A warm spring day, a little overcast, but a good day for walking – so we parked the car at Barry train station and took the train to Cogan (£5.20 single). Don’t ask how Cleo managed to get a muddy face before we even started!!
Cogan was about 1 km from the official start of the trail, so we strolled down to Penarth Marina and the starting point:
The first part was a steep uphill section of road into Penarth itself, past a church and along residential streets
Then suddenly there is a left hand turn to the coast and the most amazing views of the sea and Penarth Pier
We wound down the hill and along the seafront – stopping for a well needed bacon roll and coffee at The Fig Tree – roll OK, service very very slow so I stopped the clock on this one!! We continued up the hill and hit some decent path, the pace was good at this point, 1 km every 10 minutes or so.
Past an old WW2 lookout, and Lavenock church, and we then headed across Lavenstock nature reserve where things got a bit sitcky:
Just time to stop for a couple of selfies on a bench
There was a stop to see an old WW2 gun fortress at Lavernock point, and then we had a clear view of Sully Island
At this point the coastal path goes inland behind the campsite – so we did as told – but our advice to those following in our footsteps would be to head down and along the beach and back up and save a boring mile or so.
On down into Swanbridge, and a great view of Sully Island – The tide was out, and we chatted to some locals about the danger of heading across just before the tide turns – definitely one to come back to another day. On past the Captain’s Wife (a pub not a person), and along the coast some more past Sully.
At this point after a snack the path has to head inland to get around Barry docks (although we suspect there is a way through somehow), a loo stop followed and then the longest most boring stretch of road into Barry with just lampposts to count.
Past the docks council offices,
And then back to a nice part along the docks with the sun shining and the jumpers coming off.
Under the railway line, turn left and there was our car by the train station. So the official walk was 19.4 km(or 12.1 miles) in 3 hours 32 mins, but excluding getting to Penarth Marina that is 11.5 miles of coastal path walked. Taking our total to 55 miles done, 815 miles to go.
Then a stroll down to Barry Island for an ice cream added a further 1.2 km to our day (but not part of the walk) making 12.8 miles walked today (for Darren’s count!!).