Margam to Porthcawl

8th October 2017

This is another of those days when we need to join up a gap between 2 previous walks – this one is a bit more substantial though at nearly 9 miles. We have previously walked from Margam Crematorium to Aberavon Sands, and walked from Ogmore to Porthcawl, so this one joins up the gap between Porthcawl and Margam. We parked in Porthcawl and headed to Greggs for our energy breakfast. Then waited for the bus to take us to Pyle. Yes, unfortunately we could only get to Pyle so we knew we had a 3.5 mile walk to get us to the Margam starting point!!

Waiting for the bus – some paying more attention to the camera than others

At Pyle it is a walk along the A48 (which used to be the coastal path route until the bridge was built over the Kenfig river but more on that later).

Margam castle and the flag is flying so the queen is in

And within 55 minutes we were crossing the M4 and ready to start the walk proper at the Crematorium.

Over the M4 today

The new route of the coastal path goes around an industrial estate and down a lane.

From industrial estate to country lane

It then crosses both the main London to Swansea railway line (unassisted – just look both ways and run) and then a series of sidings used by Tata steel.

Look, listen and run

This then brought us out onto Margam moor, which was very flat, and involved a simple long straight path.

We were uncertain where to go when the path split, but we were right to head across a footbridge over the reed beds.

It is this way

We then came across a flooded section of path, hence why it is the moors, and for the first time in a long time we got wet socks while wading through it.

Squelching already with many miles to go

The path then became more sandy as we headed into the dunes, and the sand stuck beautifully to the muddy boots.

Sharon sets the pace

Then we arrived at the Kenfig river bridge, which was the reason why this route had been delayed from being open – if you read the 2014 edition of the Wales Coastal Path book by Goddard and Evans it says the route is still under negotiation – it is open now.

We stopped for coffee and a cake here but Sharon was more interested in playing hide and seek. As our blanket was across the coastal path we also had a runner nearly run right through us.

We can see you Sharon!!

After our rest we walked along the dune, with the sounds of motorcross bikes all around. A couple of times we had to dodge out of the way, but the glimpses of the sea made up for it.

Pink Bay gave a great view back along the coast towards Port Talbot and Aberavon.

While ahead of us was Rest Bay and Porthcawl.

The next part of the coastal path goes alongside the golf course on the boardwalk – watch out for flying balls!!

And then we were in Rest Bay, and round to Hutchwns Point.

Rest bay

We stopped at the Atlantic hotel for sunday lunch. You would not have believed it was early October, sat outside by the sea front, and the food was very tasty.

Yes it is October!!

We walked along the sea front for coffee and dessert with another view.

Who says it is all about the food!!  And then we headed around to Porthcawl pleasure beach and the car.

Today was 12.3 miles in total, and 8.8 miles of them are coastal path. This takes our total to 322.7 miles walked and 547.0 miles to go. More importantly this completes Chapter 8 of the book and all the walks of the South Wales part of the coastal path from Swansea to Cheptow.

Andrew and Sharon

Briton Ferry to Aberavon including optional loop

24th September 2017

The purpose of this walk was actually to join up a very short section between Briton Ferry and Aberavon Sands, left from 2 previous walks. But in order to make a day of it we decided to make it a circular walk taking in the red route mountainous section along Baglan as well. So we parked at St Mary’s church in Port Talbot and walked under the M4.

Red route signs

Very quickly the route began a steep climb up grass covered steps, and it just seemed to go up and up and up.

Up the road
And up the steps
Looking back from half way up
Almost at the top

At the top (over 200 floors high according to the fitbit) and the route goes along the ridge besides Mynydd Dinas forest, and gives some superb views over Aberavon and on to Swansea.

The white square factory in the exact centre of this picture is where we will be later on

Then the walk suddenly goes along a road, past a farm and you find yourself in a modern housing estate complete with school – this is Baglan. You then walk along the edge of Briton Ferry forest before dropping down sharply at the McDonalds on the Briton Ferry roundabout – which was perfect – not just to have a wee and a coffee, but also because that is where we ended up on a previous walk.

Another forest
We have been to this sign before, but this time we go left not right

You then head under the M4 and along Afon Nedd, past the Brunel tower

The underneath of the M4
The Brunel Tower

Bonnie was enjoying the river walk as we headed towards her favourite – the beach…..

Bonnie takes the lead
Baglan Burrows
Almost at the coast

Time for one final look behind us at the hill we have just climbed

And we hit the beach, to join up with the previous walk from Margam to Aberavon Sands stopping for a nice panini in the seaside cafe before running for the car in the rain.

A total of 9.7 miles walked, but only 3.7 of them are new coastal path, taking our total to 313.9 miles walked and 555.8 miles to go.

Andrew and Sharon