Coast of the Welsh Vale of Glamorgan.
The section of coast between Ogmore-by-Sea and Southerndown was covered in a previous gallery, ending with a tantalising view down the coast towards Nash Point. This gallery covers that final view, which is a lot more extensive than it first appeared.
This walk is along the tidal beaches between Southerndown and Monknash. It must be stressed that this walk can only be undertaken at low tide - the tidal range is extremely high, and the entire surface disappears quite rapidly under water when the tide comes in, with very few places to escape from it. If attempting to follow this route, make sure that there is enough time to complete the 3 km of beach before venturing onto it. There is a clifftop path instead if needed.
- Cliffs at Southerndown's Dunraven Bay.
- The renovated Ice Tower, the only renovated remains of Dunraven Castle.
- Just before the lane through Dunraven Park reaches the cliffs, it forks, with the way to the beach being to the right - a poorer path bypasses the corner as it has collapsed down the cliff. After doubling back, a gate on the left gives access to a smaller path that makes its way back to the cliff, then carefully descends it, with some views down the coast over the day's route.
- Not the easiest surface to walk on.
- Massive folds at Cwm y Buarth. The rock here is thinly bedded Blue Lias limestone and Blue Lias mudstone, which gives its character to the entire Vale of Glamorgan coast.
- The beds are exposed in the floor of the beach in a very distinctive pattern, sweeping away in wide arcs, tiny barriers causing any streams to take unusual routes to reach the sea.
- Cwm Mawr brings the Nant Cwm-mawr tumbling down the cliffs in a 10 metre waterfall. It has no official name, and as it is usually just a mossy dribble, it probably doesn't deserve one either, but it's usually referred to unimaginatively as the Cwm Mawr Waterfall.
- Rainbow in the wind-blown spray.
- With the wind blowing the water so strongly in the right direction, it lands outside a sea cave, so if you like to cheat, you may be able to walk behind it.
- Cwm Bach, the only escape route, with a ladder dropping down to the beach beside the Nant Cwm-bach.
- The tallest cliffs (I think) on the Vale of Glamorgan coast, at about 70 metres, at Whitmore Stairs (the nearest taller sea cliffs are on the Gower peninsula).
- Looking back over Traeth Bach, towards the Trwyn y Witch headland and the 60 metre cliffs between Cwm Mawr and Cwm Bach.
- Runnels. Various streams make their way through the limestone beds, and appear in little springs, billowing up through the beach.
- Substantial number of shell fossils in the limestone beds at Whitmore Stairs. Sadly this area is devoid of the more impressive ammonite fossils seen elsewhere around the coast here.
- Detailed shell fossils.
- Karren-like weathering.
- Crossing the Whitmore Stairs rocks, with the continuing impressive cliffs dropping from 70 metres to a mere 45 metres.
- Traeth Mawr, where the flat sands began their immaculate reflections.
- Sky above, sky below.
- Walking on the sky.
- Reflections of the Whitmore Stairs cliffs.
- Mouth of the Nash Brook, at Gwter Fawr.
- Water spilling onto the beach, to enter the Gwter Fawr channel.
- Cascades in Cwm Nash, where the road continues up to Monknash.
- Returning over the rocks near Traeth yr As.
- Whitmore Stairs cliffs over Traeth Mawr, now without the reflections.
- Reflected streamers.
- Flotsam and driftwood, battered against the cliffs by high tide. There are entire trees on this coast, and both a gas canister and ship's bracket seen here. Imagine how a giant chunk of steel manages to be washed up a beach.
- The Cwm Bach ladder.
- Above Cwm Bach. Note the repeated pattern in the beach cobbles, produced by the wavelength of the waves striking the coast.
- Delta in the Cwm Bach outflow.
- Trwyn y Witch with exposed beds.
- 60 metre pillar between the valleys.
- Descent into Cwm Mawr, beyond which the clifftop path reaches Dunraven Park.
- Exposed beds of the Blue Lias limestone.