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Penllergare Valley Woods

by Gary Reading, May 2019

Penllergare Valley Woods is a picturesque landscape hidden away in a steep valley just a stone’s throw, yet a world away, from the M4 in north Swansea. 

With its lakes and waterfalls, terraces, panoramic views, and exotic trees and shrubs, this forgotten Victorian paradise is being slowly restored and brought back to life by The Penllergare Trust. 

The car park and visitor centre are located just off J47 of the M4. Visitors can enjoy a drink at our Woodland Coffee Shop, with views from the terrace over our Woodland Garden and towards the Upper Lake. From here, visitors can enjoy over 12km of walks, including a stroll along the old Carriage Drive, and also down into the Llan valley where the Dillwyn Llewlyn family, who lived on the estate in the 19th century, created the Upper Lake and the stunning man made waterfall. Paths and tracks lead on down alongside the afon Llan as it meanders its way to Fforestfach. 

The woods are teeming with wildlife; there are kingfishers on the river, and buzzards and red kites are also frequent visitors. You might also see bats, foxes, and otters if you are lucky. The woods are known for their rhododendrons – the legacy of the ‘plant hunting’ Dillwyn Llewlyn family. These, along with drifts of wild daffodils and bluebells, are a popular sight in spring.

Our Woodland Coffee Shop is open all year round thanks to our team of volunteers, and offers our own unique brand of Penllergare Coffee, served barista-style however you like it. You can also end your walk with a luxury hot-chocolate and a slice of homemade cake, or a hot panini.

All the proceeds from the Coffee Shop and car park go towards helping us to continue our restoration and maintenance of Penllergare. We are a small charity and receive no funding from the council or government to help us to keep Penllergare Valley Woods accessible to our visitors and the local community. We rely on grants and donations and our wonderful team of volunteers.