Mynydd Machen, at 362m, is one of the most Southern hills in South Wales above 350m – with most hills below Mynydd Machen not reaching 300m.

Mynydd Machen
Mynydd Machen. | Tamron Adaptall 2 35-135 (40A) @ 135mm, f11.

This walk takes in Pen-rhiw Tip which you can easily walk along on the way up to Mynydd Machen or on the way back – or both if you enjoyed scrabbling around in motorbike tracks the first time.

Mynydd Machen view of Pen-rhiw Tip
Mynydd Machen looking down to Pen-rhiw Tip. | Tamron Adaptall 2 35-135 (40A) @ 35mm, f11.

Mynydd Machen had recently been set on fire prior to my walk, so the footpaths I didn’t take were much clearer than usual as they were the only green points on about 50% of the hill that was burned. Most hills in the area get burned occasionally as it seems a bit of a hobby in the Valleys to commit arson every now and then.

You can follow my route, or you can make it into a loop by taking any number of different tracks / footpaths down and around – you can even drop down to the start of Sirhowy Valley and walk back up along the river.

Mynydd Machen
Mynydd Machen looking at Cardiff and the Bristol Channel. | Tamron Adaptall 2 35-135 (40A) @ 35mm, f11.

There are three named walks in the area: Rhymney Valley Ridgeway – which you can follow down into Machen and end up in Caerphilly if you want, Sirhowy Valley walk – which you can follow South to Newport or North to Ebbw Vale and the Cambrian way – which you can follow to Cardiff one way, or Conwy in North Wales if you go the other.

Cambrian Way
Cambrian Way footpath sign, amongst others, just before Mynydd Machen trig point. | Tamron Adaptall 2 35-135 (40A) @ 135mm, f4.5.

You get great views in every direction, the sea South, Twmbarlwm East, Garth Hill West, Brecon Beacons North and you can see many other hills around you as well.

Twmbarlwm Hill. | Tamron Adaptall 2 35-135 (40A) @ 135mm, f11.

Good walk in the summer when you can have some food watching over South Wales, and a good starting point for several much longer loops if you fancy it.