Day 268 Hailstorm at Barry Island

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Llantwit Major to Barry

16 miles

Oli and Laura’s house, Cardiff

I was up early to catch the bus into the centre of Cardiff and then the train to Llantwit Major, named after St Illtud who founded a college and a monastery here in 393AD. 

Llantwit Major old town
I stopped for a coffee at the velo cafe in the old part of town. Fuelled on caffeine I headed out to the coast. It was a lovely morning, the sun was shining and there was very little wind. Consequently I had an excellent view across the Bristol Channel to North Devon. 

a beautiful view along the cliff to Nash Point
an example of cliff erosion (Devon in the background)
My walk to Aberthaw was nice, mostly along the cliff and then a stretch at the back of a long, rocky beach covered in anti-tank defences (known as Dragons’ teeth around here). 

Aberthaw beach (dragons’ teeth on the edge of the beach)
Unfortunately, while I was bathed in sunshine I could see a huge dark cloud looming over Aberthaw Power Station (all power stations seem to have dark, moody skies over them). With a lack of wind the rain clouds just didn’t seem to be moving. 

Aberthaw Power Station
Aberthaw has a biodiversity area, created by the power station, not only with finance but also by providing a tropical environment! Apparently Bass and Smoothound Sharks come here to breed in the warm water. 

Aberthaw biodiversity area
I had only just climbed the cliff out of Aberthaw when the first hailstorm hit me. I managed to get my waterproof jacket on but didn’t bother with the trousers and just accepted I was going to get soaked. For the next 3 hours the weather alternated between hail and heavy rain, and the temperature seemed to drop by about 10 degrees. All the time I could see Devon bathed in sunshine!

Rhoose – an old quarry with a new housing estate
I walked past RAF St Athan (now Cardiff Airport) at Rhoose. Rhoose Point had a sign telling me I had reached the southernmost point of mainland Wales. This old quarry filled with new houses seemed like a desolate place in the pouring rain. I needed a cafe to dry off. 

the lovely sign marking the most southerly point of mainland Wales
I was thoroughly soaked by the time I reached Porthkerry Country Park. I stopped at the cafe for a cake and a break from the rain so I could swap maps and add a layer. 

the Porthkerry viaduct
The rain eased slightly as I arrived in Barry. I stood on the cliff and surveyed Cold Knap Point and Barry Island. 

looking across to Barry Island
Cold Knap Point
As the tide was out I walked across the sand/mud to Barry Island. 

walking across to Barry Island at low tide
Whitmore Bay was just around Friars Point and there I came face to face with the famous Barry Island Pleasure Park. It looked a bit sad without any people and only a few places were open. I didn’t stop. 

Barry Island Pleasure Park (just like Las Vegas, it looks less tacky from a distance)
On the other side of the island are the docks and a view of Barry Power Station. 

lookig along the coast as far as Sully Island
Barry Docks
The sky was black over Barry so I hurried on, keen to cross the bridge and get to the train station before I got drenched again. I almost made it. 

the weather rolling in to Barry Island
I sat at Barry station and watched the heaviest downpour. Everyone was shivering in the cold. The sun was out when I arrived back in Cardiff!

5 thoughts on “Day 268 Hailstorm at Barry Island

  1. Chris Frazer April 28, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Poor you….fancy looking across at Devon knowing you have Gloucestershire and Somerset to go through before you get your first taste of clotted cream, scones, cider and crab sandwiches. On on Marshal of the Air.


  2. Ali Smith April 28, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    Did all my driver training in that area, recognising lots of names. It’s snowing here! X


    • Lucy May 10, 2016 / 7:15 am

      Hi Ali. Well Barry was an interesting place. How funny that you did your training there. I think now that I wouldn’t have minded a posting to St Athan. Missed that one!


  3. jomunday99 April 28, 2016 / 10:25 pm

    Similar weather here Lucy! Yesterday we went to Greys Court National Trust and had a lovely walk in the sunshine then sat outside and had a cream tea. Then it started to snow!


  4. jstumm April 29, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    Our weather has been odd too. Rain, then sun, then rain again. Today I had frost on the car, but this afternoon we ate ice creams outside in the sun!


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