The Taff Trail: Penrhos Cutting, Nantgarw
The Rhymney Railway running between Caerphilly and Taffs Well passed through the Penrhos Cutting. There is now a junction between 2 National Cycleway Routes under a bridge. In the cutting above the junction is Route 4 Celtic Trail and below is Route 8 Taff Trail. A path climbing out of the cutting carries both routes towards Pontypridd.
Penrhos Cutting to Taffs Well
Just continue down the long gentle gradient, past the High Level Route branch to Castell Coch and the former railway cottages (One still has a railway signal outside). Taffs Well Station is soon in sight.
This section can be taken at high speed, so take care when passing pedestrians and dogs.
Penrhos Cutting to Pontypridd
A short steep path leads to a traffic light controlled crossing of a main dual carriageway road, then a residential area. Straight ahead and first right we're soon back onto the familiar `trail.
This is the former "Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks Railway" running from Pontypridd to Newport via Caerphilly.
This continues through to Glyntaff Cemetery just outside Pontypridd where we need to negotiate normal roads and traffic.
NCR4 Penrhos Cutting to Caerphilly
Leave the Taff Trail under a bridge continue uphill along the cutting. This is part of the Celtic Trail. At the top, leave the cutting and up to a main road. Through a housing estate using cycling-marked pavements around a pond. follow the route through more houses, under a railway bridge and across a large car park. Across the road the cycle route continues through the parkland around Caerphilly Castle.
Penrhos Cutting to Castell Coch
From the A468 at Nantgarw go through the cycle gate by the heavy wooden way marker. Cycle down the hill past the junction with National Cycle Network Route No 4 and continue down the gradual slope.
After about 500m there is a signpost and junction. Turn left onto a narrow lane and turn right up the hill under a bridge and through a cycle gate to a picnic area with a panoramic view over the River Taff and Valley.
We are now on another former railway track. Follow this for approximately 1.5km. A sign to the left shows an easy route downhill to Taffs Well Station. Continue to another cycle gate, beyond which is an unsurfaced track - turn left. This forest trail provides a continuous climb to the hill above Castell Coch.
At the top the track levels out. Watch carefully for the path on the right which drops down to Castell Coch. Take this path very slowly and be prepared to dismount. It is very steep and narrow and at holiday times and summer weekends this path is quite busy with pedestrians.