Brechfa Forest – Keepers, near Carmarthen

What's here

Welcome

The Keepers car park is situated near Brechfa village.

It is the starting point for a riverside walk through Brechfa Forest.

You can also follow a much longer walking trail through the forest for a closer view of the Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm's huge turbines.

There is a small picnic area under the trees in the car park.

A local community group organises events and other activities in the building next to the car park.

Walking trails

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Keepers Riverside Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 2 miles/3.2 kilometres
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Trail information: This circular trail mainly follows paths through the forest. There are some short sections on forest roads which may be used by lorries for forest operations. The paths have muddy sections and there is some loose stone underfoot. The paths can be slippery after wet weather. There are some short but steep climbs up and down along the route and the trail crosses several bridges, some with steps.

The Keepers Riverside Trail sets off through towering conifer trees on its way down to the river Marlais.

It crosses the river over a wooden bridge and then climbs up a tree-lined path to continue through the forest.

The paths go alongside the river in a couple of places and you can hear the sound of water along most of the trail.

The trail crosses another couple of bridges over pretty streams on its return to the car park.

Wind and Water Trail

  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Distance: 12 miles/19.3 kilometres
  • Time: 7-8 hours
  • Climb: 529 metres/1740 feet
  • Trail information: This is a challenging walk owing to its length and climb. You need a high level of fitness and walking boots with a rugged tread. The weather can change quickly in the uplands so make sure you have waterproofs and warm clothing in your rucksack. There is a shortcut back to the car park using the Lady Megan Link Path shown on the map in the car park which shortens the route to 7½ miles/12.3 kilometres but misses out the attractive Pib valley. You can also connect to this trail from Tower car park by following part of the Marlais Valley Walk and a link route but please note that the overall walk will be much longer.

Experience the Afon Pib and Afon Marlais rivers and their valleys and get up close to the wind turbines.

This walking trail was created in partnership with RWE who developed the Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm within this part of the forest.

Events and activities

Pobl y Fforest organise events and other activities in the Keepers building next to the car park.

Popl y Fforest is a community based and volunteer run not-for-profit company.

See the noticeboard in the car park for details of forthcoming events or go to the Pobl y Fforest Facebook page.

Brechfa Forest

Brechfa Forest is the modern name for part of the ancient Glyn Cothi Forest.

Glyn Cothi Forest was managed for centuries by local people in order to provide building materials, products and grazing.

In 1283, following the final defeat of Wales by Edward I, Glyn Cothi became a Royal Forest administered under Forest Law for several centuries.

Since those days a very different forest has developed. In the 1900s Brechfa Forest was replanted with conifers by the Forestry Commission to boost Britain’s timber reserve after the heavy use of timber in the First World War.

Brechfa Forest covers some 6500 hectares and is looked after by Natural Resources Wales for the benefit of people, wildlife and timber production, and more recently the production of wind energy.

Other car parks in Brechfa Forest

There are walking and mountain bike trails from these other Natural Resources Wales car parks in Brechfa Forest:

  • Abergorlech - woodland walks, a mountain bike trail and an arboretum with a difference
  • Byrgwm - woodland walk and mountain bike trails for beginners and experienced riders
  • Gwarallt - easy short walk through beech woodland
  • Tower - forest walk with valley views and access to trail past wind turbines

National Forest for Wales

Brechfa Forest forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Changes to visitor facilities

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to visitor facilities here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here

Location

Keepers car park is 13½ miles north east of Carmarthen.

It is in the county of Carmarthenshire.

Ordnance Survey map

Keepers is on Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer map 186.

The OS grid reference is SN 522 319.

Directions

Take the A40 from Carmarthen towards Llandeilo.

Turn left onto the B4310 signposted to Brechfa.

In the village of Brechfa turn left at the village shop signposted to New Inn.

The Keepers car park is 1½ miles along this minor road on the left.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is in Carmarthen.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.

Parking

Car parking is free of charge.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Contact details

There are no staff at this location.

Contact our customer team for general enquiries during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Related document downloads

Other places in South West Wales

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