What comes to mind when you think of the Valleys of South Wales? Probably coal mining plus a strong sense of community held together by chapels and male voice choirs.
Mining transformed rural valleys into an industrial landscape of collieries and waste tips, while houses were built up the valley sides in long terraces.
Miners and their families loved to escape from the noise and pollution of the valley bottoms to the countryside above and between the Valleys.
This walk recreates a journey done by Emily Roberts, who walked from Ferndale in the Rhondda Fach valley over to Penrhiwceiber in the Cynon valley in the years 1910 to 1914.
Along the route you will appreciate a sense of open space, fresh air and natural scenery of moorland and mountains, forests and glades, streams and waterfalls. You will also see how the physical landscape and the valley towns have changed since the decline of the coal industry. This is a land of contrasts and surprises.
On this walk you will enjoy wonderful views, diverse scenery and the fascinating stories that this landscape has to tell.
7 ½ miles
The walk starts in one valley and then climbs over the mountain and down into the next valley
- Suitable for:
Dogs will enjoy the woodlands and open moorland; keep on a lead on roads and grazing land
A long section of the walk is along a country lane with no pavement so take care with children
- People in the landscape Shaping the landscape Exploiting the landscape
- Oakland Terrace, Ferndale
- Morris Avenue, Penrhiwceiber
- Getting there:
Easily accessible from M4 Junction 32 (c. 15 miles)
Regular services from Cardiff Central – nearest station to start point is Porth (5 miles); nearest station to finish point is Penrhiwceiber (0.5 miles)
Start point served by buses running up the Rhondda Fach valley; finish point served by buses running up the Cynon Valley