Castle Upon Alun and Ewenny Garden Centre, 13th March

Despite the overnight and early morning high winds and heavy rain, ten stoical walkers met at St Brides Village Hall. We set off in good spirits and crossed fingers that the earlier inclement weather would not return during our walk.

Crossing Wick Road at The Farmers Arms (recently opened as The Mezze @ The Farmers Arms) we traversed along the lane down to the junction at Blackhall Road where we crossed to continue down to the ford at Castle Upon Alun. As ever there was much chat and bonhomie between the walkers. We delighted at the show of golden daffodils threaded through the woodland areas. A truly beautifully taste of spring to bring smiles all round.

Albeit the River Alun was at high level and fast flowing our footpath remained dry. However, the stepping stones at the ford were mostly submerged. Thank goodness our route did not require us to attempt that crossing. Had it been so, I think I may have been faced with some resistance from my walking companions! Instead, we carried in along the banks of the Alun, under the railway bridge, after which we wound our way to the quarry. Weather at this point was almost ‘balmy’ such was the warmth of the sunshine.

We stopped at the quarry to inspect the Clay Pigeon debris that littered the area with bright orange ‘clay’ remains from the ‘shoots’ carried out in the disused quarry. Our resident photographer, as ever, organised us for the group pic. Graham, told us about the Tooth Wort (Lathraea) plant that grows in the area. The tooth wort is a parasite living off the roots of other plants.

Our return journey reversed our earlier route which gradually inclines its way from the ford back to the junction of Blackhall Road where we turned right along the road to St Brides. The group returned, via Penylan, where smart residences were admired, to our waiting cars.

We commented on our good fortune regarding the dry and sunny weather we experienced during our morning.

Coffee etc at Ewenny Garden Centre completed our adventure.