Carpen one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Cardiff and Penarth.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Cardiff and Penarth.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


This route has been reviewed by 12 people.

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Verified route

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Reviews - 12

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Is this route good enough? -  Yes (12)

There are currently no problems reported with this route.

Downloads - 13


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Grid Ref ST1824075910
Lat / Lon 51.47622° / -3.17865°
Easting / Northing 318,240E / 175,910N
What3Words hill.trees.faded
Grid Ref ST1843271414
Lat / Lon 51.43583° / -3.17485°
Easting / Northing 318,432E / 171,414N
What3Words wacky.sheet.agreed

Carpen One's land is

Coast 0.0%
Intertidal flats 1.7%
Urban 91.7%
Water 6.6%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018


Paddy Dillon

11 Nov 2023 Autumn

I did a version of this walk, because I took a different route out of Penarth, and a different route to Cardiff Central Station, but of course the Barrage is always going to be the obvious way between one and the other. I was barely on my way out of Penarth when torrential rain drove me into a cafe. My preferred way out of town is from the Pier, over The Kymin, then down to the Barrage. I was glad of a sunny spell as I crossed the Barrage, though there are a couple of places to shelter in bad weather. On entering Cardiff, I wanted to keep the watery theme going, so I went via the East Bute Dock and Atlantic Wharf. Again, torrential rain drove me into a cafe. I found some great little canalside paths that led me most of the way to Central Station, and I only had to follow busy roads at the finish. The suggested route through the city finishes with a walk along the Taff Trail along the Taff Embankment, which is also good, but going that way adds a lot more road walking.


25 Aug 2023 Summer

I walked this route from Cardiff to Penarth (and then followed "Barpen one" to Barry) on a wet August night.

Some of the footpaths nearest the city were block paving which offered little grip against wet shoes, and I was glad when I found myself walking on more suitable surfaces like tarmac.

I found the route across Tresillian Way / Penarth Road a little confusing, but ultimately found the correct road.
The footpath along the Taff embankment was well illuminated, and I did not find I 'needed' my torch for any of the Carpen route, although it might have helped avoid later mistakes.
I found Roald Dahl Plass blocked by a fairground, so made the simple and obvious detour around its Eastern fence.
I managed to make two wrong turns around Paget Road, in both cases my feet seemed to be seeking a flatter route but I soon corrected them. Paget Road, Maughan Terrace and Stanwell Cresent are not exactly flat (a 56 meter elevation gain over a mile if my watch is to be believed).
I was pleased to find the roads began heading downwards towards the town centre, although many of the pavements seemed to made of concreted and did not provided much assurance of traction in the wet weather.

Paul Chilcott

03 Oct 2022 Autumn

October 2022. Direction: Penarth to Cardiff.

A great route to explore Penarth, Cardiff Bay and the lower reaches of the River Taff. Can be very busy at times, but fairly quiet on my Monday afternoon stroll. Plenty of opportunities to explore side attractions like Penarth town centre or the parks or the promenade or maybe other parts of Cardiff Bay. Easy walking this direction, although it`s a fairly steep descent through the streets from Penarth Head to the start of the Cardiff Bay barrage, but it`s completely flat all the way after that. A good one to wheel, as the surfaces are paved all the way.

Photo 1 - Penarth centre.
Photos 2, 3 & 4 - Views across Cardiff Bay
Photo 5 - The Norwegian Church
Photo 6 - Pierhead building, Senedd and Milleniuim Centre.

Paul Currie

30 Jun 2022 Summer

I ran this route from Penarth to Cardiff, starts off mostly down hill until you get to the barrage....pleasant run down with some lovely colourful houses which kind of reminded me of Tenby.
From the barrage (which could be up, waiting will only be 15-20minutes but with lovely views across to Cardiff bay) once you're through the barrage lots to see with cyclist, boats , skatepark etc
Arrival over the Bay will be met with a few bars, millennium centre, lots of art more boats ....from the bay will be a short walk into Cardiff Town.

I would run/walk this again, plenty to see with toilet facilities and places to stop for a drink and food.

Rachel Flint

01 Jun 2022 Spring

Mostly pavements and road. Toilets and plenty of shops and pubs on the way. Would make a nice walk to explore the Bay.

Katie L James

29 May 2022 Spring

I did the second part of this route with Rhiwbina Runaways we ran the 14km route. The rest of this route was mainly on roads, it was a very scenic route. There were plenty of options to stop of and use toilet facilities if needed.

Emma Jones

29 May 2022 Spring

I walked the route in reverse: Penarth to Cardiff aka PenCar. Nicer if you want to start a walk with a downhill descent and continue it avoiding uphill sections (otherwise the uphill section comes at the end). Plus you get to look out over Cardiff bay from up high… which kind of nicely drags you forward into exploring the route.
Public Toilet stop very early on in the walk too (bonus).

A fairly steep initial downhill descent along quiet roads… over within 10-15 minutes.

Then enjoy the barrage and the bay (nb: you could cheat at the barrage and get an Aquabus to the Cardiff City Centre along the River Taff). Lots of places to stop and relax. Places for children to play. How many barrages in the UK do you know boast a skate ramp; climbing wall sailing club / swift tower / mini-forest / and nods to Scott of the Antarctic and Roald Dahl + lots more beside. As well as various boats milling about as water caresses you on either side. Islands and both the Welsh and English coastline to one side. The Welsh hills in the distance on the other. So much to see. Big and little kids alike at play.

On past the Norwegian Church - Senedd (Welsh Parliament) - Ivor Novello Statue - Wales Millenium Centre. As many eateries as you can imagine- independents too. (Chips at a lock keepers cottage - no problem).

Heading in towards Cardiff crossing over the River Taff. Winding down. Getting a little busier with people, some glorious street art and more cars. Cardiff is not as busy as the bigger English Cities though - so still pretty quiet.

Check out the City Centre (Castle or Betty Wallace Statue) or head straight to the Great Western Railway station and head home, or onwards to your next adventure. Enjoy.

Pretty leisurely walk. At least 3 public toilets en-route. Sections of the walk may be difficult (especially the steep declines in Penarth or some narrower streets in Penarth / Closer to Cardiff).

Croeso I Gymru / Welcome to Wales.


29 May 2022 Spring

From Penarth station the route heads towards the town centre along the main road and at a roundabout continues for a short distance uphill passing a small park with children's play area. From the top of the hill views extend across to Cardiff to the east. A fairly steep hill decent is presented from here all the way to the old Custom House at the start of the Cardiff Bay Barrage. At this point the route is accessible to all with a wide well maintained pedestrian and cycle route along the barrage all the way to the Norwegian Church and small container Café at the other end. Along the way it's great to get the double view of both the open estuary to the Severn and the inner harbour with the backdrop of the St David hotel, Pierhead building and Senedd. The route continues around the inner harbour and passes in front of the Millennium Centre before heading off along James Street towards the bridge over the river Taff. The cycle ways and footpaths link well from here to continue northwards along the river bank all the way up to Penarth Road. At the junction a right turn and short journey along a wide footpath joins with the car park and entrance to finish at Cardiff Central Station.


29 May 2022 Spring

I did this route, back to front - i.e. Penarth to Cardiff. It starts off through the streets of Penarth which are relatively busy streets but easy to navigate. As you come to the top of Penarth it becomes a bit quieter and you have great views down over Cardiff Bay. Roads are then relatively steep down to the Bay in this direction but on tarmac. (If anyone was doing this from Cardiff to Penarth be aware that there is a short but steep uphill which could be challenging for anyone on wheels or who struggles with steep ascents). The next part of the route is across the barrage. On a good day it is stunning and on a bad day you are exposed to the elements so be aware. Also on occasion the barrage can be closed and diversions add on quite a few more kms so do check before you set off ( The route into Cardiff Bay is usually active and interesting and very straight forward, pretty much away from traffic other than bikes and sccoters. Coming out of the Bay you go onto road again for a short while before reaching the river. Then the path from there is along the river embankment before a last bit of road to Cardiff Central. All easy to navigate and easy terrain.

Tracy K

28 May 2022 Spring

A pleasant and interesting walk from Cardiff station to Penarth station, via the Cardiff Bay barrage. There are plenty of amenities along the way and places to enjoy the views.


12 Jan 2022 Winter

Nice walk via Cardiff Bay barrage.

Alun Jones

21 Aug 2021 Summer

Varied route seeing lots of different aspects of Cardiff and its recent development around the waterfront.

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