Walking Long

The Group meets monthly, on a day arranged by the designated walk organiser, for a walk of about 6 to 9 miles. New members are always welcome. See below for dates of forthcoming walks and events.

THE LONG WALKS SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE (for the remainder of 2015 and also 2016, where decided).

Sorry, but no dogs allowed on walks (due to previous experiences!).

Contact Steve Monaghan

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At the AGM and lunch in November 2015 it was agreed that Steve Monaghan would continue as Group Leader.
The membership fee remains unchanged at £1.00 per person.
One walk attracted 11 attendees and another 9 participants. Only one walk was lost to the weather. Three members attended 5 out of the 11 walks, with the longest trek being 10.0 miles. Congratulations (and prizes) went to Jim Bostock, Keith Morgan, Marian East, Penny Jarvis, Claire Fawcett and Judith Nunn.

There was excellent weather for the October 2015 walk; it could hardly have been better. The meeting place was the car park of the Green Dragon Inn (unfortunately, yet another closed Vale hostelry) in Llancadle. The leaders, Claire Fawcett and Judith Nunn, took the party of 9 down into the marshy valley, across the River Kenson and then over the fields used for the Vale of Glamorgan Show; Fonmon Castle was glimpsed through the trees. The group descended through woodland to Fonmon Pool, before skirting Cardiff Airport to reach Rhoose.

Crossing a stile near Fonmon Castle The group at Fonmon Pool Fonmon Pool

A café provided a welcome coffee stop here. The walkers then went south to join the coastal path, passing the impressive ruins of a lime kiln at East Aberthaw and traversing the woodland of the Nature Reserve, en-route to the ancient Blue Anchor Inn, where lunch was taken.

The old lime kilns At the Blue Anchor Inn Also at the Blue Anchor Inn

The walk along the coastal path was then resumed, to skirt the Power Station and cross the River Thaw, before turning inland towards Gileston. The derelict Boys Village was seen to the right, as lanes and fields were used to reach the busy B4265, which was followed for a short distance before turning off to return to Llancadle. The total length of the walk was 10 miles.
Additional information for October 2015

The Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre at Libanus was the starting point for the September 2015 Long Walk, led by Steve and Val Monaghan, but there was a twist to the usual custom, as coffee and cakes were taken BEFORE setting off! On arrival in the car park, one walker's vehicle was found to have a flat tyre, so, as there were only four in the party, departure was delayed until the spare had been fitted.

The offending flat tyre! A view to the north-east Looking up to Twyn y Gaer Climbing up to Twyn y Gaer

Due to the late start, the walk around Mynydd Illtud, via the trig point on Twyn y Gaer, was shortened from 7 miles to 5.7 miles by omitting the Allt Lom section. The group had sunshine for most of the walk, despite low, black clouds and rain on of the surrounding hills, but were eventually caught in a heavy downpour on Traeth Bach, just over a mile away from the end of the circuit.

Pen y Fan & Corn Du from Visitor Centre

Lunch was taken on a picnic table outside the Visitor Centre's café, as the sun had returned by then.

The August 2015 Long Walk was led by Bob Bevington. Six avid walkers arrived in the car park of the sadly closed (yet again) Farmers Arms, St Brides Major. The day could have been a wash out after another unsettled period of weather in what has passed for this year's summer, but the party set off with fingers firmly crossed. They traversed Heol y Mynydd in blustery sunshine and cloud - perhaps it would be a good walk despite the odds.
Descending the tricky terrain of fascinating Pant Mari Flanders, they peered into the medieval well and glanced up at the ruined hillside cottage which housed 'Mari Flanders' and other Low Countries religious refugees who worked in the Welsh wool trade in that period.
Negotiating the Ogmore estuary, the party were blasted by a brief squall which had them reaching for their hoods, but shortly afterwards they rounded the headland in breezy sunshine, with soaked clothes rapidly drying. The hoped for cafe stop was taken in the Post Office, where the group sat in the sun, laughing at their change of fortune.

Ogmore in the rain Ogmore in sunshine watching choughs

Along the grassy cliff top banks, the walkers were treated to the sight of seven choughs wheeling around the steep terrain and also saw ravens gathered nearby. The bird watchers amongst the group got quite excited!
Then it was down to Southerndown valley as they wound their way back over fields and stiles to St Brides. A distance of 6.5 miles covered and no further rain.
Lunch was taken at the Three Golden Cups, where the company were also treated to music from the 1940s - some wondered whether it was put on for their enjoyment alone!

Unfortunately, the July 2015 Long Walk fell victim to the weather; it was a day of unremitting rain.

There was superb weather for the June 2015 walk, which started from Dyffryn Gardens (now under National Trust stewardship). The route took the quartet, led by June and Rhys Morgan, firstly to the impressive Tinkinswood burial chamber and then on to the one at St Lythans, with its fine cromlech, over 6000 years old.

6000 year old crumlin at St Lythan Crumlin at St Lythan

Wenvoe Golf Course was skirted by the group as they made their way to St Lythans Church, from where a short detour was made to the "Horse and Jockey" pub in Twyn-yr-Odyn for lunch. A return to the starting point from the pub completed a 7.5 mile walk (which one member of the party said was walked in record time!).

Another month, another walk from St Hilary, but the May 2015 walk, led by Jo Ilsley (aided and abetted by Penny Jarvis), took the four-strong party on a different route, exploring new countryside, with excellent views en-route. The group passed through Llantrithyd, where, outside a cottage, there was a dummy protesting against fracking in the Vale.

St Hilary A threatening sky as we set off! Anti-fracking protestor

The half-way point was the village of Llancarfan, where a coffee stop was taken on benches in the churchyard. Unfortunately, the church was closed as restoration work was still being undertaken on the mediaeval wall paintings. The return journey took the party past Aberogwrn Farm, which is the base of another local racehorse trainer, Evan Williams.

A bucolic view Through Coed Arthur The homeward stretch to St Hilary

With just 30 minutes remaining of the 8.7 mile walk, the predicted rain finally started, but a good pub lunch quickly raised the spirits of the walkers.

The weather looked distinctly unpromising as the party met at the Bush Inn at St Hilary for the April 2015 walk; low cloud and drizzle presaged a wet day. Fortunately, by the time the small (but select) group of four were ready to depart, there had been a definite meteorological improvement and waterproofs were shed during the first hour. Penny Jarvis and Marian East took the walk towards Llantrithyd, then on to Tair Onnen.

The Bush Inn at St Hilary Pysgodlyn Mawr Lake At Pysgodlyn Mawr Lake On the last leg down into St Hilary

A coffee stop was taken by Pysgodlyn Mawr Lake and then it was on to Hensol Forest and Welsh St Donats. On the last sections of the 8.5 mile trek, the walkers passed the Pant Wilkin Stables of racehorse trainer Tim Vaughan and then The Clump, possible site of the Cowbridge gallows, before descending into St Hilary for a pub lunch, taken in the garden.

The March 2015 walk commenced in the village of St Fagans. Steve and Val Monaghan led the eight-strong party on a route to Radyr, via parts of St Fagans new to most, through Radyr Woods and then along Junction Terrace, which became the first street in the village when houses were built for railway workers.

Into Radyr Woods A view in Radyr Woods Another view in Radyr Woods Still in Radyr Woods

A coffee break was made in the Italian restaurant/café/deli in Radyr; this type of stop appears to becoming a feature of Long Walks of late! The route then took the group onto Radyr Golf Course, before the A4119 road had to be crossed at a hazardous section - the footpath obviously pre-dated fast motor traffic. The rural view that the walkers shortly encountered, across the valley to the route of a dismantled railway, made all the effort worthwhile: the deep mud on a farm track near the end of the walk didn't!

The view on the return leg The view again

The total distance of the circuit was 6 miles. Lunch was enjoyed at the Grade II listed Plymouth Arms at the end of the walk.

Keith Morgan was forced to change the February 2015 walk from the one he had spent so much time reconnoîtring, because of widespread deep mud on the paths. Instead, the group of eight met at the Toby Carvery (known locally as the "Cwm Ciddy Motel") on the edge of Barry for a walk of nearly 9 miles. The route followed the Cwm Cidy ("Valley of the Black Dog"), with a detour to view a house platform en-route, and passed under the imposing Porthkerry railway viaduct to enter Porthkerry Country Park, where coffee was taken at the café.

Porthkerry railway viaduct In front of the railway viaduct coffee stop in Porthkerry Park café

The route then took the party onto the pebble beach at low water - impressive, but difficult walking! - to trek to The Knap, then across Watch Tower Bay to Friars Point, eventually reaching Barry Island, once known as "the Riviera of the South Wales Coast".

The pebble beach Walking towards The Knap Lunch at Marcos cafe Chalets and a fountain

Lunch was taken, in sunshine, on the Promenade at Marco's Café of "Gavin and Stacey" fame. The return leg was via Jackson's Bay, Redbrick Terrace, the now-deserted Barry Docks and residential streets (here Keith pointed out the locations where the families of both he and the Australian ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard had once lived) to re-enter Porthkerry Park. A convivial drink at our start point rounded off a pleasant day.

Jim Bostock was the Leader for the January 2015 walk, which started at Kenfig Pool Visitor Centre. There was an excellent turn-out of eleven members for a 6 mile trek, which began in a cold wind, necessitating hats, warm coats and gloves. By the time we reached the ruins of Kenfig Castle, the wind had dropped and the sun was shining.

View over Kenfig dunes John inside Kenfig Castle Some of the group at Kenfig Castle Inside the ruins of Kenfig Castle

The party took a route through Kenfig dunes to the beach (where a game called bando was once played), where we set off for the distant Sker Point, around 1.5 miles away. A path bordering the golf course returned the group to the Visitor Centre. Lunch was taken at the nearby, historic "Prince of Wales" Inn (formerly the medieval Town Hall); the forecast rain arrived just before we left the pub for home.

Previous walks 2014

Previous walks 2013 and earlier

Dates for your Diary
Thu Dec 10 Walk to be led by Bob and Sue Collier
Fri Jan 15 Walk to be led by Keith Morgan and Claire Fawcett
Thu Feb 11 Walk to be led by Colin and Judith Nunn
Fri Mar 4 Walk to be led by Marian East and Penny Jarvis
Fri Apr 22 Walk to be led by Jim Bostock
Fri May 20 Walk to be led by Rhys and June Morgan
Fri Jun 10 Walk to be led by Steve and Val Monaghan
Tue Jul 19 Walk to be led by Jo Ilsley
Fri Aug 19 Walk to be led by Keith Kennett
Fri Sep 9 Walk to be led by John Andrew
Fri Nov 11 Walk to be led by Penny Jarvis and Marian East

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