Wonderful Wales, The Taff Trail.

All too often travel bloggers in search of foreign exotic destinations often overlook what is on their doorstep. Lets remember all foreign places exotic or not also have natives, and all destinations have their own beauty.

I escaped the smog of the city of London seven years ago and swapped the concrete jungle for the lush green valleys of South Wales. When I first moved here I was somewhat surprised at how the locals took this area of outstanding natural beauty for granted, and on the other hand would book a coach or train up to London for a shopping trip or to take in a show, which previously I took for granted.

So with my tourist head on I decided to take a stroll down the Taff Trail which is on my doorstep.
The Taff Trail is a cycle/walkway that runs from Cardiff to Brecon some 55 miles or so, it is so called as most of the trail follows the Taff River that snakes its way down the valley.
Most of the Trail is a disused canal and railway line built in the 18th and 19th century to transport mined minerals from the heart of South Wales to Cardiff to be transported around the world, Indeed most of the iron used on the railways in India originates from here.

View Taff Trail Challenge in a larger map
Map courtesy mytafftrail.co.uk

Back in the 18th century Cardiff was a small fishing port, but thanks to the iron, copper and coal that was mined further north and transported to the port for distribution around the world Cardiff soon turned into the city it is today.
Dotted along the trail are some amazing sights, from viaducts that span rivers, waterfalls, disused railway tunnels and platforms, derelict smelting works even the odd piece of 18th century railway track.

I recommend anyone who visits Wales to take a hike or a cycle ride along the Taff, the better end in my opinion is the part between Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon. There is a bus that runs from Cardiff to Brecon that has a trailer for cycles – called The Brecon Bike Bus, so get your rucksack and camping gear out, get your mountain bike and head to Cardiff – you’ll love it, but please don’t tell everyone, I don’t want too many tourists rocking up in my neighborhood.

Taff Trail Waterfall Viaduct Small Bridge over The Taff View from viaduct