NEEDING some exercise and fresh air after the festive season? 

A winter walk could help! So, wrap up warm and take a winter walk around one of these fabulous Gwent destinations…

Newport Wetlands

South Wales Argus: Newport Wetlands

Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve is one of the best sites in Wales to view bird life and take in nature. It’s part of the Gwent Levels with a range of different habitats including wet grassland, reedbeds, saltmarsh, and saline lagoons.

Even in winter there’s plenty to see – with flocks of wigeon, teal, dunlin, and lapwing common in these colder months. The open skies may offer a glimpse of hunting birds including peregrine, merlin, and marsh harriers.

There are numerous walking trails at Newport Wetlands – with all paths around the Uskmouth reedbeds wheelchair accessible and benches approximately every 200 metres. Dogs and cyclists are only welcome on certain routes (bar registered guide dogs which are welcome all over the Wetlands).

The nature reserve is open from midday to 11.30pm while the car park (which is £4 or free for RSPB members) is open from 9am to 5pm.

Tredegar House

South Wales Argus: Tredegar House

The 90 acres of gardens and parkland at Tredegar House are a spectacular selection for a stroll – forever changing with the seasons. In winter visitors can expect frost and glistening lawns near the picturesque mansion house.

The parkland is free and includes an ornamental lake, woodland, and open space to explore. Dogs are welcome (except inside the mansion house which only allows assistance dogs). There is a café on site, along with toilets which are open between 10am and 4pm.

Tredegar House is a National Trust site and has a car park which is open from 9am to 5pm, with parking fees helping fund conservation work at the historical site. Parking is £1 for one hour, £2 for four hours, or £5 for all day. People are not allowed to park here overnight.

Pontypool Park

South Wales Argus: Pontypool Park

Pontypool Park covers around 64 hectares and welcomes dogs, providing that they’re kept under control and cleaned up after. Cyclists are not allowed.

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. There’s also the Nant-y-Gollen ponds and a play area for little ones.

It’s free to visit Pontypool Park which has some level access, toilets, and parking facilities (including disabled parking).

Cwmbran Boating Lake

South Wales Argus: Cwmbran Boating Lake

Cwmbran Boating Lake is a short walk from Cwmbran town centre – it’s surrounded by woodland and grassy area and is free to visit.

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.

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.

Clytha Park Estate

South Wales Argus: Clytha Estate

Clytha Park Estate offers a well signposted circular route of around three miles and offers plenty of fine views and points of interest. This includes the park and gardens, Clytha House, and Clytha Castle folly  which was build by William Jones of Clytha House as a memorial to his “most excellent” wife in the 1790s.

There is a National Trust car park, but no public toilets on the site. There are seven stiles with paths across farmland and woodland and a gentle ascent to Clytha Castle. Note that Clytha House is leased to the Landmark Trust and rented out for holidays so is not generally open to the public.

 Monmouth to Redbrook Circular Walk

South Wales Argus: Offa's Dyke

A somewhat more challenging walk, the Monmouth to Redbrook circular walk is 6.3 miles – with three pubs included along the route:

  • The Queen’s Head, Monmouth;
  • The Bell Inn, Redbrook;
  • The Boat Inn, Penallt.

This walk starts in Monmouth, heading up to the Kymin and towards the Brecon Beacons. Then follow the Offa’s Dyke Path to Redbrook before a riverside walk back along the Wye Valley walk to Monmouth.

This walk isn’t for the faint-hearted, taking approximately three or four hours to complete. There are some slopes and rough paths at places.

Parc Penallta

South Wales Argus: Parc Penallta

Parc Penallta is to the western outskirts of Ystrad Mynach, in Hengoed, with plenty to offer – including the large figurative earth sculpture of a horse (known as Sultan the pit pony). Visitors can also climb to the High Point Observatory to enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of the South Wales valleys.

Open all year and free to visit, Parc Penallta has three waymarked walking trails which start from the main car park (off Penalltau Road) which vary in length and can be found in the Parc Penallta leaflet.

Find out more online at

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.

Find out more about what’s on offer at Parc Bryn Bach at