Coed y Cerrig National Nature Reserve

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When you head for Coed y Cerrig in the Brecon Beacons National Park, you’re also headed for the Black Mountains.

They sound like a place you’d have to pass through along a quest, where sheer cliffs fall away and goblins lurk in dark caves around every corner.

Fantasy comes to life

Whether you head over or under the mountains is up to the ring-bearer… sorry, you to decide.

Either way, the only thing waiting for you at Coed y Cerrig is the peace that nature inevitably brings.

Around every corner isn’t goblins, but some of the most diverse and beautiful natural life in the UK.

There isn’t actually a path under the mountains – the Alder Tree Boardwalk comes pretty close at times.

The walkway stretches along the valley floor, steep hillsides rise above with trees leaning over, sheltering you in the arms of nature.

Mighty oaks and interweaving alders

Alders and willow trees dominate the valley floor where the ground is very wet all year round, but the boardwalk makes it a wheelchair-friendly route.

And depending on the season, the nutrient-rich soil offers a lively habitat for wildflowers.

Soft purples, startling blues, and vibrant greens fill every inch around you, only interrupted by flashes of swooping birds and darting butterflies.

It’s a good job the trail has plenty of benches along the way because you’ll need a while to simply sit and absorb the overwhelming beauty surrounding you.

Finding stillness in the outdoors

The Woodland Climb route is a little harder than the Alder Tree Boardwalk, but definitely worth the extra effort.

You’ll head into the higher woodlands of Coed y Cerrig where the wildlife changes slightly.

The drier hillside soils favour birch and hazel, then higher up still you’ll be able to spot beech and oak.

Every different area of the nature reserve supports its own diverse and wonderful natural life.

Habitats interweave and sustain one another in hidden networks below and above ground.

You come to Coed y Cerrig for the beauty of the place.

No matter how many times you return, that feeling of bliss you find along the trails returns with you, making every adventure just as unique as the last.

How to get here 

You won't have to quest to find this place but here are some handy directions for you:

From the A465 towards Hereford, turn left into the village of Llanfihangel Crucorney.

When you've driven for half a mile, take the left turn towards Llanthony. 

After just over a mile, take the left fork and follow the nature reserve signs. 

You'll find the car park on your right after 1¼ miles.

Cwm-coed-y-Cerrig Farm,
Cwm Road,
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Free parking