Ogmore to Southerndown Walk

The coastal path from Ogmore to Southerndown is well worth a visit especially when the weather is nice. Park your car at either Southerndown or Ogmore and stroll along the high cliff-top path enjoying the fantastic Bristol Channel views. Both locations have good car-parking though there is a small charge (about £3).

View of Southerndown from Ogmore

View of Southerndown from Ogmore

The coastal path here is along the top of the limestone cliffs. The cliffs are about 40m (130ft) high above the rocky beach. The path is a little way from the edge of the cliff which is a good thing as there isn’t any protection from the sheer drop into the sea below. It’s advised to keep children and dogs well under control!

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Tufa cliffs at Cwm Nash Beach

Tufa Cliff at Cwm Nash

Tufa Cliff at Cwm Nash

We went down Cwm Nash last weekend.

This photo is at the end of the Cwm (valley) looking back inland. It’s quite interesting because all of the rock either side here (out of view) is grey liassic limestone that weathers to a light buff colour. But all of the buff coloured cliff face here is post glacial tufa. Tufa is a calcareous deposit. All of the cliff that you can see here is lime that has precipitated from the valley stream since the last ice age – only about 12,000 years ago. So the cliff has slowly built up from the stream. The stream is currently quite small and now comes out of the bridge structure over to the right. read more

View of the iconic Eisteddfod pavilion

Eisteddfod 2012

Last week we went to the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llandow, in the Vale of Glamorgan. We were invited as guests of the Principality Building Society which was very nice. ūüôā ¬† The Principality is Wales’ largest mutual building society and is the main sponsor of the National Eisteddfod choral competitions.

The Eisteddfod is a cultural festival and is held annually in Wales. Its location alternates each year between north and south Wales and is normally held at a new site each time. This year Llandow between Cowbridge and Llantwit Major was chosen. read more

Path approaching St Illtud's Church, Llantrithyd

Llantrithyd Church and Manor House

We stopped off today at Llantrithyd Church. It’s situated in the centre of the rural Vale of Glamorgan half way between Cardiff and Cowbridge. It’s off the beaten track along a small lane that runs from Bonvilston through the countryside eventually ending up in Llantwit Major.

The church appears to date from the 1500s and is a beautiful place. The inside of the church is well worth a visit when it’s open – “Here is a massive 16th century family altar tomb dominating the tiny interior. It retains its colourful paint and gilded detailing and shows a man in armour laying next to his wife, both with their hands together in prayer.” – Wales Online
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View of inside Illtud's restaurant

Illtud’s 216 Restaurant Review

It’s a few years since we last visited Illtud’s 216 restaurant in Llantwit Major but we popped along on the spur of the moment for my birthday last week.

Even though it’s been 3 years the restaurant hasn’t appeared to change much. Although fairly non-descript on the outside the inside has a medieval feel to it (click on the photo for a better view). Even though it has a high roof in the main part of the restaurant the use of drapes and banners gives a warm cosy feel. The front of the restaurant has a wood burning stove which enhances the ambience – especially when the owner Georg Fuchs managed to fill the room with smoke! read more

St. Augustine’s Church, Penarth

We visited St Augustine’s Church in Penarth last week.¬† The church is set high up on the headland between Cardiff Bay and the Bristol Channel.¬† Its prominent position means that it’s clearly visible for miles around.

I see the church almost every day but have never visited it before.  It has stunning views back across the Bay towards the Pierhead building, Mermaid Quay and the city centre, and then on to the hills and mountains north of Cardiff.

The church is pretty impressive, though the graveyard needs a bit of love and attention.
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St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major

View of St Illtud's church with a snow covered graveyard

St Illtud's Church - north

St Illtud’s church in Llantwit Major is a remarkable place. A church was first set up here by St Illtud in AD520 when he created the first collegiate church and monastery.

It has often been called “the oldest university in the world”. Llanilltud Fawr became the centre of learning throughout Christian Britain.
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Trials bikes at Ogmore by Sea

Trials bikes on the rocks at Ogmore by SeaA couple of weeks ago we walked from Ogmore by Sea to Southerndown.¬† It’s a great walk along the coastal path with great views across the Bristol Channel.

As we passed one of the bays I spotted these Trials bikes practising on the limestone slabs.  Click on the photo for a better view.

It looked like a lot of fun and the guys were pretty skilled. Pretty impressive ūüôā

Update 26th January 2010: it seems one of the riders was Dave Kerr – both guys are top of their sport in the UK

Bar Meal in the Bear Hotel, Cowbridge

A few days ago I met up with some old school friends from Cowbridge in the Bear Hotel in Cowbridge. I was early and had missed the earlier opportunity of a free meal in Cardiff so I decided to go for a bar meal while I waited for my friends. I decided to go for the Cajun Salmon from the daily specials menu. The meal was excellent – the salmon was cooked to perfection and the Cajun spices and sauce wasn’t too over the top. The meal cost close to ¬£9. With a couple of pints of the Bear’s special real ale the evening went down a treat!!! Not so sure about the friends though. ūüôā