Misty Morning at Craig yr Allt

Craig yr Allt

It was a misty morning as we travelled to Tongwynlais. Driving to the top of Heol y Fforest we parked at a picnic spot feeling pleased that we had climbed a fair way before starting the walk.

The mist thickened as we headed roughly west, following a track that took us to the sculpture trail in the woodland above Castell Coch. The sculptures are wooden portrayals of nature, trees, birds, wild animals and even insects; an excellent place to entertain children. We took our time examining each piece. Unfortunately the signage on them is showing the effects of weathering and some were difficult to read. I particularly liked a seat whose back was the outstretched wings of two birds with this sign:



‘These creatures are gone from the forest now

But the ones who live here today can be found

There’s badgers and dormice and buzzards I’ve heard

Goshawks, owls and other woodland birds!’

Now we headed for the Taff trail travelling north on our way to Craig yr Allt where we were promised views across to the Garth and Castell Coch and Cardiff to the south. Taking a path east we had a steady climb across open grassland which was pretty muddy in places. At the top we disappeared into fog and imagined the views we were meant to enjoy by looking at an App which named hills as you pointed a phone in their direction! There was something cosy about being wrapped in a blanket of fog, as it created a great atmosphere (and we knew exactly where we were).

Not long after we started to descend visibility cleared enough for us to see around us. The green-yellow catkins of a birch tree looked cheerful in the gloom. Black sheep were difficult to spot as they sat under a copse of trees about 100yards from us; it was only their white faces that gave them away.

We stopped for lunch in a field, sitting on tree trunks under beech trees and relishing the peaceful atmosphere. As we ate we glanced back, noticing that the fog had lifted on Craig yr Allt and we joked about walking back up to see the view (which was still swathed in mist).

We made our way to the Forest Tea Rooms, catching a brief glimpse, through the trees, of Castell Coch. At the tea rooms we enjoyed comfy seats and welcome refreshment. We returned to the cars via a leafy track above Heol y Fforest.

The walk was 7 miles. Map 151