There are plenty of places around Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to go for a walk but one thing I became aware of after having a baby was the need to find a new collection of walking routes – ones that are suitable for prams and not too far from facilities such as toilets and baby changing areas. Here's a collection of nice trails; they're great for going for a walk, getting the baby to sleep or even challenging yourself if you're looking to start building fitness levels gradually after having a baby.
Even though this is a fairly short one, this is by far my favourite Cardiff walk. Walking this route is a good way of seeing some of the city’s wildlife and it’s also a fantastic walk to see the seasons change throughout the year as there are lovely rows of trees on each side of the path all the way down to the river. Rain or shine, this is a good walk to do. On a nice summer’s day, the route may be busy but you can go ‘off piste’ and walk along the fields as the ground is quite hard and the grass is short enough to accommodate a pram. On a rainy or windy day, it’s worth dressing up warm and putting the rain cover on the pram to go and see the river Taff under the Blackweir Bridge. There is something very therapeutic about standing there and looking at the force of the river after it’s been raining.
I feel like I know this walk like the back of my hand as this is the route that I used to run my Buggy Fitness classes. The meeting point was at the Pontcanna Fields changing rooms (parking is free for the first two hours) we would then turn left down the path and do a brisk warm-up walk until we came to another path on the right and turn here. If you’re feeling energetic and confident enough, you can do all kinds of exercises while travelling down this path. During a session we lunge and squat our way down to the river where you will eventually reach a set of metal bars – perfect for incline press-ups and tricep dips! We would then power-walk along the river path until we get to a right turn just before the cricket ground. This used to be a rough path but it has recently been renovated and is now perfect for prams. At the end of this path, we would turn right on the crossroad and have a leisurely cool-down walk back to the car park. There is an option of going on to Café Castan in Llandaff Fields to grab a coffee and cake. A well-deserved treat after a workout!
Cardiff Bay and Hamadryad Park
This is a leisurely walk and great for a pram. It’s a great one if your child likes to wonder around as there is plenty of open space in the fields that surround the path. One of Canna’s favourite things to do is go around collecting daisies. Getting her back in to the pram afterwards can be a challenge!
The best starting point is at the entrance at the end of Clarence Embankment road. From here you can follow the path along the waterfront until you come to a gate under the flyover. Turn right here and you’ll come to a path surrounded by marshland. You can continue in a straight line down the jetty near the Sailing Club to get a lovely view of the Bay. You will probably come across some ducks and birds as well - Canna always gets excited to see them! Walk back along the jetty and head towards St David’s Hotel - you won’t miss it; it has a large roof in the shape of a seagull! Walk to left of the hotel entrance and you’ll come to the waterfront again. Follow the wooden path towards Techniquest and the Bay. This is an interesting little path that has plenty of history – the metal track and crane have been there since the docks exported coal to the rest of the world. When you reach Mermaid Quay, there is plenty to see! We like to finish the walk with a big ice cream from Cadwaladers.
This is a good route to do if you feel like you need some fresh air and want to feel a nice sea breeze. It includes an incline - great for a cardio workout if you’re happy to walk at a brisk pace. But, to be honest, I prefer taking my time to enjoy the amazing coastal views!
The directions for this route are simple. Start on Barry Island promenade and follow the path to your left. There’s plenty to see along the prom and if you’re feeling adventurous you could even have a go on the bouldering wall that spells Barry Island! After leaving the prom, follow the coastal path until you come to a small cove. This is a good place to take a break and maybe let the little one play in the sand or dip their toes in the water as it’s much quieter than the main beach. Follow the same path back to the prom and enjoy an ice cream or a coffee to finish!
Salmon Leaps Walk
Unlike the other routes, the Salmon Leaps Walk is not suitable for a pram - this journey is a good one to do with a baby carrier. Although she usually falls asleep halfway through, my eighteen-month-old daughter loves this journey. As the trail goes through fields, over rivers and through forests there are plenty of things to see. This is a good journey if you fancy a challenge. The weight of the carrier, a few banks and the fact that the full journey is five miles long makes this route more challenging than the others but you will feel great after finishing. We will always pack a picnic before this walk and there are plenty of places along the way to sit and take a break.
The trail itself starts in the village of Dinas Powys and we usually start from the Golf Club located past Ebenezer Chapel. Turn right at the Golf Club buildings, keeping close to the golf course gates, and you will come to a path leading into the forest. Continue down the path through the trees and you will come to a kissing gate leading to Cwm George. This part of the trail is very pretty with tall trees and all kinds of plants. Keep to the path until you have come out of the forest and have reached a notice board and a kissing gate. Follow the path through the open fields where you can enjoy the nice views of the farms around you. At the top of the path you will cross a river and then you will need to turn left up the road. If you fancy a challenge you can walk quickly uphill until you reach a hatched roof cottage on the right. Once you see the cottage you will need to turn left through another kissing gate.
Follow the path through the trees and you’ll come out at the 'Salmon Leaps' point - a great place to have a picnic whilst admiring the view. I've never seen salmon here but there we are! There is an option here to turn back and follow the same path or you can continue and finish the full journey. It depends on how long you have and how happy the little one is! I would recommend downloading the journey map if you want to complete the full version.
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