Day 266 Port Talbot and Porthcawl

Monday 25 April 2016

Port Talbot to Porthcawl

16 miles

Ann and Meirion’s house, Porthcawl (Al’s parents)

I caught a bus into the centre of Cardiff and then a train to Baglan, saving me a walk out of Swansea and across the River Neath. I made my way through Sandfields housing estate to the waterfront at Aberavon Sands. 

Aberavon Sands (at high tide)
At the end of the promenade is Aberavon Beach, which is lovely, except for being right next to the docks servicing Port Talbot steel factory. 

the beautiful Aberavon beach, with Port Talbot steel works behind it
The path turned inland to skirt the docks and the steel works, and I spent the next couple of hours mostly walking next to a main road, sandwiched between the M4 and the factories. It was not the most exciting walk. 

Port Talbot docks and steel works
Eventually, after another roundabout, I turned away from the main road and across several railway lines at the end of their tracks. Suddenly I entered a sand dune and wetland wilderness. 

Kenfig Burrows Nature Reserve
Kenfig Burrows
It was a long walk along the soft sandy paths through Kenfig National Nature Reserve. A wild place next to all the industry. I didn’t see much wildlife though, mainly geese and skylarks. 

the edge of Kenfig Burrows, Port Talbot behind it
I approached Porthcawl via Rest Bay, which I later found out is significantly lower and has less sand than before the 2013 storms.  

Rest Bay, Porthcawl
looking back on Rest Bay
Porthcawl seems like a nice town, originally developed around a small harbour to service the iron and coal industries of the valleys and now a seaside resort. I walked along Lock’s Common and the esplanade, with its 1932 Grand Pavillion, and out to Porthcawl Point. 

Porthcawl esplanade
I noticed the plaque on the wall commemorating the first Porthcawl Annual Christmas Day swim that has been running since 1965.

the lighthouse at Porthcawl Point, Sandy Bay on the left and Ogmore across the bay
I had a lovely evening with my friend Al’s parents. Meirion and Ann really looked after me and made me feel very welcome. 

penguins and a blue whale at Aberavon Sands

One thought on “Day 266 Port Talbot and Porthcawl

  1. Chris Frazer April 28, 2016 / 9:03 am

    Juice you have gone through the rural beauty and it appears today that you are moving the urban industrial beast……on on. You have the industrial views of Newport and Avonmouth coming up……lucky you.


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