Be captivated on this 9-mile Glamorgan Heritage Coast trail. Forming a section of the Wales Coast Path, its cliffs, nature reserves and ancient churches offer spectacular sights along the way. We suggest you start form Llantwit Major, where there's public transport links, parking and public toilets.
St Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major is a great place to start or end your walk. Stroll around the interior of the magnificent 13th century church, where you can admire the medieval wall paintings depicting St Mary Magdalene and St Christopher or search for the rare 13th century Jesse stone. Visitors can also find out about the oldest religious education centre in Britain, dating back to 500 AD, and see the progress on the restoration of the 15th century Galilee Chapel.
While you're in the area, explore the village using the Blue Plaque Trail to discover more information about the history of Llantwit Major. On your walk down to the the Coast Path following the Col-huw river, you'll come across Cwm Col-huw beach. It's a great beach for a family day out or wildlife spotting.
Read more about Llantwit Major on the Visit the Vale website.
Glamorgan Heritage Coast
Walking the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is enough to put a spring in your step, with the waters lapping the shore and the shingle cracking beneath your feet. See it up close as you follow the steps down into Tresilian Bay; notice how the Lias limestone and shales have eroded the cliffs to create caverns such as Reynard’s Cave. These cliffs aren’t for the faint-hearted, so watch out for the warning signs and keep your pooches on a short lead.
Nash Point Lighthouse
Nash Point Lighthouse is a shining beacon of light for unwary sailors and once was a mournful warning of danger on a foggy night. In 1831, Nash Sands claimed the lives of 78 souls aboard the Frolic passenger ship, which acted as a catalyst for building the lighthouse. Get the family out walking and stop off at the lighthouse if you have energy to spare. Want to hear the fog horn? Time your walk for the first Saturday and third Sunday of the month.
Holy Trinity Church, Marcross
One of three churches on this walk, Holy Trinity Church dates back to the 12th century. Look out for the Leper window on the south side of the chancel. Parishioners with leprosy and other contagious diseases weren’t allowed inside the church to take holy sacrament, so they used to watch the parish priest giving holy sacrament through the window. At this landmark, you're just a few stiles away from Llantwit Major.
St Donat's Castle and Atlantic College
The magnificent St Donat’s Castle dates back to the 12th century. Randolph Hurst, the newspaper magnate, owned it for a while, with Charlie Chaplin and J.F Kennedy among his guests there. It has been home to Atlantic College, a United World College, since 1962. If you want a fuller view of the castle and college, follow Valeways' circular walk called ‘Coast and Lighthouse’.
Before heading out on your walk, find out about appropriate clothing and footwear and how to protect and enjoy the countryside in the Countryside Code.
There are loads of other walks for all abilities to do in the Vale of Glamorgan. As well as the Wales Coast Path, there are 10 'Vale Trails' available and you can also download the free Vale Tales App which brings to life the stories along each of the trails. The popular annual Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival takes place in Barry, usually during May.