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]

Saturday, 14 March 2015

WCP: West Aberthaw to Ogmore

Saturday 14 March (0730-1410)

Distance: 15.8 miles

Weather: Dry, but overcast

There is much that I could say about today and it’s going to be difficult to choose what detail to include and what to omit. I fear that in making those decisions, I’m going to fail to be concise. The headline is that today’s coastline was lovely, with plenty of interest along the path.

There was one downside of the first 7 miles, and that was mud. I knew, in setting out on Tuesday, that we were still in mud season, but those first 7 miles were the muddiest mudfest, which saw me taking tiny careful (squelching) steps and still slip-sliding all over the place.

IMG_8390 Typical of the first 7 miles of today. I suppose it did rain quite a bit yesterday, though.

That, however, is the only negative thing I can say about the day. Some paths around fields were largely inoffensive (except for their muddy state) but uninteresting, but the majority of the day was along the cliffs. Interesting cliffs they were too, with clear sedimentary layers being evident.


Mick met me just before a very interesting place called St Donat’s (a very well preserved fortified village, by the looks of it), of which I failed to take a decent photo, and we walked together back past the a lighthouse complex to where Colin was waiting to provide me with a comfy seat for elevenses.


The one thing that has surprised me over the last 20 miles of coast is how many surfers there are. I’d seen a few yesterday afternoon, then about an hour before dark our car park suddenly filled up with chaps who leapt out of their cars, donned wetsuits as fast as one can don tight neoprene and ran towards the sea with their boards, obviously eager to spend as much time as possible in the water before dark. It’s now become apparent that wherever there is access to a beach, there will be a small handful of surfers. Three provided us (or me) with good entertainment as I took elevenses, as they pulled up right in front of Colin, leapt out of their cars and promptly (without any efforts to conceal themselves on the far side of their vehicles) stood in full view and stripped off *all* of their clothes before struggling into neoprene. I say! I almost blushed.

Leaving Mick to scoot on round to park near the end point of my day, and walk back from there to meet me again, I continued (blissfully on firm grass; I’d been dreading another 8 miles of mud) along more lovely coast, diverting where necessary up and around a gorgeous wooded inlet, then passing the remains of a fort/fortified house and a (closed) visitor centre before bumping into Mick again.

Half the world was out along the next section of coast, and who can blame them? There are definitely many worse places to spend a nice dry Saturday in March.

A couple of miles of out-and-back inland diversion is required at Ogmore, to get to a bridge over the river, and along that section I stopped for a wonky lunch (which is to say, I stopped for lunch in Colin, who was parked on such a slope that it was a two-man effort to retrieve stuff from the fridge without the entire contents sliding out*). It was then just a mile to the point where it made sense for me to finish my day. Mick (who managed to walk a total of 10 miles in walking out to meet me today) was happy enough with my early finish: as I type he is happily shouting at the rugby.

(*It confounds me as to why Colin’s Thetford 3-way fridge, which is clearly designed for moving vehicles, does not have shelves with a lip on their edge.)


  1. There was one of the best cafés I have ever come across at Ogmore-on-Sea but I can't remember exactly where. Top of a hill on the right overlooking the sea. Twas open for breakfast until 12:00. It was so good people booked for breakfast and I was lucky being squeezed in at a little table.

    I crossed the River Ogmore on stepping stones.

    1. There are stepping stones over the river?! I wish I'd known that. I didn't notice them (or maybe they're covered at high tide? It was only an hour after that I passed through). It could have saved me this morning's trog through the sand dunes.

  2. I almost blushed, and I wasn't even there!