Walking in Glamorgan, South Wales. Guided walks, routes &
Last updated 25.2.08
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2 Llantwit Major Circular Walks
A walk of 4.5 miles around Llantwit Major, a centre of Christian learning around 1500 years ago. The walking is easy but there are several stiles and the going can be muddy after rain. A good walk for the evening on a fine day. Toilets at the start at Llantwit Major beach and half way round in the town. Refreshments at the beach and in town. The walk can be extended by carrying on along the coast in either direction and then retracing your steps. Start at the Llantwit Major beach car park. An alternative start point is the car park by the town hall in the middle of Llantwit Major which this route passes half-way round. And a Poem with some practical advice!
Below for a second walk from here.
Beach car park: grid ref: SS 95706/67490
For a map of how to get to the start click here
From near the Iron Age fort looking back over the car park to St Donats in the distance
Facing the sea, go to the left-hand end of the car park where you will see some information notice-boards. Follow the ‘Coastal Footpath’ sign up the wooden steps ascending the cliff. Where the steps end you will see a sign saying Cwm Colhuw Nature Reserve – at this point turn right towards the sea. There are some good viewpoints looking along the Welsh coastline as well as across to the West Country. At the top the ground flattens out and you go through a wooden kissing gate with a Glamorgan Heritage Coast sign. Keep straight ahead with a wire fence on your right. You are now within an Iron Age fort with the ditches visible ahead. Two wooden stiles take you through the ditches. Keep ahead on the edge of the cliff and on the right hand edge of a field. As the path descends you pass several thick wooden posts and then come to a wooden stile. (20 mins).
Do not cross this stile but head inland with your back to the sea along the path on the edge of the field. The path meets a country lane – follow this lane, heading in the same direction. You reach a 5-bar metal gate with stile alongside. Keep ahead with the farm buildings on your left and ignoring a road off to the right. When you meet the main road which goes to the beach turn right along the road. Keep ahead when you come to a mini-roundabout. Pass Seaview Park on your right and then the old white building on your left – Old Rosedew House. 15 yards past the drive into Old Rosedew House look for a stone stile with a yellow waymark. If you get to a road junction (Flanders Meadow) you have missed it. (35 mins).
Looking up towards the Columabrium with the terraced houses to the right
Take the stone stile and follow the path down, across a stream and then up to emerge on to a road. Turn right and follow the road which, shortly, has a stone wall on the right and passes a small field. Just before the road forks to the right and crosses a stream, go left following a yellow waymark sign and aim for some stone steps (note the animal head built into the steps) which take you into a field. Go along the right hand edge of the field, over a wooden stile. The tower-shaped building ahead is a dovecote or Columbarium. Near the bottom right-hand corner of the field is a stile set in the wall opposite a row of neat terraced houses. Go over the stile, turn left and at the left-hand edge of the houses take the unusually-spaced stone steps down to a road. Go ahead passing the church of St Illtyd on your left which is well-worth visiting and ignoring junctions first to left and then right. You emerge on to a road by the Town Hall which has a Tourist Information Centre and there are toilets in the car park. You will also see two old Inns, The Old Swan Inn and Old White Hart. (50 mins).
Left,Town Hall, Llantwit Major, engraving by T H Shepard, 1830 and right March, 2000
Retrace your steps with the church now on your right and ascend the stone steps, signposted Hill Head. At the top of the steps turn right by the Hill Head sign and then immediately left passing the old Gatehouse on your right. The field now on your right is the site of the old monastery. The road becomes the drive into the old Vicarage on your right but keep straight ahead along the path, crossing a stone stile with waymark and ignoring the path which curves to the left. Follow left-hand edge of the field, and cross a stone stile. Keep ahead to the wooden stile alongside a metal gate. From here go slightly to the right aiming for the corner of the field and cross the stone stile, then along the right-hand edge of the field to the next stone stile. Still straight ahead across the middle of the field aiming for another stone stile immediately opposite. Cross this stile and another one a few yards beyond.
Looking ahead from here you will see a copse of trees slightly to the left with the Bristol Channel visible on either side of it. The path goes to the right-hand corner of the copse across the field and is clear at first but less distinct later. When you get to the right-hand edge of the copse you will see a stone stile on its own but at this point look ahead in the same direction as you have been going and you will see some ruined buildings in the distance. First cross the field by which you are standing aiming for the stile which is just to the left of the ruins standing in the following field. The stile has Dimhole waymarked to the left, St Donats Road waymarked to the right and Tresilian straight ahead. Go straight ahead towards the ruins with the new wire fence on your right. At the far end of the ruins cross a stile with two metal bars alongside a gate and then cross the field ahead aiming for a stile on the edge of the trees. (1 hr 25 mins).
"Looking ahead you will see a copse of trees..."
Cross the stile with care – there is a quite a drop on the far side – and go left through the trees. Cross a wooden stile and then a stile with metal bars brings you on to the cliff top. Our route goes to the left at this point but a short detour to the right takes you down to Tresilian bay and cave. From the stile head left along the cliff top shortly passing a ‘refurbished’ machine-gun post and later a wide stone stile featured on this site’s Home Page. When you get to the edge of but still above the buildings by the car park descend on the path to the right which later becomes concrete. At the bottom turn right to return to the car park. (1 hr 45 mins).
Tresilian Bay with cave at left foreground
Map of walk
This walk of 6.5 miles starts from the same car park but heads towards the East taking in two Iron Age forts, Boverton, the Summerhouse and the Seawatch centre. Shops and a pub at Boverton, just under half-way round. Similar to walk 1 - mostly flat and good underfoot.
WARNING: The stretch from the Belvedere to the lane may become difficult to get through during July to September because of crop-planting which makes no concession to walkers. The alternative is to take the lane from Boverton Place towards Boverton Mill.
Start at beach car park: grid ref: SS 95706/67490
With your back to the sea, head across the field alongside the stream on your left. Pass through a gap, then a metal kissing-gate close to the road. After passing a building on the right, the path veers right towards a stone wall, the path eventually reaching a kissing gate. Turn left along the road for 50 yards, then right by a mini-roundabout into Mill-Lay Lane. At the end of this lane, ignore the first junction right, but turn right along the main road which is just afterwards. After a few hundred yards you will see grey railings surrounding a school - turn right as soon as you reach them down a footpath with railings on left and hedge on right.
The path joins a stream on your right and then veers left with brick wall and fence on right. Turn right by metal railings into a housing estate and take the second road on the right - Tennyson Way. Turn right by a metal gate set in the trees to rejoin the stream on your right to reach a small bridge over the stream. Cross the bridge and immediately turn left along a concrete track to emerge on a road with Boverton Place opposite. (35 mins 1.84 miles). A hundred yards down the road to the right is an estate called Trebeferad but our route heads left down to a road junction - on your left is a Post Office and village stores and opposite, a pub, the Boverton Castle. Head right on the pavement alongside the main road but where this curves left sharply, keep straight ahead along Boverton Road, noting the ochre-coloured Boverton House on the left. This dates from around 1600 and was later the home of Charles Redwood, friend of Thomas Carlyle and Iolo Morganwg, and author of a book on Glamorgan folklore in 1839. The last house on the right is called Belvedere House and the detached turret by the road is a belvedere.
100 yards beyond this, look out for a stile on the right via which you enter a field. Head left along the field boundary. When you get to the first hedgerow that crosses the file, head right with this hedge on your left to pass a machinegun post. Then follow the hedge as it turns left, cross a wooden stile keeping ahead and then another wooden stile and wooden bridge where you turn right along the right-hand edge of a field and towards the right-hand edge of a copse of trees. This brings you via a double metal gate onto a country lane. If access to the lane is blocked turn left following the footpath direction alongside the hedge and at the end of the field get to the lane via a gate on your right. (54 mins, 2.78 miles)
Turn left along the lane. Pass the farm buildings of Boverton Mill, with some recent barn conversions, and with views now appearing across the Bristol Channel. When the road curves left at a sign saying Summerhouse Point Promontory Fort, keep ahead to a wooden gate with stile alongside. Cross this along a path which descends then ascends. You are now within the boundary of an Iron Age fort. The path curves right by a little wooden gate but head through the gate to visit the Summerhouse. Then carry on along the path until it meets another one crossing it. If you head left this will bring you down to the rocky beach but our route heads right. At a path junction keep left, ascending and descending as you cross the ramparts. This brings you to the Seawatch centre with its picnic tables. (1 hr 15 mins, 3.87 miles, SS 99324/66464).
Louise, of the Heritage Coast team, surrounded by charts, old photos and a working radar in the Seawatch Centre.
Leave the Seawatch centre by a wooden stile and continue along the cliff, passing three more stiles. The path eventually curves left and descends towards a headland known as Stout Point. This is a good spot to take a break as there are several sheltered spots with fine views but take care as there are no fences or barriers on the cliff edge. Continue along the path which reaches a wooden stile and continues to ascend. After some way, another wooden stile brings you into the ramparts of Castle Ditches Iron Age fort and then into a grassy area which lay within the fort. At the far end a wooden kissing gate takes you out of the fort and down a steep stony path back to the start. (2 hrs 8 mins, 6.46 miles).
Map of Walk