Size:

116.52 ha (287.92 acres)

Grid reference:

SN729000

Map reference:

Explorer 165

OS Landranger 170

Dyffryn Woods, one of the largest ancient woodland sites in Wales, clings to the side of the Mynydd Drumau, with breathtaking views over the valley and coast.

Once part of an old country estate, Dyffryn Woods features an extensive network of paths to follow and a wealth of wildlife to discover, making it a delightful place to visit all year round.

Features

  • Parking at site
  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Waymarked walk

How to get to Dyffryn Woods

Dyffryn Woods lies just west of Bryncoch, around 3km (2 miles) north of the town of Neath in West Glamorgan.

Situated on the east of Mynydd Drumau, the woodland rises to 260 metres, giving excellent views over the Neath Basin, Bristol Channel, Swansea Bay and, on a clear day, across to the Gower Peninsula.

There is an extensive network of paths into the surrounding area and to Coed Maesmelin.

From Neath, head north on Briton Ferry Road (A474) towards Windsor Road. At the first roundabout, take the second exit towards Skewen/Pontardawe (staying on the A474). At the second roundabout, take the second exit onto Neath Abbey Road (A4230), passing Tesco. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto Longford Road. Pass the Glyn Clydach Hotel and take the sharp left turn after St. Matthews Church. There is small car park on your right. Take care not to block the wood entrance or the entrance to the property at Bryn Dewi.

The nearest train stations are at Skewen, 3.5km (2 miles) from the woods, or Neath, just under 4.5km (3 miles) away.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is at Bryncoch Community Centre, just under 1km (0.62 miles) from the wood.

Visit Traveline Cymru for more information.

Facilities and access

An extensive network of footpaths and bridleways provide fantastic views over the Neath valley. The part of the wood below and to the east of Dyffryn Farm has easy main paths and is not steep, but after Dyffryn Farm there is a steep ascent up Mynydd Drumau.

The main entrance is a hunting gate adjacent to a padlocked five bar gate off the main car park. Once through the hunting gate, there is a squeeze stile and a wooden sleeper footbridge. There are many other entrances via the network of paths that extends into the surrounding areas.

Entrances and air shafts of old coal workings have been fenced off. Please avoid these areas and take care if you walk off the paths. Visitors should be aware that the woods surround a working farm and some of the tracks are used by agricultural machinery.

Free parking for up to six cars is available at the car park by the main entrance to the woods.

There are several toilets in Neath, including the indoor market on Green Street, Victoria Gardens and Neath Station.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Bird lovers will enjoy the range of birds at Dyffryn all year round, including grey wagtail, raven and tawny owl. In spring and summer, look out for the cuckoo, redstart, whinchat, stonechat, wheatear, wood warbler and pied flycatcher. If you’re looking to spot a bird of prey, the slopes of Mynydd Drumau are a good place to see hunters such as red kites, peregrines, and buzzards.

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Trees, plants and fungi

The plant life at Dyffryn Woods is plentiful. Visit in spring for bluebells and in summer when the foxgloves and orchids bloom. A variety of broadleaf species can be found in the wood, including silver birch which is prominent throughout and scatterings of sessile oak, rowan and sycamore, to name just a few.

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Habitats

Dyffryn Woods is largely made up of ancient woodland comprising a mix of broadleaved and conifer trees and characteristic ancient woodland signifier plants, such as bluebell.

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About Dyffryn Woods

History

The ancient woodland at Dyffryn Woods was once part of the Cwrt Rhydhir, or Longford Court Estate and the Dyffryn Clydach Estate. Look out for remnants of these estates, such as an overgrown ornamental pond and ice house, as well as farms and cottages in the wider landscape.

We acquired Dyffryn Woods in 1993 and have been slowly regenerating the site after it was largely replanted with conifers in the 1940s.

Things to do in Dyffryn Woods

Walking

With various footpaths to follow, Dyffryn Woods is a great place for a steady amble or a brisk wander. Whether you opt for a stroll along the gentle, lower slopes which are suitable for all the family, or a more energetic climb up the steeper sections of Mynydd Drumau, Dyffryn Woods has plenty to interest and delight.

Horse riding

With an extensive network of bridleways, Dyffryn Woods is a great place to explore via horseback.

Please keep to the designated bridleways when riding your horse in the wood, and avoid any fenced-off areas.

Dyffryn Woods - Management plan

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Dyffryn Woods Management Plan

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