Cwm Clydach Country Park
Welcome to a nature-lovers’ paradise!
Also known as Clydach Vale Country Park (Cwm is Welsh for vale or valley), the attraction has two lakes, trails to explore and lots of birds to spot, it’s hard to believe this stunning open space has been created on the site of a former colliery.
The country park is huge.
There’s free car parking at the Cambrian Lakeside Café – more on that later.
Take a circular route around the “bottom” lake, feed the ducks and head to the "top lake" to see the plunge pool (known by local wild swimmers as the Clydach freezer) and waterfall.
Or you can walk past the bottom lake and follow the track up to the “top” lake.
There are benches and fishing platforms located around it – see if you can spot the resident, but illusive, Kingfisher!
Continue a little further to discover a “secret” mini lake and waterfall which appear after heavy rainfall.
From the trails of the country park, you can also make your way up into the surrounding mountains and forestry for a longer walk if you prefer.
Throughout the country park are reminders of its industrial past. The site was once the Cambrian Colliery, which operated from 1872 to 1965, with miners – some children – working in dangerous conditions to help extract up to 700 tonnes of coal a day.
Shockwaves were sent through the Rhondda when an explosion at the mine in 1965 killed 31 miners – the second such explosion in the history of Cambrian Colliery.
A wheel, coal dram and coal shaft lift cage have been placed on the site as a memorial to the men and boys who worked in the mine.
You can also see markers where the deep mine shafts were.
Find out more about our rich mining history at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience.
After exploring, head back to the bottom lake and refuel at the Lakeside Café.
It has an outdoor dining deck that is perfect on a sunny day, as well as plenty of indoor seating. Choose from salads, baguettes, chicken and chips or Welsh curries. It offers a range of coffees and is also licensed.
Where: Clydach Vale, CF40 2XX
Type: Attractions, Parks, Walking and Cycling