Caves and Kilns: delving into the wild

Craig-y-nos Country Park and Penwyllt

Start your exploration of the upper Swansea Valley/Cwm Tawe with a visit to Craig-y-nos Country Park. We began developing a new Geopark hub here during 2020. Take in the cracking view across the valley from the Geoterrace outside the cafe. Lots of Geopark stories start here!

Soak up the atmosphere at Penwyllt where abandoned tramways, limekilns and an old fire-brick works sit beside the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve (NNR). The reserve protects limestone pavements above ground and Britain’s deepest cave (274.5m) below. The Beacons Way passes through here en route from the wild and remote Black Mountain to the highly distinctive hills of Fforest Fawr. Closer at hand is the rocky ridge of Cribarth with its limestone crags, old quarries and tramroads.

If you’ve got an hour or less:

If you’ve got half a day (2-4 hours):

  • Follow the Penwyllt walk card from the country park. Listen to the podcast. Download and follow the Geotour.
  • Follow the Henrhyd Falls Geotrail or audio trail down to the Tawe or follow the ‘Lines in the Landscape’ walk along Sarn Helen and old tramways.
  • Explore Cribarth, an amazing limestone mountain, using the Ridge & River trail. Download and follow the Geotour.

If you’ve got a full day (5-8 hours):

Did you know . . ?

. . . that nineteenth century opera singer Adelina Patti lived at Craig-y-nos – she was perhaps the first global superstar – the Lady Gaga of her day!