Walking in Glamorgan, South Wales. Guided walks, routes &
Webmaster, Angus McDonald
Last updated 27.5.05
Click on any image to enlarge it
Wick Circular Walk
A circular walk of 8.5 miles, 13.2 Kms, with country lanes, footpaths, open downland and cliff-top walking. The highlight in March is the Nature reserve at Castle upon Alun which is covered in daffodils. To get to the start, turn off the main road through Wick at the Lamb and Flag Pub down Church Street signposted Broughton. When you get to the village green aim for the far side (Chapel Road) where there is a churchyard. You can park here on the verge. Toilets at Dunraven Bay. Refreshments at the Farmers Arms at St Brides and, in season, Dunraven Bay. Alternative start points are Southerndown (Dunraven Bay) or St. Brides.
OS Explorer 151 - grid ref. SS 92127/72041.
For a map of how to get to the start click here
(Route checked 26.5.05)
With your back to the churchyard turn left down Chapel Lane. At a road junction, go across and follow the quiet country lane opposite. The easiest route now is straight along this lane until you get to the next road junction. Alternatively, if determined to follow the footpath, go into the field on the right over a metal gate by a footpath sign just 30 metres from the junction with Chapel Lane. Follow the footpath along the left hand edge of the field (just the other side of the lane) and cross over three stiles, the first two with 5-bar metal poles, the third stone. You are now in an area with a picnic table and pond with boardwalks.
Daffodils at Coed-y-Bwl Nature Reserve
At the main road turn left walking on the grass. After 100 yards cross the road by the bungalow (called The Beacons) and take the lane opposite. Walk down this lane for around 20 minutes, passing one junction on the right, until you get to a T junction with Blackhall Cottage opposite. Turn left down the road and then right at the crossroads following the lane downhill. At the bottom you pass the Glamorgan Naturalists Trust Nature Reserve, Coed-y-Bwl, which is covered in daffodils in March. The packhorse bridge across the stream at the bottom is a good place for a quick break. (2.43 miles, 45 mins, SS 90964/75105).
The packhorse bridge
About 40 yards beyond the bridge just before where the road curves to the right, take the waymarked path up through the trees to the left of the road. Steeply up through the trees, then through a metal gate and emerge onto the Downs. Take the right-hand path, heading straight ahead and later with wire fence on right, passing two waymark posts, until you reach the top of the downs. (3.34 miles, 1 hr, SS 89997/75749). This is the high point of the walk, 107 metres above sea level. A hedge on top of a stone wall converges from the left. Keep the hedge/wall on your left as the path curves to the left and passes a solitary house, Bryn Awel House, becoming a rough road. After 100 yards when this road zig-zags, take the green path diagonally to the right following the line of the telegraph poles. The path drops down and then up to a seat and a metal kissing-gate by a road.
Cross the road and take the lane opposite, Penylan Road. The Manse is the first house on the right. Keep along this road until you descend to a road junction. Cross this road to get to the pavement opposite and head left along the road passing the Old Vicarage on your right. Pass a pond on your right with a pump - a wide grass verge appears and you cross the road entrance to Pool Farm on your right. The Farmers Arms is on the other side of the road. Before you get to the next house and just past the bus shelter go down a gap to the right with stone wall on your left and hedge on right to a stone stile, yellow waymark and signposted Seamouth. (4.42 miles, 1 hr 20 mins, SS 89609/74314). After the stile, head diagonally left across the field with the farm buildings on your right and passing a stile set in a wire fence to a hedge looking out for a stone stile in the hedge with yellow waymark post (saying Short Circular Walk).
St Brides Pond taken around 1916
Follow right-hand edge of field. Cross a wooden stile and walk straight ahead down the right hand edge of the field. Pass through a gap in the hedge where the field narrows and where there used to be a wooden fence. Now you are going down the left-hand edge of the next field. Stone stile at bottom of field. Go left and immediately right past a wooden stile now with the hedge on your right and heading for the trees. To the left you will see the boundary wall of the grounds of Dunraven House. At bottom right-hand corner of field go over wooden stile and drop down through trees – yellow arrow at bottom takes you to the right along a path, at first stony. Ignore the permissive path by the metal barrier. The stony track brings you to a wooden stile by a wooden gate with buildings beyond – keep straight ahead. On your left is the Heritage Coast Information Centre, (5.46 miles, 1 hr 42 mins, SS 88683/73232). Pass the thatched cottage on the right to get to Dunraven car park (toilets on right).
At the car park turn left through wooden gate and follow road. After a while Car Park road veers left – you go straight ahead past wooden barrier marked ‘Emergency Vehicles Only’. When the road reaches the corner of the walled garden of Dunraven House either carry on along the road or go through the wooden door into the garden. (Also see Variation1 below). This is a sheltered spot and near the exit at the far end there is a small covered building with seating. Go through the garden to the bottom right end – just beyond the shelter is the wooden exit door. Go through this and straight ahead along a pebble-lined path, through a wooden gate to regain the road.
See below, with the sea on the right our path heads along the cliffs.
Cross the road, following a rough road ahead, heading uphill with the sea on your right. The road curves to the left but you branch to the right and head up the hedged path alongside the cliff. At the top you cross a wooden stile between some cast iron posts marking the estate boundary. The path eventually meets a wall and curves to the left with the wall on your right. You come to a stone stile in the wall with wooden stile ahead. Cross the stone stile and descend on the path to your left, heading away from the sea. (After wet weather this bit can be very muddy and the ascent the other side even worse). At the bottom cross the stream via a wooden bridge and ascend to the right, heading back towards the sea. The path is stepped in places. At the top you will see a ladder stile but there is an excellent viewing area to the right looking back towards Witch's Point.
Looking back towards Witch's Point
Go over the ladder stile and head along the cliff to reach a wooden stile with a clear view of the cwm (valley) ahead, ( 6.87 miles, 2 hrs 15 mins, SS 89635/71918). Cross the stile and head inland, descending, along the valley. After 20 yards you will see a low green sign, marked Coastal Walk. Descend to the bottom of the cwm with your back to the sea and continue walking. Cross a stone stile. When the ground flattens out, keep ahead towards a stile and after crossing this follow the path stretching clearly ahead across the field. After a while this path meets a hedge on the left. Go ahead to a wooden stile, continue down left-hand edge of field to another wooden stile by a gate, then path with hedge on both sides to a high stone stile by a road. Turn left (see Variation 2 below) and immediate right down a road signposted ‘Wick ½’. After big house on right – Maes yr Haf – look out for pond on right followed by seat amidst topiary. Carry on to reach Wick green where you started ( 8.54 miles, 2 hrs 50 mins)
Map of the Walk
Take the stile opposite the entrance to the Dunraven Walled Garden. The track takes you to the old gatehouse. Turn right to follow the wall and then right again to come out at the other end of the walled garden. The route is well waymarked and no more than a mile. Or you can follow the wall further and this brings you out further along the coast to pick up the route described above. Access for people and dogs may be restricted at some times of year because of lambing.
As an alternative to the final stretch of road, when you have crossed the stone stile by the road turn right along the lane. Pass a white, then a brown house, on left and then a road junction on the right. Just beyond this junction and before you get to the small white house on the right, turn left into a field through a gate, marked Woodland Trust. This is Monks Wood although it might not seem it with most of the trees below waist height. You can either follow the track through the trees to the left or carry on down the right hand edge of the field to the stone stile to where the left-hand track eventually brings you. Cross the stile aiming ahead towards the yellow house in the distance and cross a stile with 4 metal bars and head down the right-hand edge of the next field. Cross the stone stile ahead now aiming to the left of the yellow house towards a metal gate. Cross the wooden stile by the gate; go ahead to the next metal gate and then head right along the track for 20 yards to meet the road. Turn left along the road and at a junction take the left fork to return to your starting point.