Updated: Aug 4, 2020
A secret and magical place, saved from neglect and development, being brought back to life by local volunteers for everyone to enjoy.
Penllergaer Valley Woods
The woods are located just off junction 47 of the M4 motorway in South West Wales. It is well signposted from the roundabout and has a good-sized car park open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily. Parking costs just 50p for 1 hour and a bargain rate of £2 for an all-day ticket. All the money goes back into maintaining the community woodland.
Some older Sat Navs apparently don’t recognise the postcode SA4 9GS, so follow the signs from the motorway junction. It is also worth noting that the car park is not suitable for coaches. If you intend on a school trip or coach tour the park advise that you contact them to make suitable arrangements.
Unfortunately, public transport does not stop directly at Penllergare Valley Woods, and you will have an approximately 10-minute walk from the bus stop.
Service 141 stops at the Penllergaer Council Offices or Lezzets Café on the A48 by request. Service P1 and Service X13 stop at Parc Penllergaer and Penllergaer village.
There is a coffee shop and toilets open from 10 AM to 4 PM. The coffee shop is fully accessible but was closed on the day we visited and we did not need the use of the toilets, however, we will update this post the next time we visit.
There is also disabled parking and disabled toilet/baby changing facilities. Access for disabled people, wheelchairs and pushchairs around the estate is limited at present due to the steep nature of this historic picturesque site.
Penllergaer is a stunning place to visit that covers 12 square miles of woodland with 7 miles of footpaths and has a wonderful 150 years of Welsh history. The site is an ornamental park stocked with a rich assortment of trees and shrubs, native and exotic plants bought back during the 19th century by plant collectors travelling and exploring all over the world.
The original owners of Penllergaer designed a waterfall of rough quarried stone that has become a focal point of the woods. You can enjoy a lakeside stroll, a heritage trail, a wild woodland walk or a riverside ramble. There really is a wonderful choice and something for everyone. We will definitely be back to explore more of the sights soon.
The trust really has thought of everything and truly want you to be welcomed in the area. They advise to ensure your visit is safe and enjoyable that you respect the Walkers Code:
Wear sturdy footwear
Be aware of uneven and slippery surfaces
Take care near water and steep drops
Protect wildlife, plants, trees and structures
Keep dogs under control – use bins provided
Take litter home with you
Please DO NOT:
Camp or light fires
Bring cars, motorbikes or quads into the woods
Bring horses into the woods
Swim or enter the water
Due to the nature of the site, it’s advisable not to walk in the woods when there are strong winds, heavy rainfall or any other severe weather warnings.
The Way Forward
Restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods continues with the Trust planning to restore even more of the Victorian estate by acquiring the lease on the walled gardens that have been left undisturbed for more than 50 years.
The plans include clearing a large overgrown area near to the walled gardens. This area will become a lawn with a network of paths which will be designed to allow visitors to access the unique range of plant collections that will provide colour and interest throughout the year.
The pathways will allow visitors a spectacular view over the upper lake and waterfall. I for one am excited to see the developments and am warmed by the investment and efforts of the trust volunteers to continue to care for and bring back to life this wonderful piece of the Welsh landscape.
Find Out More
You can find out more about this beautiful community woodland by visiting their equally lovely website at https://penllergare.org/
Over To You...
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