The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

WCP: Gwndy to St Brides Wentlooge

Wednesday 11 March 2015 (0715-1330)

Distance: 19.5 miles

Weather: Dry start, bit of drizzle/light rain in the middle of the day, then a dry finish

“What do you hear” I said to Mick after I’d rudely awoken him from his slumber this morning.

“It’s not raining” he said.

“Exactly” I replied, leaping out of bed to seize the day.

It wasn’t just dry, but reasonably bright, as I enjoyed the peace of the early morning along the Severn Estuary, turning every now and then to admire again the elegance of the ‘new’ Severn Bridge (I remember seeing it being built, 21 years ago, so more ‘newer’ than ‘new’, really).


I’d been ambling along a while, when I caught sight of a shock of pink building in the distance ahead of me, and immediately I knew that I would have to photograph it when I got into its grounds:


I’d read about this house on Ruth’s blog and it’s not the house itself that demands a photo, but the big sign on the gates either side of the property which prohibit taking photos when on their land. I wonder if they realise that putting up a sign attempting to ban something which the public has every right to do is exactly what causes people to take photos of their house? I certainly wouldn’t have stopped for a snap in the absence of the notice.

A bit more embankment saw me to Gold Cliff, where I was forced away from the coast for a little while, before rejoining it in a large nature/RSPB reserve. There, right by the little lighthouse, Mick appeared before me and offered to show me a short-cut to where he was parked, but I was true to my objective and took the circuitous route, following the coast as far as possible, before being forced back on myself due to a lack of access up the edge of the Usk estuary.

A lunch so early that I’d be better calling it second breakfast was despatched before I bade Mick farewell again and girded my loins to negotiate Newport – a task which would have been far more enjoyable (not to mention 2 miles shorter) had I been 3 weeks later, which would have enabled me to use the transporter bridge to cross the river. In the absence of that option, I plodded through an industrial estate, crossed the river via the A48 and plodded back out the other side, with not a single flicker of recognition of any feature of the city – quite incredible considering I once lived there (although I’m sure it was only a town back then).

It was only just gone 12.30 when I reached the place where I intended to end my day, and I had toyed with continuing on another 3 miles (that being the next road-accessible point). Deciding that the sensible thing was to ease back into this multi-day-walking malarkey gently, I duly stopped and called Mick for a lift, only to find that I had timed my finish ill, as he had just that moment walked into the campsite reception. Decision made: I would walk on 3 more miles after all.

That gave a far more pleasing end to the day, again along the sea-defence embankment (with the last half of a mile or so being in the company of Mick), with the added bonus of giving me a shorter day tomorrow.


  1. Looks like you are heading towards my old village of Rumney- which I left 44 years ago. Fond memories of playing on the foreshore known to us as Lamby., something to do with Vikings.

  2. It was at Lamby where I deviated from what my map told me to do and followed the shore all the way around until it met the road bridge over the river - so I'm probably now more familiar with that area than your average WCP walker!