This afternoon I must travel home to Lincolnshire and so today I’m planning a short, circular walk. I will be following the Wales Coast Path along the cliffs to Nash Point Lighthouse, and then back to my car via an inland footpath.
As I walk along the cliff I pass a pillbox. There are many of these dotted around the coast line, but this one catches my eye because it has a lovely stone façade.
After 1/2 a mile the path dips down into a small cove. This is Tresilian Bay. One lone house sits on the shore and there is nothing else around. A pretty spot. I see two runners making their way – with some difficulty – across the pebble beach.
The route of the path is clearly marked over the beach, by the thin layer of brown dirt deposited from walking shoes onto the grey stones.
Climbing the cliff on the other side, I come across another pillbox. This one is brick faced and not as impressive as the first one.
The reason for the diversion soon becomes clear. The old path suddenly disappears off the edge of the cliff!
I’m reminded of how rapidly the coastline can change. And, therefore, how any coastal path must be in a state of constant evolution.
I walk through a wooded area and see a tempting sign, ‘TO THE BEACH’. But, knowing it would be a dead-end, I stick to the main coast path and continue onwards…
… passing clumps of the first snowdrops I’ve seen this year, and soon arriving at St Donat’s Bay. There is quay here and some men are fishing on the stony beach below.
The footpath crosses the quay, which seems to belong to a private estate. It looks like a mock castle. Or a monastery. Through an open gate I take a sneaky photograph.
I wonder what happens here?
On the other side of the quay the path goes up the cliff again, and through more woodland.
Then I emerge into the open, and see an open cliff top stretching ahead with a lighthouse at the end. That must be my destination: Nash Point Lighthouse
As I get closer I realise there are two lighthouses, an unusual arrangement. One is a classical tall tower, the other is a squat structure. They are both (as far as I know) in working order but, like all the other lighthouses around the UK are unmanned and monitored remotely by Trinity House.
And on top of one of the buildings is a set of foghorns. It is difficult to demonstrate how large these are from the photo. They are BIG.
This is one of the few lighthouses where you can actually climb the tall tower and view the light. But today the place is deserted and the Visitor’s Centre is closed.
A sign in the window explains how the Fog Signal was discontinued 20 years ago, but has been restored and is sounded from time to time to amuse visitors or for the benefit of wedding parties. Wedding? Yes, you can get married in the lighthouse!
I am amused by the sign in the window. This explains how the fog horns might be sounded from time to time, but if you haven’t paid your entrance fee: ‘we must respectfully ask you not to listen to them.’
I gather the noise can be heard up to 20 miles away!
And I come across an unexpected and very beautiful view. The land falls steeply away and down to a valley. This where Marcross Brook empties into the sea. The tall cliff on the other side is the real ‘Nash Point’.
I sit on the grassy bank above the valley and have a snack and a drink. Finally, after three days of urban and industrial landscapes, I’ve had a truly lovely walk and arrived at a wonderful place.
From here I head up the stream to the village of Marcross, and then across fields to St Donat’s, where I re-join the coastal path for a mile or so and retrace my steps until I return to the beach at Llantwit Major.
This morning I walked this section in splendid isolation. The midday sunshine has brought people out and I meet other walkers.
… and told me a little of the history of St Donat’s. The building was a castle, but is now used as an international boarding school. The children of many famous third world politicians are sent here.
Miles walked today = 7 miles (circular route)
Total miles walked = 1,698 in total