How to Do the Twmbarlwm Walk, South Wales
How to Do the Twmbarlwm Walk, South Wales

How to Do the Twmbarlwm Walk, South Wales

Twmbarlwm is a large hill peaking at 419 metres and is located just outside of Risca in South Wales. It’s a relatively quick and challenging walk depending on the route you take and your starting point. On a clear, day you’ll get amazing views over Cwmbran, Newport and Cardiff, and as far as the west coast of England. Find out how to do the Twmbarlwm walk starting from Risca in this guide.

Table of contents

How long does it take to climb Twmbarlwm

I did the Twmbarlwm walk starting from Risca train station. The walk up and back down was around 8 km an took us roughly 2.5 hours.

Twmbarlwm walk Risca route

The route took us through Risca town centre, a steep and long country lane and steep plains. We climbed Twmbarlwm on a sunny spring day and the views over the Ebbw Valley and to the west coast of England were awesome.

Starting from the train station, exit and head up Park Road to the main road running through the middle of Risca. Once you get to the main road turn right. Follow the main road until you can turn right onto Railway Street. Do that and head up Railway Street until you come to the footbridge.

Take the footbridge to cross the railway and then walk along Navigation Road. You’ll get to a crossroads with Church Road. Cross the crossroads to continue along Navigation Road. Keep following Navigation Road parallel to the canal.

A sign post saying 'Twmbarlwm'.

After a short while Navigation Road will cross the canal. But just before this, you’ll come to Temperance Hill. This is a narrow lane that also run parallel to the canal. Take Temperance Hill and continue until it brings you to a main road past the end of the canal.

Cross the main road and head up Darran Road. Darran Road takes you away from Risca and up into nature. Things get exciting from here but also more challenging. Darran Road starts out as a flat house-lined road, but quickly tuns into a steep country lane.

Now you’ll follow Darran Road for a while. This section of the Twmbarlwm walk might be tough for some people as it’s a long and continuous incline. But, it’s also a good way to boost your fitness. There were horses in the fields along Darran Road when we climbed Twmbarlwm. A couple of them were really keen to say hello.

Lilly petting a horse on the Twmbarlwm walk.

Darran Road will eventually bring you to an isolated house. You don’t want to go this far though. A few metres before the road turns towards the house, there’s a narrow trail to the right that continues uphill. Get on this trail and go all the way up to Cwmcarn Forest Drive.

This trail is stony and steep, so dig your feet in and keep the legs moving. Don’t forget to look back though, as the views here over the other side of the valley are class. This is especially true once you get close to the top.

Alan at the top of Darran Road on the way up Twmbarlwm.

Once this trial meets Cwmcarn Forest Drive, there will be a gate. Don’t go through the gate as you don’t actually want to get on to Cwmcarn Forest Drive. Instead, head right and the trail widens up and becomes grassy. This is the last uphill push to the top of Twmbarlwm, but it gets even steeper. 

Lilly walking up the last steep section of the Twmbarlwm walk.

Once you’re over this last push, things flatten out and the views really open up. On a sunny day you can see for miles in all directions. You’ll see the trig point marking the peak just ahead. Beyond that, you’ll see a mound. This mound may look like the real top of Twmbarlwm, but it’s actually part of the remnants of an iron age fort.

Alan stood on the iron age fort remains atop Twmbarlwm.

So that’s the Twmbarlwm walk from Risca. From here you have a couple of options. You can head back down the way you came. You can continue along the trail towards Mynydd Maen and Pontypool. Or you can head down on another trial to Cwmcarn.

View towards towards Mynydd Maen from Twmbarlwm.

Other routes to do the Twmbarlwm walk

Another and popular route to do the Twmbarlwm walk is via Cwmcarn Forest. Here’s a link to a guide for the Cwmcarn Forest route.

Where do you park to walk up Twmbarlwm

For the Risca route, you can park in Risca town or at the start of Darran Road. Your best bet is to head to one of the car parks in Risca town.

More walking and hiking guides for Wales

There are more walking and hiking guides for Wales on the A World Over blog. You can head to them using the links below.

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