Image Credit: SWAP

Book Tickets Online


One of the best kept secrets in the Valleys, Cwmcarn Forest Drive is just minutes from Newport and not much further from Cardiff, but it brings visitors right into the heart of the beautiful local woodlands. The 7 mile drive is just one of the attractions- there is plenty to keep you busy once you step out of the car. School groups use it as an outdoor education venue and the area is perfect for walking, fishing, or just outdoor play.

There are two walks that start from the visitor centre:

NANT CARN (0.9 miles, 1.5 miles).
This is a short stroll during which you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the stream and lake.

BLUEBELL WALK(1.2 miles, 1.8 kilometres).
This gentle walk takes in woodlands, ponds and streams. Along the way there are fine views of the valley and the pit wheel.

Cwmcarn Forest is also home to one of the best mountain biking trails in South Wales - and there is some stiff competition for that title. Mountain bikers come from across the UK to try their skills against the challenging and adrenaline-packed course, although there are biking options for the less adventurous too!

There are two cross country mountain bike trails and two downhill trails (serviced by the onsite uplift provider) at Cwmcarn Forest.

TWRCH TRAILl (15.5 kilometres, grade red).
The Twrch trail is one of Wales’ hidden gems, a singletrack loop climbing from dense woodland out onto open ridges with clear views of the Bristol Channel. Nearly all the climbing on this trail is done within the first few kilometres. So the start is hard, some of it technical and it will really get your heart going (and test your determination). It’s well worth it though because the descent is very much like a rollercoaster ride; it’s fast, swooping and you’ll be exposed to some very steep hillside.

CAFALL TRAIL (15 kilometres, grade red)
Climbing up to altitudes of over 600 metres, the Cafall Trail is graded red (for proficient riders only). Highlights include some tough climbs, tight hand-built singletrack sections and some fantastic technical descents.

Y MYNYDD DOWNHILLl (1.9 kilometres, grade orange, bike park extreme) currently closed. For more information visit this website

Extreme downhill mountain bike trail for experienced riders only. The trail drops 250m through the steep hillsides of Cwmcarn.
An Uplift pass is available by booking with please note that Private Uplifts are not permitted.

PEDALHOUNDS(1.4 kilometres, 203 metres, vertical drop, grade orange, bike park extreme)
The Pedalhounds downhill course opened in 2014. It follows the line of the old “club track” down a steep sided valley in the forest. It starts off with a handmade rooty section through the trees and soon picks up speed as it flows in and out of the wooded sections. Access to this trail is via the Cavall XC trail or by the uplift service. An uplift pass is available from Cwmdown.
It’s a great place for a picnic. BBQ facilities have been provided for visitor use and there are sculpture gardens and kids play areas nearby, so the whole family will find something to enjoy. Light refreshments are available on site and there is even a designated camp ground for those who want to stay longer.

The best time to do Cwmcarn Forest Drive is probably in late summer or early autumn, just as the leaves are beginning to change colour, or in spring when the new green foliage is just reappearing. It can be spectacular in winter but all roads in this area do get icy so cautious driving is recommended.

The visitor centre provides a place to stock up on refreshments and gifts as well as finding out about what you can do in the area. The cafe is open 9.30am -4pm Sat-Thursday & Friday 9.30am-3.30pm.

The Cwmcarn Forest Visitor Centre is run by Caerphilly County Borough Council and has a spacious information area where you will find walking guides, maps and information on the surrounding area.

Many of the trees in Cwmcarn Forest have been infected by larch disease (Phytophthora ramorum) and 400 acres of these infected trees will be cut down and removed. See the Natural Resources Wales website for the latest information.

Cwmcarn Forest-Mountain Biking

Y Mynydd (1.9km miles) Suitable for expert mountain bikers

Twrch (15km approx. 9 miles)

At the foot of the forest drive is the brand new Visitor Centre, which always has a warm welcome for you. You can find information on walks, cycling activities and other things to do in the area. There is also a gift shop and a cafe with outdoor decking area.

Many of the trees in Cwmcarn Forest have been infected by larch disease (Phytophthora ramorum) and 400 acres of these infected trees will be cut down and removed. See the Natural Resources Wales website for the latest information.

Please note:

Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations.
Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Forest Drive:
Motorbike £3.00, Car £5.00, Minibus £10.00



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets


  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site


  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome
  • Pushchairs available


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome Host

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Cwmcarn Visitor Centre is in Cwmcarn Forest.

Sign posted Forest Drive from M4.

The visitor Centre (run by Caerphilly County Borough Council) is situated about half a mile from Cwmcarn and the drive starts a further half mile on the same road.

Crosskeys and Abercarn are the nearest towns or villages.

OS Grid Reference: ST 229 935

For details of public transport visit

Postcode NP11 7FA (for satnav purposes)

Accessible by Public Transport: CrossKeys station is 5 miles away.

Cwmcarn Forest (NRW)

Type:Forest or Woodland

Cwmcarn Forest (NRW), Nantcarn Road, Cwmcarn, Cross Keys, Nr Newport, NP11 7FA

Add Cwmcarn Forest (NRW) to your Itinerary

Close window

Call direct on:

Tel0300 065 3000


Afan Forest Park (NRW), Port TalbotThe Afan Valley is one of the narrowest, shortest, and most beautiful valleys in Wales, being about 15 miles long from its head at Bwlch yr Afan, to the sea at Aberavon Beach, Port Talbot.

Harlech Beach & DunesMorfa Harlech Nature Reserve (NRW), HarlechMorfa Harlech is one of two extensive sand dune systems which make up much of the southern Snowdonia coastline, extending from the Mawddach estuary in the south to Black Rock Sands in the north west.

Brecon Beacons | Craig CerrigCraig Cerrig Gleisiad & Fan Frynych (NRW), BreconCraig Cerrig-gleisiad and Fan Frynych National Nature Reserve is a 156 acre (631,000 m²) area of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Rheidol ValleyCoed Rheidol Nature Reserve (NRW), Devil's BridgeCoed Rheidol is situated about 12 miles east of Aberystwyth. It occupies parts of both banks of the Afon Rheidol, upstream, and the south bank downstream of Devil's Bridge.

Crychan Forest and Halfway ForestCrychan Forest (NRW), Llangammarch WellsThe Crychan & Halfway Forest is set in beautiful countryside nestling between the Brecon Beacons & the Cambrian Mountains. Miles of waymarked trails for horse riding, cycling and walking take you through tranquil gorges, along old drover's routes & past cascading waterfalls.

Coed y Brenin Forest ParkCoed y Brenin Visitor Centre (NRW), DolgellauCoed y Brenin Visitor Centre is in the heart of southern Snowdonia near Dolgellau, is the gateway to Coed y Brenin Forest Park. Try world-class mountain bike trails, family walks, café, cycle shop, all-ability play area and an easy access trail.

Glyndwr's Way | Pererindod MelangellDyfnant & Vyrnwy Forests (NRW), Lake VyrnwyDyfnant and Vyrnwy Forests in north Powys which is renowned for rolling hills, lush green valleys and picturesque farmsteads and villages. The Forest caters for horse riding and carriage driving as well as walking and picnic areas.

Dyfi Forest - Nant GwernolDyfi Forest (NRW), MachynllethThe Dyfi Forest is located mainly to the north of the Afon Dyfi between Dolgellau to the north and Machynlleth to the south. Dyfi is a 6000ha forest - a spectacular landscape well worth exploring.

Gwydir Forest Park (NRW), Betws-y-CoedGwydir Forest ranges across the hills on Snowdonia's eastern flank. High wooded ramparts rise steeply from the level pastures of the Conwy valley, enfolding Betws-y-Coed, and creating a dramatic setting for the town of Llanrwst

LLyn GeirionnyddGwydir Forest Park | Llyn Geirionnydd (NRW), LlanrwstIn the northern section of the Gwydir Forest Park, Llyn Geirionnydd is a 0.75 mile long lake is reputedly the home of the 6th century poet Taliesin.

Alwen Reservoir | Llyn Brenig (NRW), RuthinAlwen Trail can be started from Alwen Dam in Alwen which is part of Hiraethog Forest.

Minwear Forest (NRW), NarberthTogether with nearby Canaston Wood, Minwear has been thickly wooded for centuries.

Wye Valley Woodlands (NRW), MonmouthThe Wye Valley is recognised as one of the most beautiful woodlands in Britain, with most of it’s 4,300 hectares lying within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Whitestone (NRW), ChepstowWhitestone lies adjacent to a section of the famous Wye Valley Walk. Visitors to the site can enjoy pleasant walks that take in a number of fantastic views across the Wye Valley

Fforest Fawr near CardiffFforest Fawr (NRW), CardiffA beautiful mainly broadleaved woodland which is very accessible from Cardiff City. Excellent recreation facilities with many different trails within. Close to Castell Coch The OS grid reference is ST 143 838.

Abergorlech Forest Garden Brechfa - NRWBrechfa Forest (NRW), LlandoveryThe famous Brechfa Forest is managed by Natural Resources Wales for the benefit of people, wildlife, recreation and timber production.

Ceri Forest - NRWCeri Forest (NRW), NewtownCeri Forest is a coniferous forest which sits astride the Kerry Ridgeway in the uplands of Montgomeryshire.

Newborough ForestNewborough Forest (NRW), NewboroughNewborough Forest is a great place to relax in. With waymarked trails to explore and wildlife to discover. It is a small forest of mainly corsican pine planted on Newborough Warren sand dunes.

Moel Famau Country Park (NRW), MoldMoel Famau Country Park, 2000 acres of important upland landscape, and forms part of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding natural Beauty (AONB).

Clocaenog Forest (NRW), RuthinThis large forest lies to the north of the B5105 on the Hiraethog Moors. It has some of the best and most well managed coniferous plantations in Wales. It has hundreds of hectares of forest over 50 years old.

Nature /Walking TrailsNewport Wetlands Nature Reserve (NRW), Newport CityNewport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB. This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city.

Oxwich Nature Reserve (NRW), SwanseaOxwich supports a huge variety of wildlife and is protected as the Oxwich Bay SSSI and the Gower Ash Woodlands SAC.It has a mosaic of different habitats including dune slacks and limestone cliffs.

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) near summitYr Wyddfa (Snowdon) National Nature Reserve (NRW), LlanberisThe Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) National Nature Reserve covers a massive 1,671 hectares, and it is home to arctic plants that have survived there since the end of the last glaciation approximately 12,000 years ago.

Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve (NRW), LlanberisCwm Idwal was the first officially recognised National Nature Reserve in Wales; it was given this status by the Nature Conservancy Council in 1954. Along with Cadair Idris, Cwm Idwal was a favourite haunt of Charles Darwin.

Coedydd Aber Nature Reserve (NRW), ConwyThe main attraction for visitors to Coedydd Aber has long been the reserve’s spectacular waterfall, but the valley is home to a diverse range of habitats, from mixed woodland to grassland.

Hafren ForestHafren Forest (NRW), LlanidloesChoice of walking trails along the River Severn which flows through Hafren Forest. Trails go to waterfalls and the source of the Severn on Pumlumon. Riverside accessible trail with viewing platform over cascades. Picnic area and toilets.

Morfa DyffrynMorfa Dyffryn Nature Reserve (NRW), Dyffryn ArdudwyThe spectacular Morfa Dyffryn Reserve stretches for about 4.5 miles along the coast of Cardigan Bay from Afon Ysgethin in the south to Afon Artro in the north.

Coed y Brenin Forest Park (NRW), DolgellauCoed y Brenin Forest Park is set in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park near Dolgellau and forms part of the National Forest for Wales. There are many walking trails from various car parks within the Coed y Brenin forest park where you can see waterfalls, ruins of a copper mine and have accessible…

Coed y Brenin CafeCoed y Brenin Visitor Centre | Meetings & Conferences (NRW), DolgellauCoed y Brenin visitor centre near Dolgellau, is the gateway to Coed y Brenin Forest Park. Try world-class mountain bike trails, family walks, café, cycle shop, all-ability play area and an easy access trail.

What's Nearby

  1. Greenmeadow Community Farm has been a working farm for over 250 years. Set in 120 acres,…

    3.45 miles away
  2. The Fourteen Locks Canal centre is situated on the Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire &…

    4.58 miles away
  3. St Illtyd's Church

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

    5.09 miles away
  4. Pontypool Park

    Pontypool Park is locally known as the People’s Park, covering some 64 hectares with…

    5.52 miles away
  1. Torfaen Museum

    The Museum houses a collection of local artefacts with an outstanding display of…

    5.7 miles away
  2. This fortress sprawls over a huge area making it the largest moated medieval castle in…

    6.14 miles away
  3. Newport Castle was built in the 14th Century at a strategic crossing point on the River…

    6.27 miles away
  4. Abertillery & District Museum

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

    6.41 miles away
  5. Explore Newport's history and discover the story of Newport’s geological, archaeological…

    6.49 miles away
  6. Belle Vue Park

    Just outside Newport City Centre, Belle Vue Park has beautiful Victorian features. It was…

    6.54 miles away
  7. Set in a beautiful 90 acre park, Tredegar House is one of the best examples of a 17th…

    6.56 miles away
  8. Visit our Spirit of Wales distillery in Newport in the south of Wales. Our guided tour…

    6.83 miles away
  9. The new Visitor Centre at Llandegfedd Reservoir spans beautiful, rolling landscaped…

    6.98 miles away
  10. Llancaiach Fawr Manor is a splendid Tudor, semi-fortified Manor, refurbished to its 17th…

    7.18 miles away
  11. Step back in time at the National Roman Legion Museum and explore life in a far-flung…

    7.36 miles away
  12. The site of the 50-acre (20.3ha) Roman legionary fortress of Isca, the permanent base of…

    7.37 miles away
Previous Next

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss