Having planned to make the trek from Laugharne to Pendine over Easter, only to be thwarted by the weather, we settled for a shorter 2016 debut walk, a little nearer to home. The very helpful Cardiff Ramblers website includes a number of walks in and around the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan area, and so it was that we set off to Cosmeston Country Park bright and early, to tackle a five mile circular walk that takes in a mix of the Vale’s finest countryside and a coastal section from Sully across to Swanbridge.
Cosmeston Park is a real jewel in the crown of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, comprising two former quarries that have now flooded and form the centre-piece of a country park and conservation area that is hugely popular with people from across the region. It connects with a series of bridleways and public footpaths that allow wider exploration of the surrounding countryside, and having skirted around the southern edge of one of the lakes, we followed the Cardiff Ramblers’ route out to the north west across farmland in the direction of Cog Lane.
It had rained pretty heavily overnight on the day before our walk, and the pathway across the fields in the direction of Home Farm was pretty wet and muddy. The advice on the leaflet for the walk had emphasised the need for good boots, and we were glad we’d heeded that advice.
Having made our way past the dairy barns at Home Farm, we dropped down onto Cog Lane and made our way along the lane in the direction of Sully.
The roadway into the village from this direction takes you past some very desirable residential real-estate – both new build and conversions/upgrades of older property; before you move into the centre of the original village passing the (hopefully only temporarily) closed and empty Sully Inn.
On this Sunday morning, the bells of the parish church were sounding long and loud as we made our way down into the village and towards the sea. I don’t know if it is deliberate or not, but there was a definite increase in both the volume and rhythm of the peeling bells as the clock ticked around towards the start of the 11am service. It was almost as though the ringers were hastening late-comers along the pathway and into the church.
Crossing the main Barry to Penarth road outside the Church, we made our way along a footpath opposite to connect up with the Wales Coastal Footpath. It was bright but misty during our walk, and so the full impact of the three islands visible along the coast to the east was slightly diminished. Nevertheless, Flat Holm, Sully Island, and Steep Holm were all visible.
It’s a while since I was last down at Swanbridge looking across towards Sully Island, and it’s clear that a lot of work has been done (and is continuing) to improve the sea defences here. Unfortunately, it does mean that the sea-front here looks a bit like a building site at the moment, but I am sure that it will look much better in a few months’ time when the work is complete. We arrived on the causeway to Sully Island about an hour before high tide, so discretion took the better part of valour and we decided not to make the crossing and risk having to stay on the island for 6 hours until the waters had receded.
The walk back up from the sea-front to Cosmeston is a bit, well – pedestrian, to be honest, with very little of note to see on either side.
Thankfully, having made it back to the visitor centre we enjoyed an excellent cup of coffee, sandwich and piece of carrot cake before heading back home.
A very enjoyable 5 mile walk and a lovely way to pass a couple of hours on a bright (if cloudy) Sunday morning.