Tucked away in the Darran Valley Parc Cwm Darran is a peaceful, picturesque country park and a winner of a Green Flag Award. This beauty belies its history as the site of the former Ogilvie Colliery. Whilst most traces of this previous life have disappeared there's still a few reminders of that past for you to discover. Our visitor centre, with its interactive displays, is a great place to start and has a wealth of information to help you get the most out of your visit. The wonderful Ogilvie Lake nestles in the valley bottom surrounded by an easily accessible lakeside path or wander through the shady woodlands that climb the valley sides.

Discover sunny wildflower meadows at Cwmllwydrew Meadows Local Nature Reserve, admire the Wild Boar Amphitheatre or fish in the lake. You can even stay overnight at our well-equipped campsite. Cyclists are not forgotten either with our 3 cyclocross trails. Keep the youngsters entertained with our playground and "Ogilvie Olympics" assault course.

After all that exercise why not take a break in the café with a cup of tea and delicious homemade cake or make use of our many picnic tables and grassy banks to sit and enjoy the view. Parc Cwm Darran has probably the most complete range of facilities of all our country parks, an ideal place for a family day out.

The Wild Boar Amphitheatre at Parc Cwm Darran

What to see and do

The Visitor Centre & Café

Where better to start and finish your visit to Parc Cwm Darran than our Visitior Centre. Call in when you arrive to pick up leaflets, take part in our interactive displays or get great advice on how to make the most of your visit. Then, when your energy is flagging after a time spent exploring, call back for some well-earned refreshment and find out all the things you've missed. There's always another time!

The Wild Boar Amphitheatre

Thankfully this isn't a real live boar out to terrorize us but a 35 metre earthwork sculpture and 250 seat outdoor performance space. Designed by the artist, Mick Petts, the amphitheatre celebrates one of the Roman Legions which occupied this valley and hunted wild boar in the local oak woodland. Have a look at his fearsome tusks or join us for one of our events that makes use of this unique space. 

Wildlife

Like many former industrial sites Parc Cwm Darran is surprisingly rich in wildlife with its mix of grasslands, woodlands and the lake. Cwmllydrew Meadows Local Nature Reserve is small example of the former agricultural past of the now demolished Cwmllydrew Farm. More details about this and other nature reserves are on the wildlife sites page.

Walks and Trails

Two waymarked walking trails are a good introduction to exploring the park. We also have an Audio Trail that recounts the history of Parc Cwm Darran. All three walks start from the Main car park by the Visitor Centre:

  • Healthy Walk (1km)  - A gentle walk around Ogilvie Lake on gentle gradient tarmac paths
  • Woodland Walk (2.5km) - The Woodland walk takes you through the nearby woodland and down to the waterfall and Memorial Garden
  • Audio Trail (2.5km) - An audio-enhanced trail exploring the transition from coal to countryside

Cyclocrossers and novice mountain bikers are also catered for with our 3 cyclocross trails.

Like all our parks Parc Cwm Darran makes a great starting point if you who wish to explore further afield. There's a choice of the 8 mile Escape to... Darran Valley walk or the slightly longer 10 mile Darran Valley 10 Trail for walkers or the Darran Valley Cycleway (NCN Route 469) for walkers and cyclists.

And then.... 

Visit the odd shaped powder store where the explosives for the colliery used to be kept safe. Walk over the unique Grade II protected wooden footbridge that links Bailey Street to Bristol Terrace over the former railway line at Ogilvie Halt. Discover our other art works or compete in the "Ogilvie Olympics".

Planning your visit

Where it is   Parc Cwm Darran is in the Darran Valley close to the village of Deri. CF81 9NR

How to get there   By car - Follow the brown tourist signs from the A469 in Bargoed or Pontlottyn. The main entrance is located just to the north of the village of Deri. By bus - Service 1 Bargoed to Merthyr. By bike - Route 469 of the National Cycle Network runs through the park.  Nearest train station - Bargoed.

Park hours   The park is open all day. It is also free to access the park. 

Car parks   The Main car park and Overflow car parks are located next to the Visitor Centre. The Fisherman's car park at the southern end of Ogilvie Lake can be reached via Bargoed Terrace in Deri. Pay and Display car parking operates.

Other access points   Route 469 of the National Cycle Network enters the park at both the north and south ends. Other access points are available in Deri village at Bargoed Terrace and Bristol Terrace

Visitor Centre    Open every day from the Easter Bank Holiday weekend to the last weekend of September. Opening hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm every day (6:00 pm school summer holidays)

Café   The café is open every day from 10:00am to 4:30pm (5:30pm school summer holidays) from the Easter Bank Holiday weekend to the last weekend of September.  

Campsite   More details on the campsite availability can be found on our Campsite page.

Toilets   Toilets are available in the Visitor Centre with similar opening hours to the Visitor Centre. An environmentally friendly compost toilet is located just below the Amphitheatre. Open every day from 8:00am until 4:00pm (winter) and 5:00pm (summer).

Picnic tables   These are available outside the Visitor Centre, by the Fisherman's car park, by the Memorial Gardens and at several locations around the lake. 

Accessibility   Designated disabled parking bays are available in the Main and Fisherman’s car parks. The Visitor Centre has adapted toilets and a lift. Visitors with restricted mobility may find parking in the Overflow car park more convenient for the Visitors Centre and utilising the high level access to the building. The main path around the lake is tarmac, generally flat but with a gentle gradient to and from the Visitor Centre. The cycle route is also tarmac but other paths are a combination of stone dust and natural surfacing. Access control points along the cycle path are mobility scooter friendly and there are plenty of benches available for resting.

Contact Information

The Visitor Centre, Parc Cwm Darran, Deri, Bargoed, CF81 9NR

Tel: 01443 875557
Email: ParcCwmDarran@caerphilly.gov.uk 

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