Explore the Common

Certain commons were designated at ‘urban’ commons under the Law of Property 1925, Gelligaer & Merthyr Common being one.

Within this legislation, rights were given to members of the public to access urban commons for fresh air and exercise on foot and horseback

These rights have been further strengthened by the passing of the Countryside & Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000. Within this act, all common land (rural & urbans commons) in Wales and England is deemed as ‘access land’. Access land is where the public have a right of access on foot.

All common land is open access land but not all open access land is common land… confused? Natural Resources Wales has further information about open access land here.

Open Access land is marked on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps as yellow shaded areas.

Sometimes you will also see these symbols on countryside furniture as you enter/leave open access land:


This symbol denotes you are entering ‘open access’ land

This symbol denotes the end of ‘open access’ land

Red Kite

Walking Routes

There are many popular walking routes on the common. We are in the process of formalising some of the more popular routes with waymarking and interpretation to help visitors explore them.

So far, we have created:

The Red Kite Trail

The trail starts at the Summit Centre between the villages of Trelews and Bedlinog, it allows you to enjoy circular walks of varying distances.

The trail is named after the Red Kite or Barcud Coch in Welsh which can often be seen flying on the Common. The Trail takes you through quiet lanes before rising up on to the Common offering magnificent views of the Taf Bargoed area.

A leaflet and map can be downloaded here (5.9Mb).

When enjoying the common please remember to follow the countryside code

Countryside Code

Respect Other People

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment

  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under effective control

Enjoy the outdoors and stay safe

  • Plan ahead and be prepared
  • Follow advice and local signs