Walk or cycle from Cardiff to Pontypridd and back

This 16.5 mile section of the Taff Trail offers a fun and scenic way to explore Cardiff and travel through the city’s pretty parks and green open spaces.

  • The River Taff

    A section river along the Taff trail in Cardiff

    River Taff, Cardiff

     by Owen Mathias

    The Taff Valley has always been a key trade route confirming Cardiff as the largest exporting port in the world in the early 20th century. These days the River Taf is a haven for wildlife, reflecting how much cleaner it is today than a generation ago. Look out for kingfishers, grey heron feeding on the banks of the river and leaping salmon at Blackweir.

  • Millennium Centre
    Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

    If you’re after the full urban experience of Wales’ capital and want to sample some of the cultural delights it has to offer, visit the Wales Millennium Centre. And of course no visit to Cardiff would be complete without a trip to the Millennium Stadium, Wales' national stadium and home to the national rugby union team. Take a tour or time your trip for a match. Visit Llandaff Cathedral, which stands on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain.  

  • Norman keep surrounded by moat at Cardiff Castle
    Cardiff Castle's Norman keep, Cardiff

    Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions. Located at the heart of the capital, within beautiful parklands, the castle’s walls and fairytale towers conceal 2,000 years of history. The castle stands next to the remains of a Roman fort. The castle passed through the hands of many noble families until in 1766, it passed by marriage to the Bute family.

  • People relaxing in Bute Park with Cardiff Castle in background
    Bute Park, Cardiff by Visit Wales

    Get some respite from the hustle and bustle of the city with a visit to the ‘green heart’ of Cardiff. Flanked by the River Taff, Pontcanna Fields and Sophia GardensCathays Park, Bute Park and Arboretum is full of historic and wildlife interest. At 56 hectares (equivalent to 75 football pitches), it is one of the largest urban parks in Wales and is a mix of historic landscape, urban woodland, sports pitches, arboretum, horticultural features and river corridor.

  • Castell Coch gatehouse and drawbridge, built on behalf of the Marquess of Bute in the 19th century.
    Castell Coch, Cardiff by Paula J James

    A Victorian castle resting on ancient foundations, the rural retreat of Castell Coch is the product of the vivid imagination of ‘eccentric genius’ William Burges and the wealth of the 3rd marquess of Bute. Multi-sensory resources allow easy exploration of the site using touch screen technology.

  • View of Rhondda Heritage Park and Rhondda Valley

    Rhondda Heritage Park, Trehafod

    The former docks in Cardiff Bay, the Melingriffith Water Pump, the Iron Bridge, and the Glamorganshire Canal offer clues to the city’s industrial past. The trail in Rhondda Cynon Taf follows former railway lines with gentle gradients through attractive countryside. Pontypridd is a hub of cycling routes, including the Celtic Trail. Visit the museum and distinctive old bridge, or Rhondda Heritage Park.

  • View of approaching Valley Lines train and Castell Coch in the exterior

    Castell Coch, near Tongwynlais

    The great thing about the Taff Trail is that if you don’t want to do the whole trail, you can choose a section to explore or use the train to transport yourself and your bike to a start point and cycle from there.

    Forgotten to bring your bike? There's cycle hire facilities at both the Cardiff and Brecon ends of the trail.

Find out about appropriate clothing and footwear as well as more info on protecting and enjoying the countryside in the Countryside Code.

Try the routes on Natural Resources Wales’ interactive map Outdoor Wales onLine or you can download this route via the ViewRanger app.

You can also discover more heritage trails in Llantrisant, Pontypridd and Aberdare.