Looking for ways to get the whole family outdoors this half term? From hikes in the hills to epic mountain bike trails, there's plenty of adventure to be had in our glorious valleys. As well as all the events happening in the area this half term, we've come up with the ultimate guide to a day in the Garw Valley. Here's what we suggest…
Start your day by parking up at Bryngarw Country Park and explore some of the park's 113 acres of diverse park land. Take a family walk through a selection of routes including the riverside ramble, woodland wonder and meadow meander, or delve into the depths of the Garw forest by following a historic railway path. Don't forget to bring the bikes and make the most of the many cycle trails around the park too.
After a morning exploring Bryngarw Park, Make the most of the summer sunshine by taking your lunch in the picnic area. Hire one of the barbecue plinths on offer or unpack your picnic on the benches provided. If it's time to keep warm, there are plenty of treats indoors from the visitor centre's Cedars Tearoom. Rain or shine, children are free to play on the swings, famous tower slide and multi-play units nearby.
Spend the afternoon hiking through the Valleys
Get the family outdoors with a half day hike through the Garw Valley. Starting and finishing at Parc Calon Lan, the 9km 'Garw Valley 2' route will take you through thick forests, bridleways and up to the highest point on the western side of the valley. Be sure to stop for lunch along the way, taking in breathtaking views of Cwmgarw and the Garw Valley below. Top Tip: Look out for the Dipper bird along the way, bobbing and dipping up and down, wading, swimming and diving in running water.
Take on the Darren Fawr Mountain Bike Trails
Take on the epic Darren Fawr mountain bike trails with two almighty trails. Intermediate riders will love the single winding Glengarw, blue trail track, whose well crafted berms offer plenty of acceleration. Or, if you're an expert rider, take on the 3.2km adrenaline busting Gellideg route, made up of a leg burning climb to test the fittest, natural quarry and thrilling descent for speed and terrain.
Round off the day with dinner with a view at the Llangeinor arms
Take a rest from all that adventure and enjoy a traditional pub dinner at the Llangeinor arms, the pub which is best known for its panoramic views over the village of Llangeinor and valleys beyond. From cockles and laverbread to hearty roast dinners, you'll even find a 'little rascals' menu here for the kids.
Don't miss these events happening in the valleys this half term!
Make a splash with pond dipping in Bryngarw Country Park
Get hands on with the newts and tadpoles of Bryngarw Country Park, where the expert rangers will be offering their top tips for pond dipping in a hands on session. As well as discovering the many species which lurk below the pond surface, make the most of Bryngarw's 113 acres, with a brand new map, barbecue facilities available for hire, outdoor play area and heavenly cake selection at Cedar's Tearoom.Pond dip takes place 29th May, 10.45am, Bryngarw Park, South Wales. £4 per child. Booking essential.
Hoop throws and Hot dogs at the Garw Valley Railway open day
Join the Garw Valley Railway for a day of family fun this half term. From burgers and hotdogs to hoop throws and model railways, this family friendly open day is one for the whole family. Meet the locomotives, get to grips with a mini traction engine and take a look at the progress being made on the Garw Valley Railway itself before its grand opening.27th May, 10 - 15.30 at Pontycymer Locomotive Works, Old Station Yard, 27th May.
Become a young explorer at Parc Slip Nature Reserve
Become a young explorer with the UK's leading club for young environmentalists. Discover a variety of birds, hunt for bugs and get stuck in with nature arts and crafts at Parc Slip, upstairs in the discovery room. Don't forget your waterproofs and wellies!
30 May 2019, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.£2, booking required. Available for 5 - 13 years. To register call 01656 724100.
Got a tiny adventurer? Here are some fun activities for them to try nearby…
Spend time with the animals on Wiggleys Fun Farm
As well as housing a large indoor play area and mini racetrack, Wiggleys Fun Farm offers little ones the chance to spot their favourite farm animals, join the babies barnyard and make friends with the adorable pets in pets corner. Open school holidays 10am - 5pm.
Get them outside with Mudpies and Butterflies
Little ones will love the outdoor play sessions on offer at Cwm Tawel Farm. Children up to the age of five can make, paint and play in the farm's great outdoor play area under supervision. While you're there, why not spend the night in one of the cosy yurts on site? Sessions run on Mondays and Fridays at 10am-11.30am. Sessions need to be pre-booked and are weather dependent.