The Glamorgan Heritage Coast: 14 miles of protected coastline
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast
This picturesque and unspoilt 14 mile stretch of coastline was awarded Heritage Coast status in 1972 and extends from Gileston in the East to Newton Point in the west with a Visitor and Information Centre at Dunraven Bay, Southerndown. A coastal path runs along the cliff tops, joining the narrow valleys which lead down to the sea.
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast features dramatic cliffs, amazing rock formations and secluded coves, all backed by rolling countryside. Due to its treacherous nature the coast was once famous for wrecks and smugglers. The tidal range is the second greatest in the world.
The unique characteristics of the seashore have resulted in a coastline that is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, whilst it also appeals to bird-watchers who can look out for Bar-Tailed Godwits, Choughs, Fulmars and Peregrine Falcons.
One of the best ways to explore the area, especially its more remote parts is by walking.
A good point to start a walk is at Nash Point Lighthouse where there is a large car park. Along the route you will discover:
St Donats Castle
A medieval castle with many fine original features-once the home of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst whose guests included most of the glittering idols of Hollywood history. The castleis now the
home of Atlantic College the world's first international 6th Form College.
Along the way are
The walled garden of the ruined Dunraven Castle standing high above Southerdown Beach
The riverside ruins of Ogmore Castle idyllically situated besides the River Ewenny.
Once important Medieval Castle built by Norman Lord William de Londres in the early 12th C at a strategic fording point with a crossing of stepping-stones leading to Merthyr Mawr. The River Ogmore reaches the sea between the beach at Ogmore and the Sand Dunes of Merthyr Mawr.
One of the most fascinating landscapes in the U.K., Merthyr Mawr Warren. The mysterious windswept sand dunes are the largest in Europe. Parts of the film Lawrence of Arabia were made here and buried under the dunes is a lost village. The ruins of Candleston Castle, once a 15th C fortified Manor House stand at the edge of the dunes. Access is via the delightful village of Merthyr Mawr with its quaint thatched cottages.
The dunes are an excellent place to walk with well signed paths.