Cwm Carn Forest Drive reopens today!

Picnic benches at Cwmcarn

Today (Monday 21 June) Cwm Carn Forest Drive is welcoming visitors back by car, for the first time in six years.

With the summer holiday period approaching, visitors will be able explore all seven miles of the new-look Forest Drive by car following the completion of major restoration and improvement works undertaken in partnership by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Over the last 12 months the Drive has undergone significant development to create an attraction that is accessible and enjoyable for all audiences. This is complemented by the millions of pounds invested to develop the ‘Valley Floor’ to improve the campsite the popular lake and surrounding area, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

Several new all-ability trails have been created along the Forest Drive with access for all, along with many new picnic seating areas for leisurely lunches.

Parents looking to entertain little ones can look forward to exploring three new play areas, a story-telling area and a woodland sculpture trail.

A wooden cabin with panoramic views over the valley will provide opportunities for outdoor learning and wellbeing activities, while information panels will allow people to navigate their way around the site.

Geminie Drinkwater, Project Manager from Natural Resources Wales said:

The communities surrounding Cwm Carn Forest hold it extremely close to their hearts. Capturing the vision and ideas of local people for the redevelopment has been fundamental to the success of this project and it has been a personal privilege for me to work with local groups and individuals to see that vision come to life in this very special place.
Today’s reopening is a milestone moment for what has been a really successful partnership between NRW, Caerphilly County Borough Council and the local community. I’m delighted to see the gates to the Forest Drive open once again today and look forward to seeing visitors old and new discovering and enjoying everything it has to offer for many years to come.

Caerphilly County Borough Council will continue to manage the drive in partnership with Natural Resources Wales.

Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr. Philippa Marsden said:

Today is a landmark day for us to see this beautiful and unique place opened back up to the community. The work that has been undertaken is outstanding and the entire site has so much to offer residents and visitors. It has been a pleasure to work with Natural Resources Wales on a project that is so close to the heart of the community, to see it brought back to life is wonderful.

The admission costs for the drive will be £8 for a car, £4 for a motorbike, £15 for a minibus and £30 for a coach. The payment is cash only at the barrier or tokens can be obtained from reception onsite. The drive operates a one-way system and there are no time constraints for visitors.