This weekend I was keen to see and do things that were available within a short(ish) drive from home – a staycation, if you will, using the proper meaning of the word for once.
As such, on Saturday, I headed to Southerndown. I’ve been plenty of times before, but usually I go straight to the beach. Having completed a few cliff walks in the days previous I thought I’d do the same here – and on the plus side, all the people from the car park weren’t there, always a bonus.
Driving over, I managed to encounter a rain storm. After it had been sunny all day I thought this was probably punishment for not getting out of the house quicker, but I ploughed on regardless. This is after all, Wales.
As is often the case, my stubbornness was rewarded with excellent skies. Blue in one direction, threateningly ominously grey/black in the other – the perfect blend. I kept my winter coat on for the duration of the walk, in case of a sudden downpour. Naturally, because I did this – no such thing appeared and I was too hot throughout. I’m also too stubborn to take it off and have to carry it, so there.
You don’t have to walk too far from the car park to start seeing a good view here. The cliffs along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast are pretty special to look at. And at this time of year, you have the double benefit of them being covered in sheep/lambs, and carpets of yellow rape flowers are also in abundance.
On more than one occasion I found my path blocked by said sheep or lambs. When they noticed the dog, they weren’t best pleased, but it means they all stop to stare at you – or as I like to think of it, stop to pose for a photo. The sight of a line of a couple of dozen sheep attempting to have a staring contest with you is something to behold – if not somewhat disturbing if you stop to think about it for too long.
After walking for a while, I reached a valley leading down to another beach. The only problem was – and I’ll admit it’s a big one – is that to descend the final part of it, a ladder is required. Not being entirely sure how I was supposed to carry a dog down a ladder – and then get back up it again – I gave up on that plan and retreated back in the direction I’d come. The dog would have to wait a while for some sand in her paws.
On the way back, skies became even more dramatic. As I sat on the cliff edge I wondered how many seasons we’d be experiencing in the week ahead. I’m sure it be many.
The car park closes at 7, so I had to put an end to all that dangerous thinking lark, lest I have to spend the night camping out with the ovine inhabitants.
A baad idea. Oh dear.
Distance – 3.45miles
Time – 2:11