January 2018 News

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Wales Coast Path Day 4 Peterstone Wentlooge - Cadoxton, Barry

The month was rounded off with a 20 mile hike along the South Wales coast. Starting on the Wentlooge Levels, we reached the land fill site, travellers' camp and sewage works of Cardiff. Things could only get better and they did as we reached the Millennium Centre on Road Dahl Centre in Cardiff Bay. A brief stop outside the Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales, we headed across the Barrage that creates the inland lagoon of Cardiff Bay. Penarth Head dominates the coast in this area and gave spectacular views over the widening Bristol Channel. the afternoon was spent heading along the cliffs of the Glamorgan coast until reaching the indutrial outskirts of Barry, Wales' most southerly town. A fascinating transect through the modern coastline of Wales.

Wales Coast Path 3 Newport Wetlands - Peterstone Wentlooge

On our third day out we headed east i.e. "backward" as we walked the easy long sea wall of Peterstone Great Wharf. The tide was in and the sun shining as we marched towards Newport. Sadly as we headed inland to cross the River Usk, the industrial landscape and the plastic waste and litter increased. But Fanny's cafe revived spirits and though the iconic Transporter Bridge was closed for the winter, we still reached the RSPB reserve cafe with plenty of daylight to spare. Only sad point - my friend Juan lost his hat to the Usk tidal mudflats as a passing lorry blew off his prized South African hat! We had just seen a baby seal though!

Wales Coast Path Stage 2 Caldicot - Newport Wetlands

Our second day out on the WCP and today it was 14 miles on the dead flat Gwent levels. As we left the roar of the M4 behind us, the vistas opened, the estuary widened and the promised showers held off for a while. We finished our walk at the inspiring Newport Wetlands bird reserve, created in 2000 as an environmental gain from the Cardiff Bay development. One lond day left out on "the Levels" and we'll be in Cardiff, on schedule.

The Coast Path challenge begins!

Rob accompanied by Sarah, Juan & Sue started the 2018 Wales Coast Path (WCP) challenge with the first 9 miles completed. Starting beneath the imposing Norman bastion of Chepstow Castle, the WCP heads out of town along the River Wye in its last mile before reaching the magnificent Severn estuary. These two rivers both began their lives on the slopes of Plynlimon in Mid Wales and here are re-united as theflow into gthe Bristol Channel. Out under the old Severn Bridge (1966), we squelched our New Year's Day way out onto the flood protection banks of the estuary. The spring tide, driven on by the full moon, was in full flood as the waters surged past us. With a 15m / 48 foot tidal range the power of these tidal surges has to be seen to be believed. Concluding our 9 mile walk in fading light we crossed the M4 and the inspiring Second Severn Crossing (1996) to finish at the dormitory settlement of Caldicot. Next stop: Newport Wetlands RSPB reserve.


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