Cowbridge

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 2014 LONG WALKS SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

Contact Steve Monaghan

Bob and Sue Collier were the leaders of the April 2014 walk, which started from their house in Maendy, not far from Cowbridge. Seven of us met to walk over 9 miles through the Vale of Glamorgan countryside, via the villages of Ystradowen (with its motte), City, Craig Penllyn (where packed lunches were taken), Llansannor and Pen-y-Lan. Parts of the route were familiar to some of us, but there were a lot of paths we'd never trodden before. The woodlands were a picture, carpeted with wood anemones, celandines and, just starting to make an appearance, bluebells. At one point, we had to wait while a flock of ewes with lambs was herded down the road to a new pasture; there was an awful lot of bleating when they arrived, as mothers tried to locate offspring and vice versa!

After months of rain, spring appeared to have arrived on the day that John Andrew led the March 2014 walk of almost 7 miles around Cardiff Bay. Not only did the group of 8 have good weather and an almost gradient-free walk, but they also enjoyed a bird watch as a bonus. Goosander, great-crested grebe, turnstone, tufted duck and grey wagtail were seen, as well as a variety of seagulls; some watched a heron catch a frog or toad near Hamadryad Park. There was even time for a coffee halfway round in the Norwegian Church.

Fortunately, Jim Bostock had chosen the day between two storms to lead his February 2014 meander around Merthyr Mawr Warren and the 6 strong party had spring-like sunshine for at least half of the walk. There were rain flurries and a cold wind as we gathered at “The Ancient Briton” pub in Newton, but conditions had much improved by start time. We passed the 12th Century church on our way into the extensive system of dunes, with the numerous ponds in low-lying areas testament to the heavy rainfall of recent months. Jim showed us the disused rifle range (used in WW2, but possibly having origins in the 19th Century), but we decided not to search for the base of the old windmill which he had never been able to find. Not far from Candleston Castle we turned seaward and made our way back along the beach for lunch in the pub.

Those familiar with the book and film entitled: "The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain" would know that the story is based on The Garth Mountain, which overlooks Taffs Well. This was the destination of the January 2014 walk, which started from Creigiau. Leaders Steve and Val Monaghan took the group of 8 along the old railway line and then quiet lanes (to avoid waterlogged and muddy fields) to the edge of Pentyrch, before beginning the final ascent to the tumulus that bears the triangulation point. We had climbed about 800 feet from Creigiau. The return journey took us through Pentyrch and past Craig-y-Parc, now a Scope residential School, to a well-earned lunch in the Creigiau Inn.

There was good walking weather, bright, cold and dry, for the December 2013 walk, led by Penny Jarvis and Marian East from Rest Bay, Porthcawl. The 8 strong party followed the board walk along the coast to Kenfig Burrows, where a climb up through the dunes took them to the Nature Reserve Visitor Centre. Unfortunately, the café wasn't open, so no coffee break! The route then took them past Sker House and St David's Well, before lunch was taken in the "Rose and Crown", Nottage, only a short walk from the starting point.

10 members took part in our November 2013 walk, starting from Llandow and covering a 7+ miles circular walk around "The Hidden Vale", led by June and Rhys Morgan. It was a beautiful sunny day and the clear blue skies meant that we had wonderful views over the Vale, as we passed the ruins of the 12th Century Church of St Andrew Minor and the site of a substantial Medieval Village, now only noticeable because of the irregular and bumpy surfaces in the field.
We crossed some 'interesting stiles' (to say the least) and were glad of the farmer in our midst when some cattle herding was necessary!
After an excellent lunch at the 17th Century Sycamore Tree Inn, Colwinston, we looked at the nearby 19th Century Baptismal Pool, This is a rectangular-shaped pond, formerly used by the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, and was created by blocking off the river at the bottom of the field below Cymna House. (We think it may still be used to this day, but can find no information on this.)

At the AGM and lunch in October 2013, it was agreed that the date of each walk would remain the Leader's choice, as: i) there are few days that don't clash with other U3A activities and ii) a set date (e.g. fourth Thursday of the month or second Tuesday of the month) could exclude some from every walk.
The membership charge is remaining unchanged at £1.00 per household. The funds collected last year have been used to purchase a First Aid Kit for the Group.
Two walks were notable for each attracting 12 attendees (essentially the whole membership of the Group) and three people did 6 out of the 10 walks. Congratulations (and prizes) went to Elaine Booth, Keith Kennett and Marian East.

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

Dates for your Diary
Tue May 6 Walk to be led by Jo Ilsley
Wed Jun 18 Walk to be led by June and Rhys Morgan
Fri Jul 4 Weekend awaybreak with Wednesday Walking Group Friday, 4 July 2014 - Monday, 7 July 2014
Fri Jul 25 Walk to be led by Keith Kennett
Fri Aug 15 Walk to be led by Penny Jarvis and Marian East
Fri Sep 19 Walk to be led by Steve and Val Monaghan
Fri Oct 31 Walk to be led by Bob Bevington
Fri Nov 28 Walk to be led by Elaine Booth
Thu Dec 11 If no other volunteer, walk to be led by Steve & Val Monaghan!

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

 
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