It dawned a little misty and grey, but soon the weather and skies looked brighter, as five of us departed for a morning walk across fields, a green lane and following a stream and then over fields again.
As we booted up at Topstak, we were all considering just forgetting the walk and popping in for a nice hot coffee, but we stuck to our plans and after crossing the very busy Llantwit /Cowbridge road, we were soon heading off down a quiet country lane, before then turning northwards over a high up stile. This was the first of rather more stiles than we had anticipated. A number of these were really rather overgrown, but we did not let ourselves be deterred and managed somehow to get over a few really quite challenging stiles (all to be reported as needing attention).
After crossing the busy Cowbridge road, we went a short way towards Llysworney, took a right along a lovely old green lane, which was dry and peaceful albeit with quite a bit of longish grass, but this cleaned our boots nicely. From there we followed a supposedly quiet road, but too many cars were using it as a shortcut, but we plodded on and had some lovely views northwards. Crossing the “main” road yet again we were nearly in Llanblethian and well ready for our coffee stop, all fitting neatly on a good bench overlooking the ford beside factory brook; this was an ideal photo location.
We then followed factory brook for about three quarters of a mile, but on coming to an exceptionally challenging stile, we decided to take an alternative route over a nice new bridge over the brook. This route had not been visited previously by any of us, but to our rather considerable relief it turned out to be an excellent route, albeit somewhat heavy on the sties!! Goodness knows how many there were, but fortunately relatively easy-to-open gates were alongside, so we took the easier option of going through them. By this time all our coats, gloves and scarves were making us feel over hot, in the now delightful sunshine, so five steaming, very muddy walkers were glad to off load coats and boots before treating ourselves to that well-earned coffee. Five miles seemed to be the agreed length, a bit longer than anticipated but a good walk and thanks to all who came along.