Llantwit Major - Rhoose - Barry

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The walk begins in Llantwit Major, a town whose history goes back to the time of the early Welsh saints and the founding of a church and monastery by St Illtyd (the present-day church is Norman in origin and replaced the earlier Celtic building). Although in recent years the town has grown considerably, its historic centre remains untouched and is a delightful maze of tiny lanes, old stone buildings and atmospheric taverns.

A gentle stroll down to the sea leads to Llantwit Major Beach. Between here and the end of the Heritage Coast in Gileston, the walking is mostly along low cliffs, though a number of rocky beaches are crossed near Limpert Bay. A short distance before descending to Limpert Bay you will pass the Seawatch Centre, a converted coastguard lookout station now used as a maritime interpretation centre. When manned, you may be called up for an impromptu tour.

Aberthaw Power Station marks an obvious termination point for the Heritage Coast, its enormous bulk a seemingly insurmountable barrier to further progress. Do not despair: a clear path follows the sea wall in front of the power station; once past, further attractive coastal walking is soon reached.

On approaching Rhoose, you have the opportunity to shorten the walk by catching a train from Rhoose Railway Station. However, the full walk continues past Rhoose Point, the most southerly point on mainland Wales, to Porthkerry Country Park and the pebbly beach of Cold Knap. Cold Knap Point offers excellent views across the Bristol Channel.

Fortunately, Barry Railway Station is on the western edge of the town and easily accessible from the coast. Heading inland, you will be able to see across Barry Harbour to Barry Island. This was a genuine island until the 1880s, when it was linked to the mainland during the construction of Barry Dock. By 1913, Barry was the largest coal-exporting town in Wales. Today, it is better known as the home of Gavin and Stacey (from the BBC comedy series) and as the birthplace of Julia Gillard, Australia's first female prime minister.

Wales - South Wales - Vale of Glamorgan - Coast

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Pub, Public Transport, Sea, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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Accommodation
Distance away
30.5 Miles