WONDERING where to go for a wander before winter arrives?

There is an abundance of beautiful areas in Newport and surrounding areas for people to explore and take in the many colours of autumn.

Across Newport, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, and Blaenau Gwent there are many places to explore - here we look at some wonderful walks (with autumnal photos of the destinations shared by our talented camera club members)...


Tredegar House

South Wales Argus: Tredegar HousePerhaps an obvious choice, but there’s a reason that Tredegar House is Newport’s top attraction on TripAdvisor.

Tredegar House was home to the Morgan family for centuries and surrounding the impressive mansion is 90 acres of gardens and parkland to explore and take in nature.

South Wales Argus: Tredegar HouseThe parkland has plenty of trees shedding their leaves as winter approaches – including redwoods and the last remaining of seven oak trees.

Plus, the lake offers a one-mile circular walk which is mostly flat (although includes gravel paths which can be challenging for wheelchair users) and is dog and child friendly.

Allt-yr-yn Nature Reserve

South Wales Argus: Allt-yr-Yn Nature ReserveAllt-yr-yn Nature Reserve is another great destination for walkers with a whole host of woodland to be explored, including ancient woodland dating back to the 1600s.

Trees which can be found here include birch, cherry, oak, hazel, hawthorn, horse chestnut and sycamore offering a variety of colours throughout the year.

South Wales Argus: Allt-yr-Yn Nature ReserveThe Newport-based nature reserve is also home to three ponds and a five-ace ancient meadow suitable for roaming.

The paths here can be uneven and muddy so caution is advised (along with sensible footwear – although this should be obvious to walkers).

Fourteen Locks

South Wales Argus: Fourteen LocksFourteen Locks, in Rogerstone, is just one of the highlights of the Monmouthshire Brecon Canal which is a fabulous walking destination.

The Fourteen Locks Canal Centre offers a starting (or finishing) point for walkers with Daford Tea Rooms giving people the chance to enjoy a cuppa (between 10am and 4pm) with hot food served up until 3pm.

South Wales Argus: Fourteen LocksPeople can walk from this central point along the canal enjoying the trees, plants, and other wildlife which is abundant at Fourteen Locks.

Indeed, any stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal makes for a lovely walk to connect with nature. There is also plenty of parking at Fourteen Locks for those travelling there for a stroll.


Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve

South Wales Argus: Garn LakesGarn Lakes, in Blaenavon, is a beautiful haven  for wildlife – the nature reserve includes a whopping 40 hectares to wander which includes two lakes and plenty of grassland.

Along with various walking routes there’s plenty of places for a picnic (if you want to brave the autumnal chill).

South Wales Argus: Garn LakesPlus, as well as the rich and diverse wildlife based here there’s a lot of historic sites giving insight into the industrial past of the area.

Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve has gentle walking routes, plus “energetic” ones suitable for the more seasoned walkers. Find out more at visitblaenavon.co.uk/en/walk-and-explore

Pontypool Park

South Wales Argus: Pontypool ParkPontypool Park, which covers around 64 hectares, is another wonderful place for a stroll – dogs are welcome but must be kept under control and cleaned up after.

The park was originally laid out as a private estate around 1703 and contains many historic areas including Shell Grotto, Ice Houses, the Italian Gardens, and Tramway Tunnel.

South Wales Argus: Pontypool ParkThe Nant-y-Gollen ponds can also be found at Pontypool Park – they’re surrounded by sweet chestnut trees which makes for a sea of golden leaves in the autumn months.

There are various other trees located at Pontypool Park and - for those with little ones – there’s also a play area suitable for dry days.

Cwmbran Boating Lake

South Wales Argus: Cwmbran Boating LakeCwmbran Boating Lake is a short walk from Cwmbran town centre – it’s surrounded by woodland and grassy areas making it ideal for an autumn walk.

Following a circular route of Cwmbran Park and Boating Lake is around 3.4 miles and classed as an easy walk, which is fairly flat and takes an average of one hour and 13 minutes to complete.

South Wales Argus: Cwmbran Boating Lake

Dogs are welcome but must be kept under control and on a lead, and the route is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

There is also free parking, a park, café and toilets making it an ideal destination for those travelling with little hikers.


Cwmcarn Forest

South Wales Argus: Cwmcarn ForestCwmcarn Forest offers the chance to enjoy a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous walk, with walks ranging from less than a mile to nine miles.

People can meander through the woodland and valley, take a breather by the lake, check out the new adventure playground, or take on the climb up Twmbarlwm.

South Wales Argus: Cwmcarn ForestThere’s the Cwmcarn wildlife explorer challenge which includes a 1.2-mile circular walk hunting for 21 special posts. An explorer pack and certificate can be bought from the visitor centre reception.

There’s a car park which is £1 for two hours or £3 for all day – or for those fancying an autumnal drive there’s Cwmcarn Forest Drive which is £8 per car. More details on that are here.

Sirhowy Valley Country Park

South Wales Argus: Sirhowy ValleySirhowy Valley incorporates Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent – the country park runs along the western side of the Sirhowy Valley between the Full Moon roundabout at Crosskeys and Gelligroes. 

There’s no shortage of woodland to explore here with two nature reserves Graig Goch and Flatwood Meadows also based here.

South Wales Argus: Sirhowy ValleyWithin Sirhowy Valley Country Park are three short self-led walks: the river walk, the meadows trail, and the woodland trail.

For those after more of a challenge there’s a 27 mile Sirhowy Valley walk, or a 12 mile raven walk which both pass through the park.

Parc Penallta

South Wales Argus: Parc PenalltaParc Penallta, in Hengoed, is well known for Sultan the pit pony (a large figurative earth sculpture of a horse) but it has plenty more to offer too.

People can climb to the High Point Observatory to enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of the South Wales valleys.

South Wales Argus: Parc PenalltaThere’s also plenty of wildlife to be found here all year round – with flocks of goldfinch feeding here in the autumn, plus green woodpecker and bullfinch any time of the year.

It’s free to visit Parc Penallta throughout the year, with car parking available, and various different walking trails to explore. Find out more here.


The Wye Valley

South Wales Argus: Sirhowy ValleyThe Wye Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) so it’s no surprise that the protected site has earned a spot on this list.

The Wye Valley Walk includes 136 miles, which are divided into 17 stages, so there’s no shortage of things to see and one could visit time and time again to explore various routes.

South Wales Argus: Sirhowy ValleyAlong with an array of natural beauty – including the River Wye – and wildlife for walkers to enjoy the Wye Valley is home to Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, and more.

The Wye Valley changes with the seasons, with the ancient woods of the lower Wye below Symonds Yat painting a picture filled with autumn colours.

People can find out more and plan using wyevalleywalk.org

Magor Marsh

South Wales Argus: Magor MarshMagor Marsh is one of the last remaining pieces of natural fenland that once covered the Gwent Levels – it’s free to visit all year round.

As the seasons change so does the landscape – with autumn presenting an opportunity to potentially see the bright colours of the elusive kingfishers.

South Wales Argus: Magor MarshThe site includes 36 hectares to explore – with a small car park nearby (next to the Trust’s Derek Upton Centre).

The ground can be uneven, with steps and boggy areas, but the reserve is flat with a path and boardwalk for wheelchair users. Dogs – bar assistance or guide dogs – are not allowed at Magor Marsh due to sensitive wildlife.

Blaenau Gwent:

Parc Bryn Bach

South Wales Argus: Parc Bryn Bach

Parc Bryn Bach, in Tredegar, is a nature reserve with 340 acres of grass and woodland – including a 36-acre lake – where there is plenty to see and do.

Along with many outdoor activities on offer here there are three nature trails for people to enjoy:

  • The wildflower trail which is an easy trail of around 0.3km – this family-friendly route takes around 20 minutes to complete while discovering local wildlife.
  • The woodland trail which is around 0.6km and takes around 40 minutes to complete.
  • The explorer route which is around two kilometres long and takes around an hour to complete – it’s suitable for people aged 14 and over.

South Wales Argus: Parc Bryn BachFind out more about what’s on offer at Parc Bryn Bach at parcbrynbach.co.uk

Parc Nant-y-Waun

South Wales Argus: Parc Nant-y-WaunParc Nant-y-Waun in Brynmawr is another beautiful destination to explore throughout the year – with more than three hectares of new woodland created here.

The trees planted are native and include sessile oak, rowan, downy birch, hazel and holly.

South Wales Argus: Parc Nant-y-WaunParc Nant-y-Waun also boasts three ponds with the largest (machine pond) boasting a level pathway with wheelchair friendly links to Warwick Road. There’s also a small car park at the southern end of the lake with a wheelchair friendly link to the pond.

Machine pond flows into the smaller mustard pond, which is a “haven for wildlife” and there’s also the horsetail pond.