Craig-y-nos Country Park

This 40 acre country park wraps around the River Tawe as it flows between steep wooded hillsides in the upper Swansea Valley.  Besides providing an introduction to Fforest Fawr through the Geopark Discovery Point, the park is popular with families and dog-walkers. Now a hotel, Craig-y-nos Castle itself was built for C19th opera singer, Adelina Patti but its extensive grounds are now owned and managed by the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park Authority for public enjoyment. 

OS grid ref SN 840155         Postcode SA9 1GL

Legacies of past times

Patti was attracted to create her Welsh home in this sublime spot between the two limestone bluffs of Craig y Rhiwarth and Craig-y-nos. The dramatic landscape still attracts visitors today though some were attracted not by its beauty but for its minerals. The geological processes which were responsible for its aesthetic appeal led to limestone, rottenstone, silica rock and sand being available to supply the burgeoning industry of C19th South Wales – the fascinating legacy of that period of industry is celebrated at the Geopark Discovery Point on the Geoterrace. Two of Wales’ most remarkable caves are but a stone’s throw from here and the signs of recent glaciation are scattered around the immediate area.

Getting there

The country park is adjacent to the A4067 between Ystradgynlais and Sennybridge. It lies on the route of the T6 bus service between Swansea and Brecon. If coming by car, there is a large pay and display tarmac car park with marked parking spaces free for permit and blue badge holders. There are multiple electric vehicle charging points available. The nearest train stations are at Neath, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil.


Caffi Dwy Afon boasts great views over the north of the Country Park to the Old Red Sandstone peaks of Cefn Cul and Fan Gyhirych. The cafe is open 09:30 – 17:30 (summer) and 10:00 – 16:30 (winter) to serve meals, drinks and light refreshments between 10am and 4pm. reservations and group bookings can be made via 01639 730036. Eat in, or if the weather permits, at the Geopark-themed tables on the Geoterrace.

Other facilities

The main toilet block and accessible toilet is adjacent to the cafe. A further wet room toilet facility (RADAR lock) is available within the grounds. A function room (Hibbert Room) is used for events and education groups. It is available to hire via As well as a number of local craft and artists resident on site, there is an information shed providing guides, leaflets, maps and gifts. Numerous paths allow the grounds to be explored – the main tarmac route via the Far Lake is complimented by further aggregate or woodchip-surfaced paths.


Short walks of various length can be made within the grounds whilst three circular trails explore the local countryside starting from the country park. Pick up one of these leaflets or download a pdf guide:

  • Cribarth – a geotrail exploring the rocky ridge to the southwest
  • Penwyllt – a geotrail venturing to the former industrial hamlet to the east
  • Wealth of Water – a circular trail exploring up-valley from the country park

Those seasoned walkers with more time on their hands can follow the Beacons Way east or west from here – the whole route is typically completed in 8 days.


Craig-y-nos and the surrounding countryside features on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Explorer map OL12 ‘Brecon Beacons: western area‘. Those with an interest in the area’s dramatic geology can pick up a copy of sheet 231 ‘Merthyr Tydfil‘ or the simplified geological map of Fforest Fawr Geopark – both at 1:50,000 scale.

Registered park and garden

Craig-y-nos is one of the 17 ‘registered parks and gardens of special historic interest’ to be found within the National Park. It includes both the grounds of the country park together with the castle and its immediate environs. Read Cadw’s 1994 report here.

Other sites of interest nearby