Woodlands, burial chambers & a hill that is a mountain
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Garth Mountain, or Mynydd y Garth, is a well loved peak lying between the villages of Pentyrch and Gwaelod y Garth just on the outskirts of Cardiff. The short but steep climb rewards you panoramic views of Cardiff, the whole of the south east Wales coastline from the Severn bridges to beyond Port Talbot, the valleys to the north – and as far as Pen y Fan, in the Brecon Beacons.
As mountains go it's hardly the biggest - most people call it Garth Hill or just ‘the Garth’. Yet at 1007 feet (307m) it does qualify as a mountain by the usual UK definition. This is a short walk but with some steep but accessible sections - ideal to stretch your legs after the Christmas break and makes an ideal first mountain. We will be taking our time on the climbs so don't worry about speed!
Starting out from Taffs Well we will pass through a hillside village before passing through picturesque mixed woodland before winding our way slowly to the top of the Garth. We will enjoy the view, try and spot some local landmarks and take in the fresh air. We will then explore the ancient monuments and burial chambers that litter the top. We will descend down and return exploring some woodlands and nature reserves, looking out for remnants of old industries.
What to bring
The route can be muddy after rainfall and some can be dusty and slippery in dry weather. Either way, it's best to have the right footwear. Although not the highest peak it is exposed and it can be cold and windy at the top so please ensure you have warm laters and waterproofs.
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Food & drink
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch
Water: bring at least 1.5 litres