This walk takes in a route up through Fforest Fawr, then crosses the road and zigzags back down through Fforest Ganol, before crossing back over and exiting through Fforest Fawr.
Time: 1.5 hours (walking)
Mid level strenuous (steady ascent at the start, with some further undulations then it’s mostly downhill)
Teilo wag factor: 4 (Nearly all forest paths with streams and a cafe)
Starting at the school, head up the High Street, turn right by The Lewis Arms, and up Mill Road. Enter the Castell Coch gates, but don’t follow the road, instead take the path opposite the gates that goes up into the forest. This is a steady climb. There is a path to the right which crosses a stream, take this (in another Fforest Fawr walk you went straight on here instead).
Follow this broad path to the end of the forest, passing below the main car park and emerging by a smaller parking spot for about three cars. Go out of the gates and cross the road to a path almost directly opposite into Fforest Ganol. This path goes up a bit and then turns right. Continue on this path, passing an abandoned brick hut on your right.
At the end of this path, follow it around to the right, so you are coming back on yourself to an extent. You essentially do a zigzag to the end in Fforest Ganol. This descends steadily, and at the end you turn left so you are running alongside the road, with a stream between you. At the end of this path is a small bridge over a stream. Cross this and then cross the road – take care as it is on a corner and cars sometimes travel too fast (there is a roadside shrine here to attest to this danger).
Take the gate slightly to your left and follow this up to the Forest Cafe. They do a nice selection of cakes and sandwiches here if you fancy a break. Otherwise, take the path that goes up behind it, and follow it around to the right. This goes across some streams with small waterfalls. A short climb brings you up the path you entered on. Turn left here and descend down to Castell Coch entrance, then retrace your steps to the start.