This 16.5 mile (26.5km) section of the Taff Trail offers a fun and scenic way to explore Cardiff and travel through the city’s pretty parks and green spaces.

A large part of the trail runs along the River Taff, which has always been a key trade route for Wales. In fact, it made Cardiff the largest exporting port in the world in the early 20th century.

A view of the Taff Trail, and the River Taff in Bute Park.

Water taxi on the River Taff, Cardiff, South Wales

Start at the beginning

The start point for the Taff Trail is in Roald Dahl Plass in Cardiff Bay. Look for the Celtic Ring structure, a metal sculpture by the waterfront, and you'll see a commemorative plaque on the floor denoting the beginning of the trail. While you're down the Bay, visit Wales Millennium Centre, the largest theatre in Wales. It has cafes, free public performances and a shop, as well as being a host to large-scale touring shows..

The copper frontage of a music and arts venue glistening in the sun.

Exterior of Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, South Wales

Between the Bay

As you head from Cardiff Bay to the city centre, you'll pass near Principality Stadium, Wales' national stadium and home of the national rugby union team. Take a tour or time your trip for a match.

Just over from the Stadium is Cardiff Castle, 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. If you have time, it's worth a stop!

Principality Stadium

Principality Stadium Tours

Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Cardiff Castle Summer Room

Cardiff Castle

Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Outside the Principality Stadium.
Outside of the castle walls with people walking past

The impressive Principality Stadium, Cardiff, South Wales

Capital gardens

At this part of the trail, you enter the green heart of the city. Pass through Sophia Gardens into Bute Park. Flanked by the River Taff, Pontcanna Fields and Cathays Park, Bute Park 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.

As you travel onwards through the fields, the river plays peekaboo, appearing then disappearing behind trees and buildings, then emerging again. Look out for kingfishers, grey heron, leaping salmon and cormorants. Before long you'll reach Llandaff, where you'll find Llandaff Cathedral. It stands on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain.

Image of bilingual signs on the Taff Trail
Three people cycling along the Taff Trail under the trees

Signposts and cycling along the Taff Trail in Bute Park, Cardiff, South Wales

Magical Castell Coch

In the village of Tongwynlais lies the sibling of Cardiff Castle: Castell Coch. It's a Victorian castle resting on ancient foundations, with a fairytale-like look about it. Pop in to learn more about its history and marvel at the ornate decor.


Llandaff Cathedral

Llandaff Cathedral

Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Castell Coch

Castell Coch (Cadw)

Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.

Once you've had your fill of fantastical castles, if you don't feel like the harder, steeper option through thick forest, choose the low-level tarmac route that runs below the castle. It takes you near Taff's Well railway station and the former Rhymney Railway before joining back up with the tougher route at Nantgarw bypass.

If you're in need of a break, Plan2Ride bicycle café in Tongwynlais makes for a perfect pit-stop to refuel and attend to any essential repairs to your bike. The staff are friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about all things bikes and trails. The café offers a selection of coffees and cakes, and has indoor and outdoor seating areas. There is, of course, bicycle storage while you refuel and fully accessible toilet facilities.

The turrets of Castell Coch among the trees in Cardiff, South Wales

The turrets of Castell Coch emerging from the trees in Cardiff, South Wales

Onwards to Ponty

The next part of the route runs with the former Alexandra (Newport Docks) Docks & Railway Company line, towards Rhydyfelin. Continue on beyond Rhydyfelin, then wind into Pontypridd town centre. Grab a cuppa then see the sights. You could visit the museum and distinctive old bridge, explore Ynysangharad Park and Lido Ponty, the National Lido of Wales, or learn more about the past at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park. If you want to keep moving, Pontypridd is a hub of cycling routes, including the Celtic Trail.

Woman walking along a tarmac path between ancient trees in autumn in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd
women swimming in lido.
aerial view of lido and park.

Ynysangharad Park, Pontpridd, Ponty Lido and aerial view of the park and lido, South Wales

Tips on getting around the Taff Trail

One of the great things about the Taff Trail is that you don't have to do it all in one go. You can choose a section to explore, then travel by foot, car, bicycle or train to reach its start point.

If you'd like to hire a bike, Cardiff Pedal Power on the edge of Bute Park has plenty of options, including accessible bikes. They also offer two wheel and accessible cycle hire from a seasonal base in Cardiff Bay during the summer season.

Help Wales become the first Refill Nation by using nearby Refill Points to fill up your water bottle before you head off. Find out more including how to download the free Refill app to find your nearest Refill Point on the Refill Wales website.

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

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