Park at a safe spot on the side of the road. Look for the stile on the
west of the road, by a short length of stone wall, with the red castle sign next to it.
Go over the
stile and go straight ahead through the field following a clear and well trodden
path soon crossing over another stile. Just keep going gently down hill.
At a point where there is another stile and a gate look for a stile on
your left that leads to where the Llygad Llwchwr (Loughor River) emerges
from underground. Go over the stile and walk carefully down a narrow, and sometimes slippery path for about
20-30 metres until you can see the already quite sizeable river flowing from the cave.
Llygad Llwchwr, Welsh for Eye of the Loughor, is the source of the river,
or rather where it first sees the light of day after flowing approximately
four or five miles underground. From here it flows on to become a sizeable
river by the time it reaches the sea.
Return back over the stile and turn left along the track with a stream on the left . Head downhill along this track for about half a mile, crossing a stream at one point, until, just before Llwyn Bedw house, a path bears off to the left into a field. With Carreg Cennen Castle directly ahead, walk down a steep indistinct path to the bottom of the field where it flattens out near the river Cennen. Bear left and cross a footbridge over the river before climbing steeply up the bank on the other side, heading to the left of a house where the path emerges onto a narrow country road. Turn left uphill and carry on up the road for approximately 300 metres then turn right onto a footpath up through fields heading directly towards the farm and Carreg Cennen car park. The car park is the alternative starting point for the walk.
At the farm turn right and head up through the farmyard past the café, unless you want to sample the coffee and cakes. Continue along the farm track uphill towards the castle. The track veers left directly below the castle and continues to rise until reaching a hut on the right where you can pay to go inside the castle if you wish. The 12th century castle, which changed hands between the Welsh and the English numerous times, seems to have been more of a status symbol than a strategic stronghold. In 1403 Owain Glyndwr, with 800 men, laid siege to the castle for several months, and failed. The castle was eventually captured and demolished by a Yorkist force during the Wars of the Roses.
The footpath continues left through a gate opposite the hut - just keep following the red castle walk signs, and turn downhill through Coed y Castell, a native oak woodland that’s protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Turn right at the bottom of the hill and cross the wooden footbridge over the river Cennen. Then follow the track uphill still following the red castle signs.
It is then just a case of following the path uphill, crossing over another footbridge. The path opens out a little and you turn right continuing uphill with views of the castle now on your right hand side. Keep ascending until eventually you come to some grassy fields. Go through the fields keeping close to the fence on your right hand side.
Eventually you will see a farm on your left and you cross over a stile up a footpath that is fenced off on both sides. Continue along here until you meet the farm track where you turn right and follow it back to the road. Turn right at the road and you will soon be back at your car. If you started at the castle follow the road until you come to the point where we started this walk.
Limestone is soluble in mildly acidic water and the water running off the peaty ground of the National Park's hills is just that. Finding its way into small cracks in the rock, it widens them over the years creating a network of open fissures and tubes. When eventually these interconnecting passages reach a certain scale, we think of them as a cave network.
The caves form both along bedding planes, layers of rock, and along vertical fractures present in the rock from the times millions of years ago when South Wales was successively stretched and squeezed as continents collided and split apart. Roof collapse also plays a part in the growth of a cave over many thousands of years.
Water pours down the southern slopes of the familiar old red sandstone hills to the north and on meeting the limestone, disappears underground. Because most of the National Park's rocks slope gently towards the South Wales Coalfield, many caves follow this southward dip but they also extend east-west across it until they emerge in one of the major valleys carved through the limestone.
Please ensure that you are properly equipped for the ground conditions
and weather. The information on this site is given in good faith and was
accurate at the time of writing but you are responsible for your own
safety when out walking. We accept no liability for anyone doing anything stupid!