Recommended South Wales Caves
The following is a brief guide to the best places to go caving in South Wales. It does not include any descriptions or cave locations as these can all be found either in the (rather old) guidebook or on www.ogof.org.uk
The caves have been split into several categories depending on difficulty and character. All of this is the authors opinion and no responsibility will be accepted for people not having a good time, drowning etc.
The author has visited most but not all of the caves.
Short Easy Beginner Stuff
Ogof Pen Eyr
Shortish slightly sporting trip with some entertaining squeezes. Reasonably close to the car park and not flood prone.
Dry complex of passages with multiple entrances about 30 minutes walk from the car park. Reasonably boring. No flooding issues.
Ogof Tarddiad Rhymney
Pretty decent single passage with a few inlets and very typical of South Wales. Bit less than an hours walk from the car park and fine in wet weather although you will get soaked on the walk in.
Ogof Ap Robert
Close to Tarddiad Rhymney so could possibly be done on the same day. Pretty fun with a few chokes and climbs. It’s a stream sink so might be a bit sporting in wet weather. Longish walk in.
Ogof y Ci
Dog cave in Welsh. Never been but apparently just one long easy streamway. Reasonably short walk in.
More Involved Trips
Pant Mawr Pot
Simply fantastic single passage cave with a ladder pitch to enter. About one hours walk from SWCC. Don’t get lost like many others do. Probably not too bad in wet weather.
Little Neath River Cave
Absolutely amazing, one of the very best in the area. Basically, just following a stream all the way from the riverbank down to a sump. Needs a wetsuit and definitely must be avoided in wet weather.
Llanelly Quarry Pot
20m pitch leads to a long a reasonably narrow stream passage. Pretty fun trip. Not sure about the flooding characteristics.
Ogof y Ardd
Pitch leading into longish meander, fairly tedious unless you like that kind of thing. Probably not too many issue with flooding but best to check guidebook.
Ogof Rhyd Sych
Tight squeezes lead to large passage ta the end. Didn’t manage to find my way past the entrance series when I went here about 10 years ago but its pretty good. Definitely to be avoided in wet weather.
Vertical pothole. Yes I know you love SRT cos you’re from the north but do you really want to go down here with all these incredible caves on your doorstep. Five pitches in total.
Fun resurgence cave with a number of river chambers which should be ok in wet weather. Long drive from the CHECC venue though.
Great little stream cave and not too far from the road. Best avoided in wet weather.
Large boulder choke leading to phreatic passage. Recent discovery. Absolutely lethal in wet conditions.
The Big Systems
This is what you came to South Wales for. Absolutely massive horizontal systems!
Ogof Fynnon Ddu (OFD)
Everyone knows this one. Three entrances and about 50km of passage. Gated but keys can easily be obtained from SWCC. Stay out of the streamway in wet weather unless you want to emerge from the resurgence as a soggy red pulp.
Bloody brilliant system with lots of large passages and multiple streamways. Gated but there should be a couple of keys available at CHECC. The main streamway can flood in high water.
Ogof y Daren Cilau
Truly amazing cave including the largest passage in the UK and lots of other impressive things. Doesn’t really flood except in a couple of locations a long way in and if you can get that far on a day trip you’re probably a local anyway. Not gated but there is an infamous 500m long crawl/stoop to gain entry.
Craig y Fynnon
Really good lengthy system with the highlight being the stupendous Hall of the Mountain King which is actually reasonably close to the entrance. Gated but there should be a couple of keys available. Also floods near the entrance in really wet weather.
The longest cave in South Wales and will be easily the longest in the country when we find the rest of it. Lots of large dry passages and a really great round trip that I reckon is one of the best trips in South Wales. It doesn’t really flood (except the round trip) and is gated although there should be a couple of keys available at CHECC.