Cowbridge, Aberthin Circular, 20th September

Lead: Graham

It was a glorious sunny morning – the dawn chill having relented – as the five of us assembled for the short drive to Cowbridge Cattle Market where we set off in ideal conditions for the day’s walk. The Old Hall grounds and the Physic Gardens with its fine row of espalier apple trees led us into the High Street and on to the Town Hall carpark, almost deserted now that ‘pay and display’ has been introduced. Some rather tasteful planting alongside the path past the allotments drew our attention before we passed beneath the bypass with its brutalist concrete support structures and gained the board-walk skirting Cowbridge Comprehensive School. The route then took us into the fields where the muted, early autumn colours were enlivened by the rich purple/blue drifts of devil’s bit scabious.

Our northerly progress was untroubled by stiles, all having been replaced by new gates although a few of the ancient, more character-full, creaky gates aided our eventual passage south east towards Aberthin. Stopping at the Village Hall for liquid refreshment we were critical of the way rampant brambles had been allowed to encroach upon the property unlike the well-maintained Wick Hall surrounds.

Continuing now in a southerly direction up the lane towards the bridge across the Cowbridge bypass the occasional break in the hedgerow revealed panoramic views west across the Vale with Penllyn Castle visible on the distant, heavily wooded high point. Pressing on past Arfryn Farm (free range eggs for sale) we crossed the A48, joined another lane and soon entered and traversed a large field to climb over the day’sone and only stile into the narrow, sunken, leafy lane back down into Cowbridge. All but one of our number – who had a pressing need to leave – stopped for a leisurely al fresco coffee before heading home. I believe we all enjoyed a pleasant country walk in perfect weather.

A wonderful morning in excellent company.