We met as usual at the WVH, all donned with our waterproof clothing, naturally expecting the rains to continue as forecast during our walk. However, between the heavy rains of Friday and Saturday nights there was a welcome lull in the weather on the Saturday; contributing to what became a most pleasant, enjoyable and memorable walk.
Having reached and parked at the old Cowbridge Market, we headed off.
Despite having done a recce and knowing the area very well, my first error was immediate; instead of staying on the bridal path we turned into the Waitrose car park, making a quick recovery we walked through to the high street. We were all taken aback by how busy it was. Car park full, pavements crowded, heavy traffic, people queuing at the cafes, comings and goings all reminiscent of life pre-covid days, and it was nice to see.
With Anne and Robbie having their flu vaccination and going to catch us up we continued along the high street towards the traffic lights, crossing onto Primrose Hill and taking an almost immediate turn onto the bridal path, which considering the rain that had fallen, was remarkably dry. At the end of the path, we turned into the fields (a gate linking two of the fields had been tied up with string. Instead of cutting it we were able to step over a low wire fence. First challenge overcome.) where we turned and walked along the lane to the stables.
It was here we met our second challenge, the most beautiful stallion was blocking the kissing gate, access to the bridal path that runs between the paddocks. Not to be daunted we gave the Stallion some love and attention and he kindly moved out of our way. Traversing on through more fields, we wondered what the farmer had been planting. We came to the conclusion that it was grass for silage.
A first was achieved when both Liz and Graham said that they had not been on this path before. Continuing we came to another field that had a plethora of wild mushrooms, of which some were no longer in the field when we left. Then it was onto the New Beaupre woods with conkers abundant on the ground, before moving onto St Hilary. The Bush was unfortunately closed for a wedding reception so we stopped by the church for refreshments while watching some of the guests arriving.
We turned left out of St Hilary proceeding uphill on the track towards the Clump and the reputed place of past public hangings, from there it was downhill to the Murghal restaurant and over the A48 slip road. Passing Stalling downs we went downhill to Aberthin, from there crossing the road to the fields leading back to Cowbridge, over stiles, through kissing gates and over the boardwalk. At Cowbridge we sat outside the Maple and Bean Cafe, still enjoying the sunshine while having refreshments and general conversation. We ended our walk after taking a belated group photo at the children’s play area behind Waitrose, naturally on the rocket sea-saw attraction.