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Walk of the Week | Exploring Wales

We are on a quest to make Wales the healthiest and happiest place to live. Join us as we explore some of the best dog walks that Wales has to offer.

Grangemoor Park, Cardiff

Dino Hodzovic

If you’re looking for some of the best dog walks that Wales has to offer (and in video!), then you've come to the right place. Join us on our adventure, where we plan to travel all over Wales, seeking out the best spots to take your dog (or dogs!) and we want to share our adventure with all of you.

Walk of the Week title screen. Aerial Photograph of Silent Links, by Ian Randall on top of Grangemoor Park in Cardiff.

We’re still filming the first series in Cardiff, and aim to showcase some of the coolest walks that we can find. That way, more people can share our adventure, and find some of the best-kept secret walking locations in their local area! 

To watch episode three, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Where'd we go this week?

In this episode, we explore an area in Cardiff that's now called Grangemoor Park (see maps). The park is on top of a hilly area, with plenty of paths to choose from. The whole place is bursting with wildlife; you would never have guessed it's past....

Grangemoor Park (in Cardiff) labelled on Google maps with a big yellow arrow.

A bit of history...

Grangemoor Park was actually originally known as Penarth Moors. In fact, back in the day, Ely River (which runs nearby) used to take a crazy meandering route through the moors making it completely marshy and un-usable.

Image of River Ely, pre-1971. Taken from 'Geoenvironmental Engineering' by R.N. Yong & H.R. Thomas (link  here ).

Image of River Ely, pre-1971. Taken from 'Geoenvironmental Engineering' by R.N. Yong & H.R. Thomas (link here).

In 1971, Cardiff City Council jumped in and decided to cut off a large section of the river. This resulted in the river taking a much straighter route, leaving the old riverbed isolated. 

Image of River Ely, post-1971. Taken from 'Geoenvironmental Engineering' by R.N. Yong & H.R. Thomas (link  here ).

Image of River Ely, post-1971. Taken from 'Geoenvironmental Engineering' by R.N. Yong & H.R. Thomas (link here).

Since then (up until 1994), the area has been used as a landfill site, or tipping ground. It’s estimated to hold some 4 million cubic metres of refuse! (source)

Fast-forward to the 1980’s and the construction of the A4232 saw tipping activities limited in the area.

In 1994, the tip was closed and entered the hands of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (source). At the time, the CBDC were super busy redeveloping the whole Cardiff Bay area from mostly derelict land to what it is today. Check out these crazy before / after photos (taken from Google)!

Photograph of Cardiff Bay, before the redevelopment.
Photograph of Cardiff Bay, after redevelopment.

A bit of a difference, right?

Along with the construction of Cardiff Bay Retail Park, the old refuse site was regenerated and opened to the public in 2000. We’re not entirely sure of the whole process, but I can imagine it involves treating the land and piling a whole load of dirt on the top.

Either way, they’ve done a smashing job. You’d never have guessed the history of the area if you didn’t know!

Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week series. Grangemoor Park, seen from the sky

On with the walk!

Grangemoor park can be found a little way down the Ely Trail. We found free parking along Penarth Road, at one of the industrial estates there. You'll find signposts for the Ely Trail that will take you to Grangemoor Park.

Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week series. Aerial photograph of Ely Trail, leading alongside Ely River

Once on the Ely Trail, you can follow the path along the side of Ely River. It’s a nice 5-10 minute walk, before you come across a smaller path leading up to Grangemoor Park.

The Park itself is full of wildlife. There are so many paths to choose from that all lead around the hilly landscape. You’ll find plenty of plants and creatures here, as well as a hidden gem located at the highest point of the park; the Silent Links.

Screenshot from Walk of the Week series. Dino stood in front of the smaller path that leads up into Grangemoor Park, from Ely Trail.

All in all, the park itself is really just a big hill. You won’t find swings or slides here! Instead you’ll discover a haven for dogs to explore and run free, with plenty to smell and chase of course.

Most of the paths in the area are made of gravel and dirt, so if it’s raining you may want to pack your wellies!

All of the different routes take you around the hill - you can mix it up each time you go! There’s always new ways to explore, and they all eventually lead up to the top of the hill.

Silent Links

When the land was redeveloped into the park, a sculpture was commissioned to be placed on the highest point of the hill. Artist Ian Randall built the incredible sculpture, and it still stands strong today!

Silent Links was built by Ian Randall, and sits on the highest point of Grangemoor Park, overlooking the Cardiff Bay area.

In fact, we didn’t know until we saw it from the sky that it marks out 4 boats, connected by the giant anchor chain.

Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week series. Silent Links, as seen from the sky.

Anyway, if you check out the walk you should definitely take a peek at this piece of art, sat right on top of the hill.

In fact, you’ll get some pretty amazing views of the whole of Cardiff from here!

Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week series. Beth sat on Grangemoor hill, with Cardiff in the background.

There usually aren't many people around the area, which is a plus. You may come across a handful of dog walkers, but the place really isn’t that busy. Not many people (especially if you don’t live in the area) know of Grangemoor park so it’s a little quieter than your usual dog walk. A perfect location for the more adventurous to explore.

Official Parkrun banner.

Every Saturday at 9am there’s an organised Park Run in the area!

The path that is Ely Trail runs along Grangemoor park and is real smooth - ideal for running. You’ll see a whole bunch of runners participating in the free 5km run every weekend. If you like jogging or running, then this could be a perfect opportunity to explore the area. You can find out more about the Parkrun's here!

Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week series. Aerial view of Grangemoor park, with many paths to choose from and the Ely River flowing by it's side.

All in all, Grangemoor park is an awesome place to take your dog, or even for a peaceful stroll. It’s a secluded trail through the wilderness, and along the Ely River. There are picnic benches, and on a nice sunny day the view is fantastic. We’d definitely recommend visiting the park, and don't forget to let us know what you think!

Watch episode 3 here:


Where next? You decide...

We are already looking for new and wonderful places to visit and explore. At the moment we are still in Cardiff, but drop us a comment on YouTube and tell us where you think we should go next!

Thanks for reading and we hope to catch you on next week's Walk of the Week!

- Dino & Beth (and Marley!)