Southerndown and Dunraven Castle, 17th December

Celebrating Christmas with a festive walk. As we usually have four walks a month, it seemed a good idea to try and fit in a pre-Christmas one as the final walk of the year. Being a Monday, a short walk with festive nibbles seemed in order.

Five of us set off for a 2 mile walk from Southerndown beach car park, taking the path inland towards St Brides’ Major, cutting off to the right before we left the little wooded valley. From here a pleasant, albeit muddy, path led us around the perimeter of several fields, then towards the top of the cliff. Graham spotted a Red Kite majestically flying above us – a lovely sight. We then passed the old gatehouse to Dunraven Castle, a building in remarkably good condition still, but now heavily blocked off to any of us who fancied walking up the track to St Brides – Wick Road.

After several fields, a track led towards the cliff top, coming out near the upper Castle gardens and ice tower. On arrival at the summer house in the Castle gardens, we were soon joined by five more who had been unable to join the main walk.

As festive nibbles had been on the agenda, we laid out our spread and tucked into stollen, mince pies, fudge, vanilla biscuits, coconut nibbles, ginger biscuits and more, all washed down with coffee and ‘a wee dram’ courtesy of one generous member of the group.

A group photo with the backdrop of the Castle walls was taken, before it was ‘home time’. Thank you to all who came along and I’m sorry that a number of you had hoped to come but were prevented at the last minute.