There are a few variations to this walk, this version goes out on a route high above the canal, which is not used and is now a nature reserve, and returns alongside it.
Distance: 3.3 miles
Strenuous: medium, steady climb and then undulating on the way out
Teilo wag factor: 4 (fun along the canal, and a nice route through the forest on the outward leg)
Starting at the school head down Iron Bridge Road (I forgot to turn Strava on until I was under the bridge in the route above). Go under the road bridge and turn left. Follow this path round until it joins the paved route and turn left, going under the motorway. The Taff Trail turns right after this (that is a different route), but ignore this and instead go on and then take the path to the left straight after.
Follow this and you will come to the remnants of the old industrial works. Go up the steps by this to come out by the road. Cross the road and there is an entrance into the woods opposite. Go in here and you quickly come to an old stone bridge with a stile. Cross this, you will see a gate to your right at the end, going onto Whitchurch common. Go past this into the forest and you will see a path. Turn left along this, you will go along with a steep slope to your right down to the canal (not one for those who have vertigo). Follow this path for about a mile. It undulates a bit, go past the wide path that goes back, and when you come to a point where it divides take the right hand branch. It eventually dips down to the end of the canal.
At the bottom of this, turn sharply left and follow this path all the way back up the old canal, past the disused lock. This is always a pleasant walk, with various wildfowl. At the very end, turn left and follow the path back until it meets the road.
As you come out there is an opening in the trees on the opposite side of the road just over to your right. Go in here and you will rejoin the original path form the point just before it went uphill. Turn left on this, then right at the end. Go back under the motorway, and for a bit of variety, don’t take the right hand path that you came out on, instead go straight on and then enter the rugby field on your right through a kissing gate. Cross the rugby field, exit through the gate and then follow the road around to the right and under the bridge onto Iron Bridge Road again.