I’ve written before on Cardiff Mummy Says about how much we love Coed y Wenallt during bluebell season. The end of April and the start of May sees a beautiful haze of the purpley-blue flowers carpeting the ancient woodland, and every year we take a family trip to visit. It really is quite breathtaking – and a great place for photos.
We headed there today, when the early afternoon sunshine was streaming through the trees, lighting up the flowers in all their glory.
Coed y Wenallt, or the Wenallt as everyone local seems to call it, sits at the top of Thornhill Road, the big hill on the way to Caerphilly Mountain. When you get to the top of the hill, opposite The Traveller’s Rest pub, you’ll see an immediate small left turn onto a country lane. Take the turning and head down the lane for about a mile.
We tend to ignore the first car park and head for the second, which is the perfect place from which to explore the woods. It only holds about a dozen cars, so at busy times people park along the lane itself.
Both car parks are free. As far as I know, there are no toilets, which is always a consideration when out with young children.
You can also access the 44-hectare woods through Rhiwbina Hill, but I always travel the other way.
Parts of the woodland are just about accessible for buggies, but if you want to go further, you’ll be better with a baby carrier or sling. Some of the pathways are quite hilly and there’s lots of little streams to cross.
We were there for around two hours today, but you could easily stay for much longer. If you fancy a picnic, there are a couple of picnic tables next to the car park. If it’s a clear day, then we really recommend crossing the road from the car park and looking over the fields for the most stunning views across the whole of Cardiff.
The most popular place for photos seems to be directly in front of the car park, where two huge areas of bluebells catch the light perfectly. We saw loads of families there today with cameras and kids posing among the flowers (us included!).
We also love to take the path to the left and follow a circular route around the woods. There’s a wonderful hollow tree which I take photos of my children in every year, and other areas of beautiful bluebells, fallen trees to climb on, half-built wooden dens, and little streams to cross. The woodland was really dry when we were there today, so need for welly boots… although I think my toddler would have liked splashing in those little streams if we had brought them.
The bluebells will only be there for another couple of weeks, so be quick if you are planning a trip. I’m sure I don’t need to say it, but please look after the flowers and don’t stand on them or pick them. This really is a special beauty spot in Cardiff so let’s keep it that way.