Craig Y Cilau

Book Tickets Online


This former limestone quarry is one of Wales' most outstanding botanical sites, famous for its exceptional variety of alpine plants and trees, some extremely rare.

Craig-y-Cilau is no untouched wilderness. Take one look at its spectacular escarpment of limestone cliffs and its is strikingly obvious that large-scale quarrying once played a major role here. Sections of the cliff are scooped out while others remain in their natural state. It is this combination of natural and industrial history that gives the reserve its compelling character.

Perched high on the hillside above the Usk Valley, Craig-y-Cilau consists of a sweeping amphitheatre of cliffs and screes that curls around the edge of Mynydd Llangatwg. This craggy, 120m-high curtain is one of the largest limestone cliffs in South Wales. Together with its grassier, gentler lower reaches, it forms a reserve famous for its variety of plants.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the cliffs were quarried for limestone, a key ingredient in the ironmaking process. The limestone was hauled by horse-drawn tramway – the route of which still exists – all the way to the ironworks at Brynmawr and by incline down to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Llangattock.

The reserve is open to the public. Access is free. Some areas are rough and slippery underfoot. The weather can change rapidly. Suitable clothing and footwear is essential. Rocks regularly fall off or over the cliffs; for your own safety keep away from the foot of cliffs. The reserve is grazed by ponies and sheep for most of the year. Please follow the Countryside Code and keep dogs under close control.

Book Tickets

Map & Directions

Road Directions

There are access points from the unmarked road out of Llangattock which joins the B4506 road between Llangynidr and Brynmawr. Alternatively, from Llangattock, follow Hillside Road for approximately 500m, then turn right onto another very narrow, winding and steep lane that will take you up to the top of the escarpment. Once up on the top look out for another very sharp right hand turn which leads to a track at the end of the road. OS grid reference SO186160.

Roadside parking, 200m from the reserve, and a car park, a mile from the reserve.

Craig y Cilau National Nature Reserve (NRW)

Type:Nature Reserve

Llangattock, Crickhowell, NP8 1LG

Add Craig y Cilau National Nature Reserve (NRW) to your Itinerary

Close window

Call direct on:

Tel01874 620860

What's Nearby

  1. The Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park are spread across Powys,…

    1.68 miles away
  2. Ty Mawr & the Roundhouse Towers

    The Round Towers at Roundhouse Farm in Nantyglo, Wales, were built by industrialists…

    3.3 miles away
  3. Restored courtyard house with origins in the fourteenth century. Rebuilt by Sir Roger…

    3.69 miles away
  4. Sugarloaf and Usk Valley

    Managed by the National Trust, the Sugarloaf is one of the highest peaks in Monmouthshire…

    4.18 miles away
  1. Discover Wales' rich mining heritage in this award-winning interactive museum is set in…

    4.73 miles away
  2. The famous ironworks at Blaenavon were a milestone in the history of the Industrial…

    4.82 miles away
  3. Blaina Heritage Museum

    A Museum which has many artifacts including mining memorabilia, military memorabilia,…

    4.88 miles away
  4. The small town of Blaenavon and its surrounding landscape at the head of the Eastern…

    5.05 miles away
  5. Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway

    The line is the highest and steepest in the country, climbing through the Blaenavon World…

    5.08 miles away
  6. Parc Bryn Bach provides the setting for a fantastic 9-hole course, 6 bay driving range…

    6.08 miles away
  7. Abertillery & District Museum

    Discover the history and heritage of the Abertillery area at Abertillery and District…

    7.25 miles away
  8. St Gastyn's Church, Llangasty Talyllyn

    Situated on the beautiful shores of Llangorse Lake on the site of an ancient Celtic…

    7.88 miles away
  9. St Illtyd's Church

    A restored medieval church, originally built by the white monks of the Cistercian Abbey…

    8.56 miles away
  10. Llangorse has the largest natural lake in south Wales, it boasts an ancient Crannog and…

    8.61 miles away
  11. Goytre Wharf is a 200 year old industrial heritage site that includes a busy visitor…

    8.67 miles away
  12. The Winding House is the museum for Caerphilly County Borough with engaging exhibitions…

    8.87 miles away
Previous Next

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss