Today was going to be a very early start, as the bus times meant a late start; I therefore decided to drive to Barry rail station where I parked and begin walking straight away. Withe the sun now rising at just after 6 in the morning, I started walking at 5:55!! I like walking very early in the morning because its generally cool and quiet. It was quite light at this time, but a bit nippy.
The rather tedious task of walking around Barry Island was my first objective. I managed to capture a photo of the sun rising over the Bristol Channel, it looked really beautiful. Not so Barry Island though, as within 30 minutes I had stepped in dog crap twice! Barry Island is certainly an oddity, a nice residential area but the theme park stuff with rides etc, do look out of place. As I crossed back over the harbour road I could see my next objective Cold Knap Point. The suburbs of Barry eventually disappeared as Rhoose Point (southermost point of mainland Wales) came very quickly. Here you could see at close hand, from the previous extensive quarrying, the beautifully bedded limestone strata that would be pervasive for the rest of the walk.
After passing through a poorly signed holiday park, I eventually picked up the path again which soon dropped down to the West House Beach. I then followed a sea wall which shepherded me around the periphery of the Aberthaw Power Station. After the power station I noted the WCP went inland on a bit of a detour – I opted to walk across the beach and pick the path back up after 2km – unsure why this detour is there?
I had good views to the north where Llanwit Major could be seen, about a kilometer away. After dropping down to Cwm Col-huw I decided to walk along the beach as far as St. Donats.
The walking was easy on the Limestone “Pavement” with it’s classically weathered surface of “Clints” & “Grikes”. I had a brief look into the Boarding school at St. Donats and then climbed up through a wooded area to be greeted with the Nash Lighthouse and cottages. Walking along the cliff top was a delight, not only because the terrain was level, but it was also dry with the lack of rain over the previous 2 weeks. At Cwm Nash I decided to walk along the beach again all the way to Dunraven Park.
I had a slightly steep climb up and down into Dunraven Bay, which had a few people taking the mid-day sun. My walk concluded at Dunraven Bay, but I needed to continue up the road into Southerndown, where I caught the #303 bus back to Barry at a cost of £4.80. My previous concerns about the reliability of this service were ill-founded as the bus appeared bang on time, but not before I was able to down a quick pint of Doom Bar in the 3 Golden Cups. A lovely day of walking with limited hazy views but a number of interesting things along the way. My time of 6.75hrs for the 23 miles was probably down to the beach walking and the level terrain.
Distance today = 23 miles
Total distance = 1491 miles