Family Walks Books by Gordon Hindess

Scarthin Books of Cromford, Derbyshire, publish the Family Walks Series of Books at £5.95 each (2001). I am the author of two titles covering South-east Wales and each of my books describes more than 30 routes in 16 locations. If you live within the area covered by a book, there will be a ramble within about five miles of your home. The walks are graded to make it easy to choose one that suits your ability and interests and there is a guide to the attractions in each area. There are simple maps and precise route-finding directions and, if you are not used to walking, start with one of the gentler walks.

The landscape and scenery in this part of Wales does not always get the credit which it deserves: but do not take my word for it, come and see for yourself. I have tried to convey the pleasure which I get from the local countryside and firmly believe that walking should be fun. From hiking with cubs and scouts, as well as my own family, I think I have a good idea of what makes a walk appeal to children. Take a picnic with you or use the barbecue facilities, which can be found on some of the routes. Alternatively, many of the recommended pubs have play areas for children.

Family Walks Around Cardiff and the Valleys

Located in the former counties of Mid and South Glamorgan, the rambles are suitable for babies in back-carriers or grannies in gumboots and will take you to Roman lead mines, historic monuments, waterfalls, spectacular views and, even, an aircraft direction-finding beacon. The industrial heartland of South Wales has an interesting archaeological heritage, a surprising variety of scenery and much to appeal to the natural historian. If you are interested in geology, there are minerals and fossils to be discovered. Children will want to be the first to spot the dovecote, the warm spring, a tramway stone or the giant tree: they will not want to miss the recommended venue for a game of hide-and-seek: and they will wait in anticipation of a big splash as mum or dad crosses the stepping stones.

Walk Locations

Cosmeston and Lavernock, near Penarth; Llantwit Major, on the Heritage Coast; Ogmore and Merthyr Mawr, near Bridgend; Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan; Forest Farm, Cardiff; Machen and Draethen in the Rhymney Valley; Rudry, near Caerphilly; Gwaelod-y-Garth, near Cardiff; Llantrisant; Pont Rhyd-y-Cyff, near Maesteg; Llwynypia in the Rhondda Valleys; Llanwonno, near Pontypridd; Quaker's Yard, near Merthyr Tydfil; Parc Cwm Darran, north of Bargoed; The Dare Valley, at Aberdare; Pontneddfechan and Penderyn in the Brecon Beacons.

Family Walks in Gwent

Gwent disappeared when local government in Wales was reorganised into Unitary Authorities. However, the book covers the area bounded by the Severn Estuary and Wye Valley, in the south and east, and the Brecon Beacons, in the Northwest. It includes the Vale of Usk and the eastern part of the South Wales Valleys. Maybe it will be the Roman legacy, the castles and churches of the Middle Ages or the monuments of the industrial revolution that will appeal: perhaps it will be the natural history, geology or landscape: or could it be that convenient country pub? Most walks contain a challenge - spot the bananas in an unusual garden, the flying saucer on a hilltop or a tandem! Children will want to be the first to find the Roman Road, the waterfall, a wood ant's nest or the historic well. Gwent is described as the `Gateway to South Wales', so enter and enjoy its wonderfully varied landscape, heritage and natural history.

Walk Locations

Clytha and Bettws Newydd, near Usk; Llanover, near Abergavenny; the Clydach Gorge, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons; Cwmtillery in the Ebbw Valley; Pen-y-Fan Pond and Manmoel, north of Blackwood; the Sirhowy Valley Country Park and Cwmcarn, both near Risca; High Cross, Rogerstone, on the outskirts of Newport; Upper Cwmbran; Pontypool and Mamhilad; Llandegfedd Reservoir, near Pontypool; Wentwood and Penhow, east of Newport; Caldicot, Caerwent, Shirenewton and Mynydd-bach, near Chepstow; Portskewett and Mathern, on the Severn Estuary; Trelleck, near Monmouth.

These pages are maintained by Gordon Hindess and © 2002 Gordon Hindess. Any suggestions or comments welcome.

Last modified: 2002-02-17 12:53:45