WalkExplorer

Walks Around You

Machen - Ruperra Castle - Pen-y-lan - Rhiwderin - Machen Walk

WalkExplorer

Machen - Draethen - Ruperra Castle - Michaelston-y-Fedw - Pen-y-lan - Rhiwderin - Mynydd Machen - Machen

The Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk is a 28-mile circular trail that follows the ridges on both sides of the Rhymney Valley between Machen and Ystrad Mynach (see www.caerphilly.gov.uk/countryside for further information). The present walk provides a further twelve-mile loop extending into the lower Rhymney Valley between Machen and Michaelston-y-Fedw. The route links sections of the existing Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk, the Rhymney River Circular Walk, the Michaelston-y-Fedw Circular Walk and the Sirhowy Valley Walk, to create a truly satisfying circuit through beautiful countryside; an optional ascent of Mynydd Machen (362 metres) is included.

The walk begins in the village of Machen, situated on the A468 between Caerphilly and Newport. Today few traces remain of Machen's industrial history, though during the nineteenth century it was the site of an extensive forge and several coalmines. Caerphilly Council has waymarked a three-mile route, the Machen Forge Trail, which connects some of the former industrial sites surrounding the village (further details on the website above).

After passing The Hollybush Inn in Draethen, the route climbs through the woodland of Coed Craig Ruperra. At the top of the ascent, it is recommended that you take the there-and-back detour to the walled enclosure of Craig Ruperra, where a wooden summerhouse once provided the residents of Ruperra Castle (see below) with panoramic views across the Rhymney Valley.

The main route now descends to the eerie ruins of Ruperra Castle. Built by Sir Thomas Morgan in 1626, this was one of the first 'mock' castles to be built in Wales. After passing into the hands of the Morgans of Tredegar, it became customary for the heir to the Tredegar Estate to make his home at the castle prior to assuming his title. Unfortunately, this once splendid building has been a ruin since 1941, when it was gutted by fire. It is the subject of a long-running and often contentious planning dispute.

Continuing down the valley, the walk emerges on the driveway to another former manor-house, Cefn Mably, once situated on the hill to the right. Like Ruperra, Cefn Mably was also gutted by fire, though more recently; after a mysterious conflagration in 1994, the remains of the house were converted into luxury apartments. The walk later passes St Michael's Church, Michaelston-y-Fedw, below which is a family vault containing generations of the Kemys family, erstwhile owners of Cefn Mably. The decline of this family and their once grand home was the subject in 1930 of a sonnet by the renowned Welsh-language poet, W J Gruffydd.

From Michaelston-y-fedw, the walk climbs gradually to Pen-y-lan, a ridgetop hamlet commanding extensive views across both the South Wales hills and the Bristol Channel. Fine views continue, before the walk descends steeply on a narrow tarmac lane to Rhiwderin, where the Sirhowy Valley Walk is joined on its long gradual climb to the summit of Mynydd Machen. Enjoy the views from the top: it is downhill all the way to your starting point in Machen.

Try the Machen - Ruperra Castle - Pen-y-lan - Rhiwderin - Machen walk out on the FREE WalkExplorer app for iPhone. This walk will be on the Android app soon.

Other nearby Walks

White Castle - Grosmont - Skenfrith - White Castle
Blaenavon - Carreg Maen Taro - Blaenavon
Llangynidr - Llangynidr Mountain - Chartist Cave - Llangynidr
Burrington Combe - Rowberrow - Dolebury
The Beacons Horseshoe
Sights of Cardiff
Saddlebow Hill - Orcop Hill - Mynde Wood - Hereford
Garway - White Rocks - Garway Hill - Garway
Ewyas Harold - Marches Way - Rowlestone - Monnow Valley
Dingestow - River Trothy - Kings Wood - Treowen
Peterchurch - Hinton Cross - Hereford Trail - Peterchurch
Urishay - Craswall - Urishay
Llantilio Crossenny
Longtown - Michaelchurch Escley - Longtown
The Skirrid
Stone Circle - Hay Bluff - Black Hill - Monnow Valley Walk - Stone Circle
Hay-on-Wye - Wye Valley Walk - Priory Farm - Hay-on-Wye
Blaen y Cwm - Bal Bach - Bal Mawr - Chwarel y Fan - Blaen y Cwm
Cadira Beeches - Wentwood - Cadira Beeches
Abergavenny - Llanfoist - Brecon Canal - Abergavenny
Abergavenny - Twyn-yr-allt - Deri Allt - Sugar Loaf - Abergavenny
Llanfoist - Canal - Hill's Tramway - Govilon - Llanfoist
Goytre Hall Wood - Goytre Wharf - Goytre Hall Wood
Llanbedr - Pen Allt Mawr - Pen Cerrig-calch - Llanbedr
Cwm Banw - Grwyne Fechan - The Hermitage - Cwm Banw
Near Govilon - Cwm Llanwenarth - Pwll-du - Near Govilon
Gilwern - Coed Graig-Leici - Llanelli Church - Gilwern
Keepers Pond - Gilwern Hill - Llanelly Hill - Carreg Maen Taro - Keepers Pond
Crickhowell Town Walk
Pengenffordd - Pwll y Wrack - Pengenffordd
Clydach Picnic Area - Blackrock-Clydach Gorge - Picnic Area
Llangattock - Tram Road - Fedw - Brecon Canal - Llangattock
Llangynidr - Brecon Canal - River Usk - Llangynidr
Llangynidr - Tor y Foel - Talybont - Llangynidr
Erwood Craft Centre - Aberedw Rocks - Erwood Craft Centre
Twmbarlwm
Marshfield - St Brides Wentlooge - Peterstone Wentlooge - Marshfield
Machen - Ruperra Castle - Pen-y-lan - Rhiwderin - Machen
Torpantau - Neuadd Reservoirs - Torpantau
Ystrad Mynach - Senghenydd Dyke - Llanbradach
Mynydd Illtud Common - Twyn y Gaer - Mynydd Illtud Common
Winscombe - Barton - Crook Peak - Wavering Down - Winscombe
Brecon Brecons Visitors' Centre - Mynydd Illtud - Cefn Llechid
Fan Fawr - Fan Lila - Fan Fawr

If you'd like to find out more join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

WalkExplorer: produced by Kenjun; iPhone App developed by Abraxor.

Want to download the FREE WalkExplorer app for your iPhone or Android phone?
Get it hereā€¦!

WalkExplorer WalkExplorer