- Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 12:27
- Written by Steven Delaney DEL_35@hotmail.com, also Mark Davies, Jack Pease and Paul Kent.
GUIDE TO THE RIVER TAFF
(Pontypridd to Cardiff)
NAME OF RIVER: Taff.
WHERE IS IT?: South Wales.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at Pontypridd Roundabout A4059 (the river flows under it) just up the road from the railway station. There's a car park but be careful. OS ST 070900
Take out where ever you want along the way - how about Cardiff?
APPROX LENGTH: From the valleys to the city.
TIME NEEDED: Take some sandwiches and tea if going to Cardiff.
ACCESS HASSLES: No problems when we did it but there may be problems at the put in and take out.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Can be done in all levels depending on ability. Some weirs can be lethal in spate - INSPECT.
GRADING: Grade 1.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: 4 Weirs on route. One (or possibly two now) are a certain portage.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Starts a bit bumpy, possibly scrapey if really low and goes under a tunnel. Try to ignore the shopping trollys etc. and enjoy the view.
There is quickly a large 40ft wide weir/ waterfall with a very shallow landing approaching so keep your peeled and portage right, this may be difficult with a canoe.
Some flat water brings you to another weir that can hold a football and I have heard is even worse now. It is easily portaged right but may have changed.
More flat water brings you to Radyr and Amersham weir. This can be totally lethal in high water or easily shot in low water, with river left being the easiest line. Don't go down the fish shoot it'll cause access problems. Great place to eat the food if you haven't done so already and watch/ chat to all the people on the Taff trail.
Paul Kent (Feb 2004)...'Access at Radyr Weir...there is an easy access with wooden steps to the rivers edge 150m upstream of Radyr weir. Drive off A470 or M4 at J32 past. Take Longwood Drive past the ASDA supermarket and continue into industrial estate park opposite AB Electronics and walk over flood bank.'
Depending on water levels some small waves may form between here and the next weir at Llandaff rowing club. Again this weir can be shot in low water but may be tricky and is dangerous at high water.
If you managed to hang on this far you're doing well and almost onto the last weir called Blackweir near Poncanna fields. Again this can be dangerous at high levels.
OTHER NOTES: Nice day out and possible in summer too :-)
Jack Pease...'Hi, hopefully helpful comments on the river Taff from an infrequent canadian paddler, canoed last week (Dec 04). No shopping trolleys, nor other paddlers, but plenty of Calor Gas cylinders making their way to the sea!
For a slightly shorter trip (90mins), put in next to the Greggs Bakery depot (complete with hot sausage roll 'factory' outlet) at the Treforest Industrial Estate (at the dogleg on Taffs Fall Road, postcode CF37 5TF) where there is convenient parking and easy slipway access to an excellent launching point.
On calm days, the glassy smooth lip of Radyr Weir is invisible, (especially in low winter sun which can spoil some of the more rocky sections of the route), but easy portaged left, the Llandaff Boating Club weir is similarly easily portaged left and it is a short 75m footpath walk to convenient parking on Gabalfa Road.'