Llantwit Major to Nash Point

derek and Belinda at Nash Point

  • Location: Llantwit Major to Nash Point
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: Approx 2 hrs

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Walk description

An easy coastal walk along the heritage coast from Col-Huw point, Llantwit Major, past St Donat's castle and onto the lighthouse at Nash Point.

It can be done as either a linear or point to point walk and has wonderful views, WWII history, shady woodland, a castle once populated by film stars, so there's something for everyone.

Best avoided when there's low mist or sea fog.

Accompanying Derek on the walk was Belinda Ashong, a ranger for the Heritage Coast who runs the visitors centre at Southerndown. /p>

Highlights of the walk

Tresilian cave or Dwynwen's cave - There is a beam or bridge of limestone that stretches across the cave from one side to the other.

Legend has it that boys used to take their lovers to visit the cave at low tide. If the boy could throw a pebble over the beam three times, they would marry.

Another tale tells of a pirate who was supposedly buried up to his neck in pebbles here and left to succumb to the waves. According to legend, on a stormy night you can hear him roaring, stricken with rage.

St. Donat's Castle used to be owned by Randolph Hearst the American newspaper magnate who used to spend holidays there and sometimes bring 'Hollywood' friends to stay.

It is now 'Atlantic College' an international sixth form college, the first of 12 around the world to be established in 1962.

Things of interest

There are a number of footpaths leading off the coastal path which may be of interest to walkers.

The lighthouses at Nash Point are open to the public during the summer and the old keepers cottages are now 'holiday lets'.

Geology on this walk

The route highlights the erosive powers of freeze/thaw frost weathering, and also the spectacular pummelling effects of gale force seas.

In some areas the cliff face erosion is a major concern. Check tide times for sea level strolls, as RAF rescue helicopters are often called out to rescue visitors.

Wildlife on this walk

There was an abundance of wild cabbage, wild carrot and rock samphire all of which are edible, along this walk. The cabbage was allegedly brought in by the Romans army.

Sea Pink or Thrift was one of the first wild flowers to be spotted by Derek.

There was a variety of butterflies to be seen including painted ladies, large and small whites as well as speckled woods.

Birds species you could see include peregrine falcons, kestrels, buzzards en route and choughs at Nash Point.

The meadow around the lighthouse is notable for its fauna having gained SSSI status - importantly due to the presence of the tuberous thistle.

History on this walk

The legacy of WWII is never far from view along this walk as Pill box or gun emplacements are the major structural remains on the route.

Interestingly these defences were constructed with a design flaw - in order to accommodate the standard issue British Army Bren gun - the sloping walls of the pill box were constructed inside out.

If they'd come under attack, bullets would've ricocheted into the British defences!

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