There are some of the longest cave systems in Britain in South Wales with the potential for many more discoveries. There are numerous smaller caves offering a variety of moderate trips for the novice and intermediate caver alike. Although many caves are fossil systems with little drainage there are still a number of active systems.
Ddinas Rock Area Silica Mines – GR 912079 (near Pontneddfechan)
The silica mines found on either side of the Afon Sychryd offer a good introduction to the novice. However there are some dangerous areas in this system. A survey containing areas of concern annotated by a HSE approved mines’ inspector should be consulted. This is available by arrangement with the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres. It is essential that groups are not taken into these mines without consultation with this survey, competent leadership and the correct equipment.
Wills Hole - GR 914080 (near Pontneddfechan)
10 metre pitch. Muddy cave with some deep water. Not recommended for novices.
Ogof Bwa Maen - GR 914080 (nr Pontneddfechan)
A short distance above the car park on the right of the river. A short cave, but it provides some interest for groups. Care needed with drops etc.
Ogof Pont Sychryd –GR 912079 (near Pontneddfechan)
This cave is not for novices. It is on the left-hand side of the river near the car park at river level. A series of squeezes. Beware of flooding.
Caving further afield
Porth yr Ogof - GR 928123
A great cave for novices. Squeezes, climbs, and mazes. It has everything but it is very popular. Beware of cold wet passages and avoid at all costs the deep water in the resurgence area. Many victims have been claimed.
Bridge Cave/Pwll y Rhydd/White Lady/Town Drain - GR 911139, GR 912137 and GR 911137
All these are good caves for an introduction to caving but beware of deep water and flooding. Pay local farmer for access.
Little Neath River Cave - GR 911141
A gem of a cave, but definitely not for novices. Flooding is a serious problem.
Eglais Faen (Llangattock)- GR 193157
A bit of a walk (1 mile) but an interesting and generally safe cave. Beware of drops. A bit muddy but good for novices. Beware on cold days. The car park is a target for thieves.
Ogof Fechan – GR 970097
The `duck` would be too much for beginners. Route finding can be difficult.
Ogof Clogwyn – GR214124 (Clydach Gorge nr Brynmawr)
Approach needs care, Although short (17 metres) good for novices. Fascinating cave form.
Llygad Llwchwr – GR 668178
Some access problems. Ok for novices, but a bit limited. Beware deep water.
Ogof y CI – GR 040104 (nr Morlais)
A great cave, but quite small for beginners. Ok if they are confident. Permission from Llywn-y-ci farm
There are some other short sections of cave throughout the Sychryd Gorge.
South Wales Caving Club www.swcc.org.uk
Caves of South Wales
Gorge Walking - Ddinas Rock area
Parts of the gorge particularly near the silica mine entrances and upstream on the Afon Mellte from the car park area provide opportunities for exciting adventure activities. Swings, Tyrolean traverses, boulder hopping, rock traverses and ‘jumps’ have all been done. It needs imagination but remember this is some of the most dangerous terrain to move in. Beware of falls and deep water. There is no substitute for experienced leadership.
The gorge area is also interesting terrain for walking although care should be exercised with some of the steeper and unconsolidated slopes.