Dunraven Bay, Wales is not just for beach goers. If you’re into hiking, witnessing our planet’s beauty first hand, enjoy historical sites or you only want to bury your toes in the sand; then you will enjoy the hours drive from Cardiff to Southerndown.
Coming around the bend, I was pleasantly surprised to see Ogmore Castle. I had no idea it was on the way to Southerndown. It’s located near Ogmore-By-Sea. Built around 1106, the foundation predating the Norman Conquest. It was used until the 19th century for multi-purposes, such as, court of justice and a prison.
It doesn’t take long to go through the castles remains, it’s pretty small. Don’t end your tour of the area through, cross the river via stepping-stones and go through the gate. The trail takes you to a medieval village. It’s small with a few houses, church and cemetery. If you haven’t seen a thatched roof yet, you will here.
The parking meter wasn’t working at the car park, lucky day indeed. Not so lucky for those who couldn’t park there and had to pay 5 quid at the next parking lot at the bottom of the lane, ouch. There is an ice cream shop and restrooms here.
You have choices: Follow the path to the fortress wall and wander within. Then you will emerge to walking paths that take you along the hillside overlooking the coast. Or if you’d rather, meander down to the beach. I headed south on the fortress trail and was pleased with my choice when I discovered a garden within the walls, then headed out to the ocean overlook. This is a place known for people jumping to their death and I can see how it can happen by accident too. It was straight down with no guard rail. A couple came along with their dog, it was holding his ball in his mouth. A few days prior I watched a tv show where someone tossed a ball for a dog that they were pet sitting and it bounced out an open window, of course the dog went after it out the window. They were in the penthouse suite. Funny on a television show, not so much in real life. I prayed this dogs owner was smarter than that.
As I was walking back through the tree-lined path, there was an older couple that was walking near me and they stopped and looked at a gate that led up a tree covered hill, with a stone pathway winding its way up. The man says to his wife “no body goes in there, look at the leaves. No one has walked on those leaves”. They start to walk away as I open the gate and made my way up. My thought is, if it’s off-limits they would have locked it. Within minutes I came to the top of the hill, emerging from the trees to the most spectacular view of the coastline. Dummy, he totally robbed his wife of a magnificent view.
Yeah, it’s a good thing I don’t judge a path by the leaves that lay upon it.
Taking the trail north, I walked along the hillside taking great care not to get close to the edge. It looked very crumbly. Soon I was crossing over a hill that dropped down to the beach and car park. I also spied a castle. I ambled over the steep hillside in pursuit of my next destination, coming to a gate across the road. Once again, the gate wasn’t locked, so I went through.
Upon arriving I discovered it was not a castle, but an entrance to come inside the wall. Sadly, it was taken over by pigeons, but it still made a delightful find.
Okay, your turn…..
Have you been to Southerndown?
Or, Where did you have an unexpected find?