The Glamorgan Heritage Coast stretches for 14 miles, from Aberthaw to Porthcawl with plunging cliffs, secluded coves and breathtaking views it is a must for walkers, cyclists or anyone with a love of the countryside
The whole coastline is fringed with delightful towns, small villages and miles of footpaths and country lanes. By far the best way to explore this remote and beautiful coastline is on foot.
The tidal range here is the second highest in the world after the Bay of Fundy in Canada, this, along with the dramatic blue lias cliffs creates stunning seascapes to rival any coastline in Britain!
All of this combined with wooded valleys, spectacular wildlife and 2000 years of human habitation, makes this coastline truly unique.
Be captivated on this 9-mile Glamorgan Heritage Coast trail. Forming a section of the Wales Coast Path, its cliffs, nature reserves and ancient churches offer spectacular sights along the way.
St Illtud’s Church is a great place to start or end your walk. Stroll around the interior of the magnificent 13th century church; admire the medieval wall paintings depicting St Mary Magdalene and St Christopher and search for the rare 13th century Jesse stone. Visitors can also find out about the oldest religious education centre in Britain, dating back to 500 AD and watch the progress on the restoration for the 15th century Galilee Chapel.
Walking the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is enough to put a spring in your step, with the waters lapping the shore and the shingle cracking beneath your feet. See it up close as you follow the steps down into Tresilian Bay; notice how the Lias Limestone and Shales have eroded the cliffs to create caves such as Reynard’s Cave. These cliffs aren’t for the faint-hearted, so watch out for the warning signs and keep your pooches on a short lead.
Nash Point Lighthouse is a shining beacon of light for unwary sailors and once was a mournful warning of danger on a foggy night. In 1831 Nash Sands claimed the lives of 78 souls aboard the ‘Frolic’ passenger ship, which acted as a catalyst for building the lighthouse. Get the family out walking and stop off at the lighthouse if you have energy to spare. Want to hear the fog horn? Time your walk for the first Saturday and third Sunday of the month
Holy Trinity church, Marcross
One of three churches on this walk, Holy Trinity church dates back to the 12th century. Look out for the Leper window on the south side of the chancel. Parishioners with leprosy and other contagious diseases weren’t allowed inside the church to take holy sacrament. Sadly this was the only way for them to watch the parish priest giving holy sacrament. There’s now just a few stiles left to negotiate before you finish back at Llantwit Major. .
Vale of Glamorgan charity Valeways has a ‘Churches, College and Lighthouse’ circular walk, which gives you a great opportunity to view the magnificent 12th century St Donat’s Castle from the coastline and further inland. Randolph Hurst, the newspaper magnate, owned it for a while, with Charlie Chaplin and J.F Kennedy among his guests here. Atlantic College has been based here since 1962. Want to find out about opening times? Cardiff City Council has all the latest info.