Alfred Russel Wallace Trail
Please note these directions are suitable for those travelling by car.
For the Alfred Russel Wallace Trail, located in the Vale of Neath, leave the M4 at Junction 43 and follow the A465 to your destination
1. Bryncoch Farm & 2. Clydach River
Leave the A465 at Neath and follow signs for Bryncoch. Park at the Dyffryn Arms Pub and follow the footpath. On the left hand side of the path is Bryncoch Farm. Please note that this is private property so please stick to the footpath. Follow the footpath into the trees for a walk along the River Clydach. On your return why not stop off for refreshments at the Dyffryn Arms.
It is possible to walk to point 14 (Drymmau Mountain) from this location by walking down the beautiful Dyffryn Clydach Valley. Follow the footpath up to Grange Farm and then onwards through Dyffryn Woods until you reach Drymma Mountain. This is approximately 2.5km and you should use OS Map Explorer 165 to guide your way.
3. Crynant Beer Shop
Leave the A465 at Aberdulais and follow signs for Cryant. Although the beer shop is no longer a pub, the building still stands and is located next to the two chapels on Main Road, it is now a private residence.
To visit point 13 (Pontneddfechan) follow the road on through Seven Sisters, Onllwyn and Banwen and follow the A4109 to the waterfall centre at Pontneddfechan.
4. Neath Abbey Iron Works
Leave the A465 at Neath and follow signs for Neath Abbey. After the Tesco roundabout you will come across two mini roundabouts, turn left towards Neath Abbey and Neath Abbey Industrial Estate. Follow the signs for Neath Abbey for parking. Then walk back to the main road. The remains of Neath Abbey Iron Works are located behind the cottages on the main road, walk up Longford Road to access the rights of way. Many other features of the former iron works can be seen along the rights of way near here. Use OS Map Explorer 165 to guide your way
It is possible to see a section of Neath Canal (point 8) at the Neath Abbey ruins near to this location, just follow signs for Neath Abbey ruins.
5. Lodgings at New Street, Neath
Leave the A465 at Neath and turn right at the roundabout for Neath Town Centre, stay in the left hand lane and turn off the fly over to park in Milland Road Car Park (parking charge £2 per day).
From Milland Road Car Park walk over the railway bridge (a lift is available) and head towards the level crossing next to the railway station. Walk down Green Street, alongside Neath Market, and turn left onto New Street.
There are plenty of café’s, pubs and shops to stop in while you are in Neath so take advantage of this point of the tour to stop for a quick shop and a bite to eat.
6. Vale of Neath Railway and Melin Court Waterfall
To get to Melin Court Waterfall leave the A465 at Resolven following brown signs to Melin Court Waterfall. On arrival park in the car park and cross the road to access the waterfalls. It is a level 10 to 15 minute walk to the waterfall.
It is also possible to see a section of Neath Canal (point 8) just off Resolven roundabout just follow the canal boat signs.
7. Llantwit Cottage
Leave the A465 at Neath and follow the rugby ball signs to Gnoll Rugby Ground, continue forward past the rugby ground and follow the bend in the road towards Tonna.
This cottage is located in the row on the left hand side just opposite the junction with Digby Road; please note that this is a private residence.
8. Neath and Tennant Canals
There are several entrances to the Neath Canal and Tennant Canal throughout the Vale of Neath. The most convenient ones for this tour are as follows;
Neath Town Centre: located between Morrisons and B&Q in Neath Town Centre, follow instructions for point 5 (New Street) and walk past the Morrisons store. Alternatively follow the canal boat symbol from the Neath junction of the A465.
Resolven: Conveniently located on your way to point 6(Melin Court Waterfall). At Resolven roundabout follow the canal boat symbol.
Neath Abbey: Conveniently located close to point 4 (Neath Abbey Iron Works), leave the A465 at Neath and follow signs for Neath Abbey Ruins, the canal is located next to the ruins.
9. Neath Town Hall
Follow directions for point 5 (New Street). On New Street turn right after NRG Café where you will find Neath Town Hall and the Mechanic's Institute.
10. Cwmgwrach Iron Works
Leave the A465 at the second roundabout, signposted Cwmgwrach. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto High Street. Turn left onto Heol-Wenallt and then turn right to stay on Heol-Wennallt. You can park at the end of the road. The Iron Works is located behind Wenallt Farm.
11. Mechanic’s Institute
Follow directions for point 5 (New Street). On New Street turn left after NRG Café where you will find Neath Town Hall and the Mechanic's Institute.
12. Crymlyn Burrows
Leave the M4 at Junction 42. Exit onto A483 heading towards Swansea. At the roundabout take the fourth exit onto the B4290. Stay on the B4290 for one mile. Pant Y Sais car park is located on your right.
Exit the A465 onto the A4109 signposted Onllwyn. At the lights turn right on to the B4242/ High Street Following Signs for the Waterfalls Information Centre. Turn left to continue on the B4242/ Pontneddfechan Road, continue for one mile.
There is a small parking area located near the public toilets in addition to on street parking. The entrance to the waterfalls walk in located behind the Angel Inn pub, which is a good place to stop for refreshments before and after your walk.
The walk to Sgwd Gwladys takes around one and a half hours to complete (up to the waterfall and back) and is a distance of approximately 1.2 miles.
14. Drymmau Mountain
This point of the trail can be reached by following the directions for Point 1 or 2.
Alternatively you can follow the directions for point 4. Using Longford Road to access the rights of way. This walk is approximately 3km and you should use OS Map Explorer 165 to guide your way up to Drymmau Mountain.
15. Cadoxton Church
Leave the A465 at Neath or alternatively Aberdulais and follow signs for Cadoxton. The church is located directly on Main Road, Cadoxton (A4230), just behind the Church there is a small parking area.
If you are peckish there are many places to stop for refreshments or a bite to eat in Cadoxton, one of them includes the Crown and Sceptre which offers good quality food and drink.
You could combine your visit with a stop at the Tourist Information Centre located in Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall.
16. St Illtyd’s Church
The best place to view the church is from Neath Canal. Access the canal from Neath Town Centre by leaving the A465 at Neath. Follow the canal boat symbol on the brown road signage for the most convenient car park for the canal (located just past the shopmobility cabin on Prince of Wales Drive).
At the car park there is a map showing how to access the canal. Cross the road towards Castle Surgery, just after the surgery there is a path onto the canal, follow the canal for 5 to 10 minutes (heading away from Neath town centre) and you will pass St Illtyd’s Church on the right hand side.
At Neath Town Centre it is also possible to visit points 5, 8, 9 and 11 of the tour, some of these will be visible on the map in the car park.
For public transport directions visit Traveline Cymru