Heritage Walks in the Afan Valley
Margam Park to Briton Ferry
The iconic Wales Coast Path takes an inland course (but with stunning coastal views) due to heavy industrialisation of much of the seafront. The walk is exhilarating but challenging with steep climbs and descents of both Mynydd Margam and Mynydd Dinas; and look out for the Baglan Giant who has been known to reappear from time to time to settle old scores with his Irish rival.
Additional Information: Margam Abbey & Stones Museum. Built in the second half of the 12th century, Margam Abbey and its related Stones Museum with its collection of early-Christian sculptured and inscribed stones, is open to the public from 1st April-31st August.
Buses: X1 | X4 Margam Abbey (outward) Briton Ferry roundabout (return)
Bryn to Port Talbot
Following the former Port Talbot Railway (now used as a walking, cycling and trekking trail), this very attractive walk passes through a peaceful and deeply wooded Dyffryn Valley to emerge in industrial Port Talbot.
Buses: X3 Bryn Royal Oak (outward), Port Talbot Parkway station (return)
Pontrhydyfen to Cwmafan ‘Richard Burton Trail’
This trail marks the legendary actor and film star Richard Burton who was born in Pontrhydyfen and lived his young days in Taibach, Port Talbot. The attractive open route goes from Rhyslyn car park in Pontrhydyfen to the Community Centre in Cwmafan, largely following the course of the former Rhondda & Swansea Bay railway.
Additional information: Pontrhydyfen Viaducts & Aqueduct. There are numerous signs of Pontrhydyfen’s industrial and historical past still extant, the most striking being the 10-arch red brick viaduct over the B4286 road and the former aqueduct spanning the river between Pontrhydyfen and neighbouring Oakwood.
Buses: 83 Oakwood Interchange (outward), Cwmafan Community Centre (return)
Pontrhydyfen to Cymmer
This easily graded trail follows the former Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway line through the stunningly beautiful Afan Valley. Stop off at the Afan Forest Visitor Centre for refreshment. Other attractions en route are the Kanji Japanese Woodland near Oakwood and South Wales Miners Museum at Afan Argoed.
Buses: 83 Oakwood Interchange (outward), Cymmer Interchange (return)
Additional Information: South Wales Miners Museum. Located within the beautiful Afan Valley 6 miles from Port Talbot and find yourself being taken on a historical journey back in time. The Museum portrays the working life of a miner and the hardship that both adults and children had to endure; it is made up of both indoor and outdoor exhibits including a Blacksmith Shop, Lamp Room and Engine House.
Buses: 83 Afan Argoed
Additional Information: Cymmer’s fascinating railway history. The small village of Cymmer once boasted three railway stations and still has the remains of a spectacular railway viaduct. The difficult local topography made it difficult for railways; nonetheless, three companies vied for space to build their lines to tap coal reserves. Some of the railway structures are still visible.
Buses: 83 Cymmer Interchange
Glyncorrwg to Cymmer
Glyncorrwg hosted the last active mine in the Afan Valley area and this walk takes in the site of South Pit and adjacent North Rhondda collieries before returning through Glyncorrwg and follows the west bank of the Corrwg river to Cymmer. Good, level, walking.
Buses: 80 | 83 Glyncorrwg Bridge St (outward), Cymmer Interchange (return)