Situated above Crosskeys and Risca, and topped with what is suspected to be an Iron Age fort, Twmbarlwm is one of the most distinctive hills in the area. It has far reaching views around South Wales and the Bristol Channel, so you can see why it was a good spot for a fort.

The trig point is located along an ancient track from the fort mound at the other end of the hill. | Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8 @ f11.

You can access Twmbarlwm from the Valleys below, either via Cwmcarn forest (plenty of parking) or Crosskeys following part of the wonderfully named Raven Walk. This is also part of the Cambrian Way, although you might not spot any signposts for this in the area.

Ancient Path
Views of nearby wooded hills, including the Medart – straight ahead. | Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8 @ f8.

Whichever way you approach, you will be going up some steep parts and if you tackle it from the valley floor, it is going to be a decent ascent. You can drive up some narrow lanes and park fairly near the top if you wish, which makes the walk much shorter. The roads system that make up Cwmcarn Forest Drive have all been renewed recently, so it seems as if they are planning to open it again at some point after being shut for several years now.

A nearby hill. | Canon FD 100-300mm f5.6L @ 300mm, f8.
Distant View
Another distant view. | Canon FD 100-300mm f5.6L @ 150mm, f8.

This is probably one of the must-see hills in Caerphilly, and it is definitely one of the more popular peaks in the area due to its good access.

The Raven Walk
Part of the Raven Walk. | Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8 @ f8.

Twmbarlwm has been victim of wildfires – set by humans – occasionally which damaged some of the steps up to the fort mound and scarred the top.

Twmbarlwm Trig Point
After the flames. | Voigtlander APO-Lanthar Macro 65mm f2 @ f8.
The final path up to Twmbarlwm is very steep. | Minolta MD 35-70@ 35mm, f8.
The distinctive mound is visible from miles around. | Minolta MD 35-70 @ 35mm, f11.
View towards Mynydd Twyn-glas. | Minolta MD 35-70 @ 35mm, f11.
Cwmcarn Forest Drive
Cwmcarn Forest Drive. | Minolta MD 35-70 @ 35mm, f8.