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.

View the Glamorgan Heritage Coast trail route map

St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major

St Illtud’s Church 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.

exterior view of church
St Illtyd's Church, Llantwit Major

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.

Nash Point Lighthouse
Nash Point lighthouse, Vale of Glamorgan

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 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 ‘Churches, College 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.

 

Related stories