One of the best kept secrets in the Valleys, Cwmcarn Forest Drive is just minutes from Newport and not much further from Cardiff, but it brings visitors right into the heart of the beautiful local woodlands. The 7 mile drive is just one of the attractions- there is plenty to keep you busy once you step out of the car. School groups use it as an outdoor education venue and the area is perfect for walking, fishing, or just outdoor play.
Cwmcarn Forest is also home to one of the best mountain biking trails in South Wales- and there is some stiff competition for that title. Mountain bikers come from across the UK to try their skills against the challenging and adrenaline-packed course, although there are biking options for the less adventurous too!
It’s a great place for a picnic. BBQ facilities have been provided for visitor use and there are sculpture gardens and kids play areas nearby, so the whole family will find something to enjoy. Light refreshments are available on site and there is even a designated camp ground for those who want to stay longer.
The best time to do Cwmcarn Forest Drive is probably in late summer or early autumn, just as the leaves are beginning to change colour, or in spring when the new green foliage is just reappearing. It can be spectacular in winter but all roads in this area do get icy so cautious driving is recommended.
Address: Cwmcarn Forest Visitor Centre, Nantcarn Road, Cwmcarn, Crosskeys, Newport, NP11 7FA.
Postcode: NP11 7FA
Web Address: www.cwmcarnforest.co.uk
Opening Hours: 9 – 5pm Saturday – Thursday 9 - 4.30pm Friday For Forest Drive opening times please see website.
Admission Charges: Access to the visitor centre is free, there is a charge for entry to the forest drive £5 per car (for other vehicles please see website).
Accessibility information: The visitor centre is fully DDA compliant; there is also wheelchair access from the visitor centre to and around the lake. One camping pod is accessible and there is a fully DDA compliant wet room on the campsite.