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Swansea Ramblers Walk



Pontardawe Hills




Walk Start / Finish Location:
Pontardawe, Herbert St

Walk Distance: 6 miles (3 hours)

Walk Level: Moderate - with a couple of steep climbs

Parking: Herbert Street Car Park (Charge)

Transport: Traveline - www.traveline.info   - or - Telephone 0871 200 22 33




Walk Description



This walk visits Cilybebyll Church, high above Pontardawe and Alltwen Hill with views over the Swansea Valley.

Turn left out of the car park and pass the industrial estate to enter Pontardawe Recreation Ground. Turn right and follow cycle path 43 signs which cross a footbridge and then go north on a wide riverside track.

After a short distance turn right and climb the hill on a narrow curving path into an open area then continue to climb into woodland, wet in places, until you emerge onto a quiet road. Turn right on this road to a footpath on the right by a gate immediately after a house. Go over another stile and through a kissing gate to the ancient church of Cilybebyll.

At the other side of the church descend a footpath to the left of the road. Go through kissing gates and over a stream to emerge in a street at Hen Felin. Briefly turn right onto the bridge to look down at the remains of the mill then return and descend the single track road. Turn left on Graig Gellinudd Road, watching for the river racing downhill. As the road bends right, descend left to a path junction and descend left down steps to a hidden cascade in a deep gorge. Ascend the opposite side and go up a farm track past a house on the left with views over Pontardawe. The gate leads onto the busy A474 so take care when crossing.

Descend the road to a path on the left and climb steeply to Alltwen Hill. At the top turn right to the rocky outcrop and take in the expansive view of the Swansea Valley. Follow the path as it descends past houses to the road in Alltwen. Descend the road to the junction and turn left. Cross and descend opposite Lon y Wern to pass Parc Gwynfryn. Go straight across the road and descend to the footbridge over the A4067 by Tesco. Turn left on the riverside road behind the Tesco car park and cross the new bridge over the Tawe. Turn right to follow the river under the old bridge and back to the start.


Ramblers Cymru and Swansea Ramblers provide these routes but accept no responsibility for those walking them.

If you would like to go on a walk but would prefer to do so with a group of people then click on our Programme section to see what walks we are leading.

We have walks for varying levels of ability and you get the chance to see the countryside in places you might never go by yourself!






Maps of the Walk






Ordnance Survey map of the route to walk
Resizable and draggable
(Can be reset to original dimensions by refreshing the page)
Green Swansea Ramblers logo markers where present can be clicked to provide more information

Peoples Collection link

The route of this walk has been added to The National Museum of Wales' Peoples Collection Web site.
A choice of aerial imagery or historic Ordnance Survey mapping is available.
Click the map to enter their web site (opens in a new browser window)
or copy and paste this link into a new browser window.
http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/Trail/806-the-hills-above-pontardawe




Photographs of the Walk


Photograph of Walking Route - Image 1
Turn left out of Herbert Street Car Park


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Go to the end of the road


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Enter park and turn right


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The right turn


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Riverside path forms part of Cycle path 43


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Cross bridge over Tawe


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Follow cycle path signs


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Under the 4067


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Turn left to follow cycle path 43


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Photograph of Walking Route - Image 14
Watch for the path on the right that ascends the hill


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Can be wet at times


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Go at your own pace up the rocky ascent


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Cross the small stream


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Turn right on the single track road


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Look right for the view


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Eventually by a house the path goes into a field


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The path into the field


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The end of the fields near Cilybebyll Church


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The historic church comes into view


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Take time to look around (the church is probably locked).
Turn left on the path (to the left of the picture)



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Turn left


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The path from the road


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Cross the stream


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Path will turn right in a sunken lane


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Photograph of Walking Route - Image 43
Path emerges from the right. Go to the bridge to see the mill then return and descend.


Photograph of Walking Route - Image 44
The old mill


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Descend the single track road


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Turn left


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Go left off the road as it bends right


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Turn left and descend


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A hidden gorge with a cascade


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Climb the other side


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Ascend alongside a house


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Follow the track to the road


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Pontardawe below


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Emerging onto the A474


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Cross the busy road and descend to a footpath


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Long steep climb ahead


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Photograph of Walking Route - Image 63
Turn right to the view then return to the path


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Rocky viewpoint over Pontardawe


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The church in Pontardawe


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Return to the path that runs parallel with the valley


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Descend to Alltwen


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The path turns left into Alltwen


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Turn right downhill to the main junction


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Go left at this main junction


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Turn right opposite Lon y Wern and descend


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Pass by Parc Gwynfryn


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Cross the road


Photograph of Walking Route - Image 81
Cross the A4067 footbridge by Tesco


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Head for the road behind the car park and turn left


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Watch for the bridge over the Tawe


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River Tawe


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Turn right after crossing the bridge


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Go past the pub and under the bridge


Photograph of Walking Route - Image 88
Follow the path back to Herbert Street




More information about walking in Wales is available at:    www.ramblers.org.uk/wales

Ramblers Cymru and Swansea Ramblers provide this route but accept no responsibility for those walking it

All photographs Copyright 2012 Andrew Morgan. All rights reserved




Swansea Ramblers hope you enjoy doing this walk.

Over time things can change on the walk

- for example - path diversions, new gates instead of stiles or maybe the path has become blocked.

If you do find anything different on the way then let us know:

1. Which walk you have been on.

2. The type and location of the change or the problem you have experienced.


Of course you may just like to tell us that you have done the walk and whether you enjoyed it.

Use the link below to email us about your walk.

We'll look forward to hearing from you.



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