The Glamorgan Heritage Coast and Countryside Tour
The Heritage Coast, one of South Wales' best kept secrets, stretches for 14 miles (23km) from West Aberthaw to Porthcawl and along the way showcases some beautiful low cliffs and dramatic coastal scenery.
Our first stop is the beautiful Dunraven Bay at Southerndown, a large expanse of golden sand when the tide is out. This stunning, wide beach is backed by jagged cliffs of perfectly defined layers of limestone and shale, which rise over 200 feet. Take a walk across the cliff top to view this bay at its best.
We drive along the coast road, calling at the ruins of Ogmore Castle. Stunningly situated at the very bottom of a flat valley, the castle dates from the Norman Conquest, around 1100.
The Ancient Stepping Stones to Merthyr Mawr
We then use the ancient stepping-stones to cross the Ewenny River, to the picturesque village of Merthyr Mawr with its thatched cottages and its great dune desert, Britain’s largest dune system.
Kenfig Nature Reserve
We visit the one-time fishing port of Kenfig, where a thriving community founded in the Bronze Age was overwhelmed by the shifting sand dunes in the sixteenth century.
Glamorgan’s largest natural lake, Kenfig Pool, is set on the edge of this beautiful area, with spectacular views across Swansea Bay to the Gower. The reserve is home to unique wild orchids, as well as a wide range of wildlife. Kenfig is one of the most important sites in Britain for nature conservation and is one of the finest Wildlife habitats in Wales.
We continue to the market town of Cowbridge, known as the ‘Capital’ of the Vale. Its busy main street is lined with fashionable shops including: picture galleries; antique stores; designer clothing; jewellers; pubs and restaurants.
Tinkinswood was once a village but now all that remains is a Megalithic Burial Chamber built in 4000BC. Known also as Castell Carreg, Llech-y-Filiast, Maes-y-Filiast and Gwal-y-Filiast; these names are possibly connected to the legend of King Arthur. This cairn is a fine example of the Cotswold/Severn regional type: a long wedge-shaped cairn, containing a rectangular stone chamber. The tomb has collected a number of folk tales over the years!
Our final stop is at the magnificent Dyffryn Gardens. One of the finest and largest landscaped gardens in Wales, set in 70 acres of parkland.
The gardens were commissioned by John Cory, shipowner, coalowner and philanthropist.The Grade 1 listed landscapes, gardens and parks are of special historic interest in