Railway Paths

Swiss Valley Trail, South Wales

The Swiss Valley Trail began life as a horse-drawn railway linking an iron furnace in the village of Cwmddyche to its shipping place on the coast [1]. It then became part of the Carmarthenshire Tramway – the earliest operating public railway in Great Britain, opened in 1803. Later it was converted to the Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway, which closed with the closure of the Cynheidre Colliery in 1989.

Now National Cycle Route 47 and part of the Celtic Trail, the Swiss Valley Trail runs approximately 11 miles from Llanelli to Cross Hands, passing Sandy Water Park, the peaceful Lleidi reservoirs with superb views of the Gwendraeth Valley, and the Mynydd Mawr Woodland Park. At Cross Hands there is the option of a link to the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Middleton Hall.

The route is traffic-free and well-surfaced throughout and ideal for families or inexperienced cyclists. There is a gentle climb up from Llanelli which which makes for a fantastic gravity-aided return to the start.

The former railway is now owned by Railway Paths, and the Swiss Valley Trail is a partnership project with Carmarthenshire County Council, the National Lottery, the Welsh Assembly Government, the European Union and Sustrans.