Southerndown and Newton

Looking east towards Ogmore-by-Sea and Nash Point from Newton, Porthcawl.
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020

Today, Liz and I had a jolly day out to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

The sun was shining beautifully in clear blue skies with just a few puffy white clouds floating above us. The sunshine was most welcome after what seems like weeks and weeks of wet weather here in South Wales, UK. We both got a full day’s dose of Vitamin D, that’s for sure.

It was also an opportunity for me to use my new Nikon DSLR camera. I’d be the first to admit I don’t consider myself a photographer, but it’s nice to get some snaps to remind myself of days out, and of things that have caught my interest too.

The wind was, however, rather fierce and piercing. Bracing, some would call it. We called it fecking freezing.

We drove the pretty way towards Southerndown, our first planned stop. This route took is through Pontyclun, Cowbridge, and past Llandow.

We made a very sudden stop at Bramble’s Tea Room at Meadowvale Nursery on Cowbridge Road for a second breakfast. I had toast and marmalade with a lovely pot of tea. Liz opted for a toasted teacake with a mug of coffee. The food and tea were freshly made. The people running the cafe were lovely and friendly, the premises lovely and clean. We’ll definitely return another time we’re in that area.

From there, we wended our way to Southerndown. We could see snow on some hills to the north; a lovely contrast with the clear blue, sunny skies and the warmth of the sun beaming in through the car windows.

Looking towards Porthcawl from Southerndown.
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020

The car park was really rather busy at Southerndown, but we found a space that was just right for Binky, my lovely little SmartCar. We gathered our cameras and went for a walk towards the beach.

The tide was out far enough to walk on the beach. However, the stormy weather had thrown boulders around and destroyed the end of the walkway onto the sand. We decided we weren’t in the mood for clambering over slippery boulders to get on the sand, so took a walk across the rock ledge.

Boulders and layers of rocks, Southerndown.
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020

I’ve always loved Southerndown and the dramatic and fascinating rock strata there. I love the patterns and textures of the rocks. Today wasn’t a day to wander looking for fossils, however. Carboniferous limestone is the dominant rock here and layers of it contain ammonites and belemites, along with fossil molluscs. As a child, I was always fascinated to see them, even the ghostly imprints left by a fossil, the fossil long since either collected or destroyed by the rolling sands and pebbles in the waves.

Looking across to Witch’s Point, Southerndown.
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020

The sun was warm when we were out of the wind, but the wind stole away any warmth from the sun and a bit extra from our bodies. Soon we were quite chilled, despite being bundled up. My fingers were feeling quite numb. So, we headed back to the car.

We drove through Ogmore-by-Sea, on to Ewenny, then Porthcawl. We went to Newton and had a lovely walk along the long, sandy beach there.

There were lots of people walking their well-behaved dogs there, making the most of the sunshine, just as Liz and I were. The views were lovely in the midday sunshine. Again, I was fascinated by rocks, and also by the behaviour of some members of the corvid family.

Corvid surveying his kingdom.
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020
Interesting rocks…
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020
Rock pools at Newton.
©Angela Porter 27 Feb 2020

By now, we were feeling rather windswept and chilly, so we drove into Porthcawl to see if we could find somewhere to park and get something to eat. Not a space to be had!

So, we drove off from Porthcawl. I took a wrong turning at a roundabout which lead us to the Cornelly-s (North and South). Liz made use of Google Maps to find a cafe in North Cornelly – Season’s Cafe – where we had a rather late lunch.

I enjoyed a cheese and onion toastie with some chips, while Liz indulged in fish fingers, peas and chips. Tea for me, coffee for Liz.

After a long, rambling chat, with random interjections and facts and information by me (we did think I should have a blog called ‘The Randomness of Angela’), we decided it was time to head home.

So, we went on a road through the Kenfig Sand Dunes, towards Margam, then on towards Pyle. A brief jaunt eastwards on the M4 , exiting it at Sarn to head towards Bryncethin, and onwards via Gifach Goch, Porth and then to my home once again.

Again, it was wonderful to see the world bathed in the golden light of late winter sun, but this time hills and valleys, rural and built up areas, contrasting so beautifully with the flatter lands of the coast.

What a lovely day we have had!

2 thoughts on “Southerndown and Newton

    1. Thank you. I spent many long days at Southerndown, Ogmore and Nash Point as a child. In the days when cars were few, beaches were open and few people visited these, then, out of the way ones. Visiting this time of year reminds me of the peace I found being able to be by myself, hear the sea, and enjoy the space I could have, and still can out of the beach season.

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