Side Street Style: The Garth Mountain - Family Friendly Hikes in Wales

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

12/01/2020

The Garth Mountain - Family Friendly Hikes in Wales


The Garth


Have you ever heard of the book (later turned into a film) The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain? Well the author Christopher Monger was a Taff's Well native and many have said that the The Garth which rises above Taffs Well was the inspiration for the book. Most geologists classify a mountain as a landform that rises at least 1000 feet and The Garth does just that, coming in at 1,007 ft thanks to the tumuli (Bronze Age burial sites) at the summit which pushes The Garth just over the 1000ft criteria, which makes The Garth one of, it not, the smallest mountain in Wales and perfect for a family hike.

I've taken my boys up a few times now and I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of the family-friendly hikes we get up to in and around South Wales and a walk-up The Garth offers some amazing views across Cardiff, The Valleys and all the way to the Severn Bridge.

There are a few different ways to walk up The Garth, although our favourite is to start in the village of Gwaelod-y-Garth, which has a lovely pub you can visit on the way back down. Talking of the pub, the Gwaelod Y Garth Inn, you can use that are you start point as you head up the small winding road right next to the pub, walking straight up and veering to the left. You follow this path over a cattle grid and past some farmers fields, which usually have a few ponies and horses grazing.


The Garth


It will take you around 20-minute slow walk from the pub up the base of the mountain trail, which is along the path, past the fields and you will see a small car park and a path heading up the mountain. Do wear sensible shoes as the path can be narrow in parts as well as a few rocks you need to scramble up and there are some steep sides so as always supervise young children. My 4yr old has been up at least 3 times so it's perfect for younger kids although there are of course some of the normal dangers that come with a walk like this so just keep to common sense.

The first path up as I said can be steep in parts although my boys love the ruggedness of it, you also come to a small stream which is fresh running water right off the mountain (we have tried it a few times), last time we got stuck behind some sheep at this point. Shortly after the stream, you come to a flat platform although this is not the summit and you will need to scramble up a rather steep hill, which my kids find rather entertaining. Once at the top you then have another more gradual gradient up towards the plateau and once you reach that you will see the summit and trig point in the distance.


family friendly hike


If you are into Geocaching there are a few geo's on the Garth and in the immediate area which can be an extra incentive for kids. What's nice about The Garth is that there are always people walking so it doesn't feel isolated or quiet and on warm sunny days you will always find people picnicking near the Trig point along with people exploring the area on their bikes and horseback.

I would like to point out that it is often 2-3 degrees colder, as well as windy on the top so do take extra layers with you and the weather can also change pretty quickly. The last time we went up it was a beautiful sunny day but just before the trig point a huge rain cloud descended and we got soaked so packing a waterproof jacket, fleece and umbrella is never a bad idea, along with plenty of water of course.

family hikes Wales

Trig point


The Garth is only around a 15min drive from the Cardiff, the Capital of Wales so this is great if your visiting the area over a weekend and are looking for a fun and enjoyable walk with the kids. I would say set around 2-3hrs to do this hike as if you have small children you need to allow for a slower pace.

Make sure you take plenty of snacks, water and a few extra layers and get outdoors and treat yourself to a pint in the village on the way back, the perfect way to spend a Sunday if you ask me.


family hike

The Garth mountain

If your thinking about doing this trail then do also check out my vlog from our last visit up The Garth


13 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous view, lovely photos! I would love to do more walks like this, it is very flat where I live but if we visit Wales I will have to bare this in mind.

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    1. Ooh yes Wales is great for mountain walks - plenty around this way

      Laura x

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  2. There's something amazing about getting outdoors isn't there? It lifts the spirits and makes it feel like you've accomplished something that day. I always feel a bit smug whenever I've been on a long walk. If I'm ever in the Cardiff area, I'm remember the Garth for a great walking place - thanks for the heads up Laura! x

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    1. It really does lift the spirits and yes if you come to Cardiff this is a great hill walk - only 15mins car drive from the city

      Laura x

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  3. Oh what a spectacular view that is!! This sounds like such an interesting place to visit, we'll have to keep it in mind next time we're in Wales xx

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  4. We are hoping to visit Wales again this year and Garth Mountain seems like a nice achieveable hike with the kids

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    1. Ooh yes do - it only takes about 2hrs up and down and is great for kids

      Laura x

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  5. Wow those views. I love getting outside for an adventure.

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    1. Me too - always feel better after some time spent outdoors

      Laura x

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  6. Looks like such a gorgeous place to hike and spend time. We have never been to Wales, but it's on our list of places to visit one day

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    1. Ooh yes do - Wales has some amazing hikes and places to explore

      Laura x

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  7. We are lucky enough to live in Wales and get to enjoy so many of the wonderful hikes that this country has to offer. The Garth Mountain walk is just one of them. If you want a great hiking experience, Wales will not disappoint!

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Lovely comments

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