Cowbridge and Llanblethian, 16th January

My optimism in the weather was rewarded, and after days of torrential wind and rain, I was delighted to see blue skies and the recently rarely seen sun shining. Thirteen walkers, not an unlucky number today, met up in Cowbridge Cattle Market Car Park: the Ogmore contingent travelling there directly to meet the Wick contingent.

We left via the adjacent path, walking over The Police Fields and up into Geraints Way. As we passed the houses, we realised what wonderful views they had over The Vale. Soon we were crossing into a field grazed by sheep which is also the site of an old iron age hillfort. This led us back onto the road, where we had a perfect view of Penllyn Castle on the opposite hill. Zig zagging across the main road via quieter paths, we then headed towards Llanblethian. Mary was delighted to see an old red phone box, next to the village pump.

Several members paid a visit to the Church, noting amongst other features the Crypt and Pink Alabaster Pulpit. Then we carried on down Causeway Hill to Factory Road. The conversation turned to who knew anything about The Factory, had it been a woollen factory? Graham happened to ask a passer-by, who by pure chance happened to live in it as was now a house. I think the group and the lady educated each other. It was a great spot for our photo, taken on the bridge. A few of us paddled in the water, well we washed a bit of mud off our boots!

On the final stretch we passed along the road, bordered by countryside and the brook which joined The River Thaw. Then we headed through Greenfield Way coming out at The Mill House. Adjacent to this we joined a path which skirted below St Quentin’s Castle on one side, and the river and a cider orchard on the other. There was so much of interest, and beauty in this small area I can’t fit it all in!

But it wasn’t over yet, we arrived back in Cowbridge to the Maple and Bean Coffee shop. By a fortuitous coincidence exactly 13 empty chairs sat waiting outside for us in the sun. Despite being January, we all sat out enjoying refreshments and continued the numerous happy conversations that had accompanied us on our walk. I certainly enjoyed it, and Thank You all for coming…… oh and we saw the first daffodils of 2023 in bloom!