estuary to the sea and becomes a little more strenuous following the course of the undulating headland before dropping down onto Southerndown beach, surrounded by cliffs with incredible rock formations.
Bryngarw Country Park
Home to the newly renovated Bryngarw House, the park has well over 100 acres of beautiful parkland to explore including a picture-perfect picnic spot on the lawns in front of the house. Its native woodlands, formal gardens and secluded glades make it the perfect setting for explorers, young and old, to enjoy a day out in the open air.
Parc Slip Nature Reserve
The 300 acre Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve with its Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre has something for everyone. As this is a nature reserve we ask that all dog walkers keep their dogs on a lead at all times.
A variety of different habitat types supporting many different species for wildlife enthusiast, a safe area for families to discover and enjoy nature, well -maintained traffic-free cycle tracks, including a 4km stretch of Sustrans National Cycle Route 4 for cyclists and over 10km of tracks for dog walking
The Nature Centre
Methyr Mawr Sand Dunes
The present warren is all that is left of what was once the Largest Sand Dune Complex in Britain, stretching along the coast past Swansea. The warren is an important wildlife habitat and site of scientific interest, which shelters a rich variety of plants. Parts of the Hollywood blockbuster Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here.
More excitingly you can sled down the enormous dunes at quite decent speeds, so make sure you bring a sledge!
Kenfig Pool Nature Reserve
Kenfig Nature Reserve is one of Wales's top sand-dune reserves, with plants like wild fen orchids, birds and insects depending on this habitat for their survival.
Glamorgan's largest natural lake, Kenfig Pool, is set on the edge of the reserve with spectacular views across Swansea Bay to the Gower.
The reserve is a favourite refuge for wildfoul all year round. The area is a very popular place with birdwatchers. It is one of the few places in the UK where the bittern can be seen during the winter.
Brecon Beacons National Park
Brecon Beacons National Park contains many lovely waterfalls, the most famous of which are the 90-foot-high Henryd Falls at Coelbren, the highest in Wales. An easy walking trail spans the stream leading to the pool at the bottom of the falls and makes for a fun hike. Another waterfall worth visiting in "Waterfall Country" is Blaen-y-Glyn, fed by the River Caerfanell and Nant Bwrefwr, and accessible by a number of hiking trails. Finally, be sure to also visit Sgwd yr Eira, popular for the narrow pathway that actually takes you behind the cascade of water as it plummets into the pool at its base.
A popular hike if you can spare a few hours (it'll take three to four hours depending on your pace... and picnic stops) is the fun Four Falls walk. This scenic adventure starts at Cwm Porth and loops around the park, taking in such sights as the beautiful Blue Pool, as well as the Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr, and the Sgwd yr Eira falls.
Brecon Mountain Railway
Just 23 miles north of Cardiff, the town of Merthyr Tydfil is a great place from which to begin exploring the Brecon Beacons National Park. Not only is it on the National Cycle Route, it's also where you'll find the Brecon Mountain Railway, a narrow-gauge heritage railway that travels five miles into the Brecon Beacons. Due to its ability to reach remote corners of the region that are inaccessible to cars, it's as popular with hikers as it is with steam enthusiasts.
T: 01685 722988
Dan yr Ogof and the National Showcaves Centre
Another must-see natural attraction is Dan yr Ogof. Located in the upper part of the Tawe Valley, Dan yr Ogof is full of stalagmites and stalactites, as well as many magnificent passages and chambers. All told, the cave network stretches over 10 miles, with some of the most accessible areas floodlit.
Part of a major tourist attraction called the National Showcaves Centre for Wales, the site also includes the Bone Cave; Cathedral Cave; a replica Iron Age village; ancient stone circles; and a fun dinosaur park for kids, which is home to an impressive collection of over 200 life-size replicas. Also worth checking out is the Shire Horse Centre, an authentic Victorian farm with both local and exotic species, an indoor playground, plus a campground.
A peaceful oasis on the outskirts of Cardiff, Dyffryn Gardens covers more than 55 acres. The Edwardian gardens are undergoing an ambitious garden revival project to restore them to their original splendour. With year-round seasonal highlights the gardens feature the best woody collection in the National Trust.
Designed by eminent landscape architect Thomas Mawson in 1906, the gardens are the early 20th-century vision of coal magnate John Cory and his son Reginald. Within the gardens, Dyffryn House, a grand Victorian mansion overlooks the key aspects of the gardens. Parts of the ground and first floors have been restored and are unfurnished.
Location: St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan