Lighthouse Park to Cardiff Bay: 10.4 miles (16.7km) +36m -27m (23 July 2014)
So far all the walks from Chepstow to Lighthouse Park had been Lower Wye Ramblers’ group walks with all the bother of putting it in the programme, recceing the walk, organising transport and regularly being let down by people who cancel at the last minute. The other point was that we were only doing 2 or 3 walks a year and at that rate we would never complete the Coast Path. So Dorothy and I decided that we would do it on our own at regular intervals and we arranged to start on 23 July. In the meantime we had a little friend who wanted to tag along with us as well.
We met up at Cardiff Bay and I got a taxi to take us back to Lighthouse Park. The first part of the the walk was much as before along the sea wall but at Rhymney we turned inland to Lamby Way and on to the roundabout at the end of Rover Way. At this point the path follows the coast around the back of a sewage works and a travellers camp. I wasn’t happy about walking this route, so I cut straight through to Splott and met up with the official path at the Magic Roundabout.
We completed the day with a pleasant walk through Atlantic Wharf and on to Cardiff Bay and the Millennium Centre.
As we were walking that day I started to feel guilty about doing it on our own and decided that when I got home I would put out a general invite and see what happened. The strategy would be to use public transport to get us from the end of the walk to the start. It just happened that there was a bus service from Bridgend to Cardiff Bay that followed the coast. This route was operated by NAT (New Adventure Travel) and what an apt name the company had because we had many adventures on the bus.
Cardiff Bay to Barry: 11.1 miles (17.8km) +178m -175m (30 July 2014)
We all met at Barry Docks which was getting the usual trendy makeover and got the bus to Cardiff Bay.
From the Millennium Centre we walked past the Senedd, the Norwegian Church and the sculpture to Captain Scott which was there because on 15 June 1910 he set off from Cardiff in the Terra Nova for Antarctica. After we crossed the bridge to Roath Docks we passed the Doctor Who Exhibition (must go there sometime) and then on to the barrage which keeps Cardiff Bay constantly flooded. This took us to the locks leading into the bay and then up a rather steep hill to Penarth. We stopped on Penarth Pier for coffee, but I think some also had bacon butties.
From there we walked along the prom and on to Lavernock Point where Marconi made his first wireless transmission. We then had a couple of detours around caravan parks until we came to Sully. The path then went inland and the day finished with a long hot trek along a busy road back to the cars.
Barry to Fontgarry: 8.3 miles (13.3km) +186m -183m (6 August 2014)
Fontgarry Holiday and Leisure Park were happy for us to use their car park as a meeting point and we got the bus to Barry. All went well until we approached Barry when the bus broke down. We were about a mile from where the walk was due to start and if I had known how long another bus would take to collect us, I would have walked it. The driver said a replacement would be there is 10 minutes but an hour passed and no bus. Eventually we gave up and caught another bus.
So we started an hour later than I had planned and walked around Barry Island which brought back childhood memories to many of the party.
From Barry we went past Pothkerry, a popular tourist spot and then below some amazing cliffs until we arrived back at Fontgarry.
Fontgarry to Nash Point: 10.0 miles (16.1km) +120m -124m (13 August 2014)
This week we all met at Nash Point and then walked up to the main road where the bus took us on a fast and windy journey to Fontgarry.
As it was about 11am by the time we got ourselves sorted out, we had a coffee stop before we started. Twenty minutes later we were on our way and I had decided that we would keep going for a couple of hours before lunch.
The walk begun by going round Aberthaw Power Station and then for a short distance inland before we regained the coast. We arrived at the Seawatch Centre at Summerhouse Point. This was a lookout for the coastguard but now the RSPB use it for monitoring birds. We were all invited in and had an interesting talk about what went on there. So much for my two hours walk. By the time we had finished looking round it was lunchtime.
The coast path continued west past Llantwit Major and St Donat’s College on to Nash Point Lighthouse where, to our good fortune, they were testing the fog horns. It made your whole body vibrate.
Nash Point to Ogmore: 8.1 miles (13.1km) +314m -317m (20 August 2014)
This is not a part of the Welsh coast that I had visited before and I was amazed at how good it was. From the start at Nash Point we walked along the cliff tops all the way to Southerndown where I missed the path down to sea level but we got there in the end. We then walked round Ogmore-by-Sea back to the cars which were a little way up the Ogmore river.
This marked the first batch of mid-week walks but we would be back with more in September.
Total of the 5 walks: 47.9 miles
Total around Wales: 392.4 miles