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Garth Mountain, Garth Hill or ‘The Garth’ as it’s also known as is one of the great walks near Cardiff and easy walks near Cardiff to do. Garth Mountain Walk isn’t as hard as it sounds as the mountain is more of a big hill and there is parking access fairly close to the hill so it is suitable for keen hikers and families.
To do the Garth Hill walk there are a few routes you can take and they differ in difficultly and length.
In this Cardiff travel blog I’m going to tell you about the different Garth Hill walking routes and give you options for an easier walk which is what I happened to do on the way up to Garth Mountain, and a steeper more strenuous route if you fancy a challenge, which is what I did on the way down!
The whole walk took me 3 hours with a pause at the top for about 15 minutes, the walk had a few inclines but overall wasn’t a really hard walk, but not a really easy one either.
You’ll also find below information on Garth Mountain parking, Garth Mountain directions and things to do near Garth Hill so you can do the Garth Walk!
Garth Mountain Walk
Garth Mountain Directions
The Garth Walk starts from the village of Taffs Well’s which is easily accessed by the A470 and easily accessible from the M4 if you are visiting outside of Cardiff.
Garth Mountain Parking
The best place to park to start the Garth Mountain walk is along Cardiff Road which runs through the village of Taff’s Wells.
Parking here means you can do the full Garth Hill Circular Walk and is where you’ll want to park if you want to make the walk that bit longer. By parking here I did the walk in 3 hours with a break at the top.
If you put The Taff’s Well Inn into your directions this will take you onto Cardiff Road and there is quite a lot of street parking available close to the pub and alongside the park as seen in the photo below.
You can park closer to Garth Mountain if you want an easier walk to the top. For this, drive towards the smaller village of Gwaelod-y-Garth and from here you can drive up the road that is named ‘Route des Alpes’ in Google and also ‘Mountain Road’ on other apps.
This road runs up alongside the base of Garth Hill and there are places to park on the side of the road and at the base of the footpaths that take you up to Garth Hill.
This is where you will walk if you are walking from Taffs Wells too, so by parking just past Gwaelod-y-Garth you are cutting out a section of the Garth Hill circular walk making it faster and easier to do, which might be ideal if you have children.
Garth Hill Walk
If you start the walk from Taff’s Wells like I did and I suggest you do if you have the time and the ability to do the full walk,
Head past The Taff’s Well Inn and take the road on the left just after the pub and before the primary school.
Very soon after this, you’ll see the small road break into 2 and you should take the right path which will take you to a bridge over the River Taff with stunning views already.
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After crossing the River Taff, follow the zigzag steps all the way to the top and at the road turn right and head towards The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn.
Just before the pub there is a road to the left which is the road you need to take. On the side of the pub is some information about The Garth and a map with the footpaths on so take a look at this.
The road starts inclining here and you need to follow the road all the way around the hairpin bend. After the bend the road does become less steep and easier to manage.
When you see the Cattle Grid you’ll know you are on the right road (although it’s hard to take a wrong road). This is Mountain Road/ Route des Alpes on Google and you need to keep walking up it. It is a really pretty and quiet country lane..
After half a mile from the Cattle Grid this is where you can decide which Garth Hill walking route to take. You can take an easier walk with a more gentle incline, or a harder route which will give you a steeper incline up the side of the Mountain.
Garth Mountain Easy Walking Route
For a more gentle walk to the top of Garth Mountain, once you have gone over the Cattle Grid, keep walking up Mountain Road, this is the road that is going to take you nearly to the top.
It is a gentle incline and it is still a beautiful walk as there is countryside views to the left and in front, and this is a quiet and pretty country lane to walk along.
After about 1.5 miles from the Cattle Grid, you will see a block of pink houses on the right, just before them is a footpath that takes you up the back of the houses.
Pretty soon this small, inclined footpaths opens up onto the field at the top of Garth Mountain. Turn the corner to the right slightly and you will see the summit of Garth Mountain in the near distance.
From here there are 360 views including an impressive view onto Cardiff Bay and even Western Super Mare on a clear day!
The top of Garth Mountain is pretty flat and lovely to walk along. There are lots of different paths so people can spread out and it’s the perfect place for a picnic and sit down.
Garth Mountain Harder Walking Route
For a slightly harder walk, after you have gone across the Cattle Grid you will take one of the footpaths on the right up to the top of the mountain.
These footpaths are quite hidden from the road and also appear quite overgrown but I found that once I was further up they became more clear.
The best way to spot them is to look for the footpath on the left, these footpaths cross Mountain Road and continue up the side of Garth Mountain. There are many footpath signs along the road if you look out for them.
The reason this is the harder Garth Hill walking route is because the footpaths are quite narrow, steep and windy.
Once you are about halfway up the hill the narrow footpath will open up a bit more and from here you can take one of the footpaths in front of you up the hill.
This is where it gets even steeper, I took one footpath down and it felt like a nearly vertical path!
However, you will soon reach the field at the top which flattens out. From here you can walk along the top of the field to the back towards the summit of Garth Mountain.
To get back down you can go via Mountain Road which is the easier way down, or down of the footpaths down the side of the hill.
FAQ About Garth Hill
How long does it take to walk up Garth Hill?
This depends on where you start the walk. If you start in Taff’s Well Village it will take 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you drive closer to Garth Hill and park along Mountain Road it will take you about 20 minutes to walk up the footpaths to the top.
How do you get to Garth Mountain?
The Village of Taff’s Wells is a good place to get to Garth Mountain from and start your Garth Mountain walk. Alternatively, you can get to Garth Mountain from the village of Gwaelod-y-Garth which is closer.
Where do you park for Garth Hill?
Park along Cardiff Road in Taff’s Well Village to start the Garth Hill walk. This will give you a good 3-hour walk across the River Taff and up Garth Hill. Alternatively, you can park near the hill along Mountain Road up the road from Gwaelod-y-Garth village.
Things to do near Garth Hill
After you have climbed Garth Hill and you’re on your way back down, The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn is a well known pub and a great place to stop at for a drink or food. During lockdown they were open selling takeaway food and drinks in the car park which looked nice!
After you have finished your walk up Garth Hill, if you fancy another walk you could drive 10 minutes to Caerphilly and walk up Caerphilly Mountain which is an easier walk than this, here’s how to do the Caerphilly Mountain walk, in Caerphilly is also Caerphilly Castle which is worth going to.
Castle Coch is really close to Taff’s Well, just 5 minutes down the A470 and it is one of the best Castles in Cardiff.
For a light walk near by Garth Hill you could visit Fforest Fawr.
Enjoy visiting The Garth and doing this Garth Mountain Walk!
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