Walk from Nash Point to Ogmore on the Wales Coast Path
Route Summary: Nia Knott takes us on a walk along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast between Nash Point and Ogmore.
Nia Knott takes us on a walk along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast between Nash Point and Ogmore.
|14.17 km||240 m||3.5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Nash Point to Ogmore
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Walk from Nash Point to Ogmore on the Wales Coast Path Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Walk from Nash Point to Ogmore on the Wales Coast Path Details
Enjoy far-reaching clifftop views over the Bristol Channel and inland across the rich pasture land of the Vale of Glamorgan. Golden limestone cliffs, quiet wooded valleys, and expansive tidal beaches offer plenty of variety in landscape. Look out for Peregrine Falcons swooping past, Kestrels and Skylarks hovering overhead, and Choughs feeding on the grazed grassy clifftops. There’s plenty of historical interest too; a 19th Century lighthouse, Norman castle ruins, and an Iron Age hillfort. You’ll also be spoilt for choice for refreshment stops with a number of excellent traditional country pubs just a short diversion inland. A coastal bus service means that you can catch the bus back to the beginning from several points along the route, and there are bus links to nearby train stations. This dynamic coastline with towering fossil-studded cliffs deserves a little respect, however; with the second highest tidal range in the world, it is easy to misread the tide tables and become cut off. Stay until the end of the day to enjoy a spectacular sunset or sundowner in one of the pubs.
1 Nash point lighthouse
Before setting off west along the coast path, first head east from the little café down a lane towards the lighthouse. At the end of the lane go through the gate and around the back of the old lighthouse. You’ll pass the foghorn building, and reach the relatively more modern lighthouse, constructed in 1831 using stone from the beach below, with the purpose of providing safe passage for the many ships using the treacherous stretch of water it overlooks. It was the last manned lighthouse in Wales, automated in 1998. From the lighthouse turn around and head back towards the café.
2 Nash point to Cwm Nash (Monknash Beach)
From the café, head down into the steep valley towards the trees, cross the stream using the footbridge and head back uphill between the headland and the trees. From here cross the stile, and follow the path along through the fields along the clifftops, with the sea to your left. Before long you’ll reach a steep slope down to the beach at Cwm Nash. Cwm Nash has a colourful history; it is said that this was where many of the spoils and bodies were brought ashore from shipwrecks having been lured onto the sandbank by bands of shipwreckers; the most famous being the ‘Wreckers of Wick’. A few years ago, bones began to jut out of the cliffs after some particularly heavy erosion – some say they are the remains of the stricken sailors buried in a mass grave.
From here, you have a choice; if you are very confident that the tide is on its way out, you can walk along the beach all the way to Witches’ Point, keeping well clear of the base of the cliffs which are very prone to huge rock falls in this area. If you aren’t confident with reading tide tables or if the tide is starting to come in don’t attempt to walk along the beach as there is a large risk of getting cut off. Instead follow the coast path along the cliff tops as follows.
3 Cwm Nash to Cwm Mawr
This section climbs steadily up from the valley, past an old stone hut, and then along the clifftops through the fields. The path sometimes strays perilously close to the cliff edge at this point, but you’ll be able to take a more cautious line away from the edge through the field. You’ll soon reach another small valley; descend following the path slightly inland and you’ll see a crossing point for a tiny stream which may barely be noticeable after a dry spell. There is an inland route here which you can follow through the fields then along the lane to Wick village to join the bus or find provisions. Otherwise, after crossing the small stream, climb out of the valley back towards the coast. Follow the path along the cliff tops until you reach the gate. From here, descend using the path through the trees into a beautiful shady wooded valley. On a hot day this provides a welcome break from the sun on the exposed clifftops. There is a great newly built section of steps here for the climb back up out of the valley.
4 Cwm Mawr to Witches’ Point
Another clifftop section, first through open fields, before reaching a stile which takes you into a narrower path, coming out at a wide grassy area with some picnic benches. Here bear left and take the first path through the trees. Go through the small wooded area and out to a spectacular viewpoint and information board, with a sweeping view all the way back down the coast to Monknash. Turn inland now, and follow the track between the trees a very short way before going through a gate on your left, and up some stone steps. Take a left at the top of the steps, for another spectacular viewpoint. Now follow the path down the wooden steps and go straight ahead, taking the path furthest inland, not the path leading off down to the beach. If you took the beach route from Monknash this is where you’ll re-join the route. Follow this path out through the trees and an old kissing gate and along the point. Continue as far along as you can to the end of Witches’ Point.
5 Witches point to West Farm
From the point, climb steeply up the grassy hill to the top for spectacular panoramic views back along the route so far, and as far as the Gower Peninsula as well as Somerset and Devon across the channel. This spot has been home to an Iron Age Hillfort, Roman camp, Norman castle, wartime hospital and lastly a hotel, of which now only the foundations remain. Follow the clifftop down towards Dunraven, gentle at first but then fairly steep and very slippery after rain. Dunraven Bay is a storm beach with huge tidal range and expanse of sand when the tide is out. There is also a lovely little visitor centre here as well as toilets, picnic area and an ice cream kiosk in the summer. It can get very busy though so it’s often nicer to move on and admire the beach from above, away from the crowds instead. To continue the route, walk towards the Heritage Coast Centre and turn left straight behind the lifeguard building, following the stone steps with railing then grassy path alongside the road. At the top, cross the road and go through the stone pillars, then through the gravel car park, looking for a kissing gate at the far right hand side of the car park. The road here takes you up to Southerndown village if you want to visit the pub or catch the bus. Otherwise, go through the gate and past the wooden benches and continue along the clifftop until you reach a large stone barn building surrounded by stone walls.
6 West Farm to Ogmore by Sea
At West Farm, keep to the left of the stone walls, and in a short while you’ll make a very steep descent into a narrow valley. At the bottom of the valley follow the path along a much lower section of clifftop, with a wide grassy path all the way to Ogmore by Sea. Keep to the left of all the stone walls. At the end of the grass there is a gate into the car park. Just pick your way through the strange maze of a car park heading towards the life guard hut at the far end. The toilets and kiosk are found at the centre of the car park. You can also head uphill to the road to catch the bus on the main road.
7 Ogmore by Sea to Ogmore
The final stretch of the route follows the river Ogmore inland. From the lifeguard hut, keep the river on your left, pass the pay machines and exit the car park between two boulders. Follow the path along the river until you reach a large house on your left. Here you’ll need to cross the road with care, dodging sheep and motorbikes, and pick up the path through the bracken on the opposite side of the road. Keep the road on your left and follow the path along until you reach the Pelican Pub, a great place to refresh at the end of your walk! If you have any energy left go down to explore the 12th Century castle ruins and stepping stones crossing the river, before taking the bus from the stop outside the pub back to Marcross, or on to Bridgend to get the train