This circular walk visits both Tinkinswood and St Lythans Burial Chambers, in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales and gives stunning views across the Ely Valley before returning to its start in the village of St Nicholas.
Before you start
Distance: 9.2km (5 ¾ miles)
Time: 3 ½ hours
Map: OS Explorer 151
Start/Parking: St Nicholas is on the A48 between Cardiff and Cowbridge. Park near the church on the north side of the village (grid reference ST 090743).
Cadw sites: Tinkinswood Burial Chamber and St Lythans Burial Chamber — unstaffed sites, open 10am–4pm
Public transport: X2 Cardiff – Bridgend – Porthcawl bus. Visit http://www.traveline-cymru.info for service information.
Refreshments: Tearoom at Dyffryn Gardens. Open 1 March–31 October: 10am–6pm; 1 November–28 February: 10am–4pm
(1) Walk out to the A48 and turn left. After a short distance, turn right into the lane signposted Dyffryn. Walk for 150m (165 yards) to a stile on the right that leads to the well-marked Millennium Heritage Trail (MHT). Follow the trail south across stiles until the Tinkinswood Burial Chamber appears on your right.
(2) Pass through the kissing gate to visit the burial chamber and be sure to listen to the new audiopost. On leaving the site, cross two stiles nearby to rejoin the MHT. Continue south across further stiles until you reach a lane. Turn left, leaving the MHT, and follow the lane. After passing a lane on the left, continue 200m (220 yards) to a kissing gate on the right that leads to St Lythans Burial Chamber.
(3) After visiting the site, which also has a new audiopost, retrace your steps to the intersecting lane and turn right. The lane passes the entrance to Dyffryn Gardens, where a short detour will allow you to get refreshments or explore the fine nineteenth century gardens (charge for garden admission). About 150m (165yards) beyond there is a stile on the right.
(4) Cross the stile and bear half-left uphill to a gate behind some trees. Continue through fields and across stiles with the hedge on your right. The path eventually veers away from the hedge and after crossing a stile descends through a small copse (liable to be wet underfoot in rainy weather) to a well-marked junction of paths.
(5) Cross the stile following the path to ‘The Downs’. Continue through fields and across stiles until, after passing farm buildings on the left, you reach the small common known as The Downs. Turn left on a mown track, pass through trees and turn left on a path to reach a road lined with houses.
(6) Take a narrow road between houses to a footbridge over the A48. Cross the A48 and continue along the verge until you reach a few steps on your right leading to a kissing gate. Follow a well-marked path across several stiles to a quiet lane at Haelfaes Farm.
(7) Turn right and follow the lane downhill about 150m (165 yards) to a stile on the left. Cross the stile, and follow the path through a stand of trees and through several fields to reach a track climbing up from the Ely Valley. Turn left and follow the track back to St Nicholas.
You can downloand a copy of this walk here, and take it with you on your walk.
Be sure that you have stout footwear and suitable clothing.
Please follow the Countryside Code: www.countrysidecodewales.org.uk