Make the short drive north from Swansea to the beautiful Penllergare Valley Woods and discover a magical world of waterfalls, wildlife and woodland walks.
Penllergare Valley Woods were created by pioneering 19th-century botanist, photographer and astronomer John Dillwyn Llewellyn for his own pleasure. For over 100 years the gardens were left unattended, but efforts by volunteers and the Penllergare Valley Woods Trust have seen the valley restored to its former glory for all to enjoy.
Start your walk from the carpark at the northern end of the woods and follow the path until you reach the stunning upper lake. On a still day the reflection of the woodland in the water is a stunning sight. Keep your eyes peeled to spot the blue flash of the resident kingfishers.
Continue along the east bank of the woods and you'll pass a pretty waterfall before arriving in a forest full of colour. Depending on the time of year you will be treated to a vibrant display of daffodils, bluebells or wildflowers such as honesty and wild thyme.
Cross the wooden bridge and follow the winding river through the valley until you reach the lower lake. Here you can see the remains of LLewellyn's old boathouse and you may even be lucky enough to spot otters and water voles searching for food by the water’s edge.
If you need to rest your legs there's no better spot than the carved benches along the viewpoint at Nyddfwch Bank. From here you can see for miles above the canopy of tall trees that fill the bottom of the valley. Bring a pair of binoculars for the best chance of seeing buzzards and red kites circling above the trees.
Penllergare Valley Woods are approximately six miles north of Swansea city centre. The car park is open daily and there is a charge. It is managed by Penllergare Woods directly – not by the Council so every penny goes to maintain Penllergare Valley Woods. There are toilets and a community coffee shop where you can enjoy homemade cake and scones.