Ogmore to Porthcawl: 6.3 miles (10.1km) +314m -317m (12 September 2014)
After a couple of weeks rest we were off again on our travels round Wales. Same strategy as before but this time we would be walking on a Friday.
We caught the bus from Porthcawl and alighted at Ogmore to start our walk. We first went down to the castle to see if we could cross the river by the stepping stones but the tide was in so we had to go round.
The path took us through Merthyr-mawr Warren (a nature reserve in the sand dunes) where we temporarily lost a couple of walkers because they weren’t paying attention. This brought us to the beach which we walked along until we got to Trecco Bay where we followed the promenade back to our cars in Porthcawl.
Porthcawl to Port Talbot: 11.1 miles (17.9km) +97m -98m (19 September 2014)
This was never going to be the prettiest of section of the Wales Coast Path, but the start of it was nice as we left Porthcawl along the promenade, through Lock’s Common and past the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. This took us to the Kenfig Pool & Dunes National Nature Reserve.
At the end of the reserve we turned inland towards the steelworks, but first we had to round an area that must have been an old tip because it was not very pleasant. This took us to the railway marshalling yards which we crossed very carefully and on the the A48.
We followed this road for half a mile and then turned left to walk through Margam which wasn’t as bad as it could have been and then onto the new bypass to the station which marked the end of the day’s walking.
Swansea to Port Talbot: 10.5 miles (16.9km) +74m -64m (26 September 2014)
The plan for today was to park at the Park and Ride off Fabian Way, get a bus to Port Talbot and walk back to the cars. We all got to the car park on time and walked to the bus stop. I looked along the road towards Swansea and saw the bus approaching. Just in case the driver didn’t see me I put out my arm. The driver looked at us and drove on without stopping. Not a good start to the day, especially as the buses only run every hour. We walked back to the cars and we all decided that our best course of action was to walk from where we were to Port Talbot and hope we could get a bus back.
The start of the walk was very pleasant as we followed a disused canal but then we turned and met the main road into Swansea which we had to follow to Baglan Bridge. Over the bridge we headed through an industrial estate and back to the beach. At this point we had lunch.
The beach walk took us to Aberavon where we had to get onto the promenade and walk through the old Port Talbot docks to where we completed the previous week’s walk.
After some refreshments in a cafe we went to the bus station where we caught the bus back to the park & ride.
When I got home I wrote to the bus company and their reply was the driver had been spoken to and re-educated, they also sent some free bus tickets which aren’t much use to us as we all have free bus passes. In the end I think it was good that we walked that way round because we ended up with the more pleasant part of the walk last.
Swansea to The Mumbles: 7.5 miles (12.0km) +140m -141m (10 October 2014)
Due to other commitments the last walk of the year had to wait an extra week.
The first part of the walk was around all the new developments in the dock area but when we crossed the barrage it was an easy but rather wet walk around Swansea Bay until we arrived at the cafe at the Mumbles where we all had a celebratory drink (tea or coffee).
This was the end of our walks for 2014 and by now our numbers had reduced to 15 all of whom wanted to carry on our journey round Wales. So in 2015 our target would be to get to Amroth and close the gap with the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It was quite a lot of walking, about 116 miles, and as travelling distances had got longer we would need to stay away for a couple of nights at a time. Still, it would give me something to think about over the winter.
Total of the 4 Walks: 35.4 miles
Total around Wales: 427.8 miles