South Wales Coast & Severn Estuary
This is the last leg of the 870 mile Wales Coast Path. It starts at Mumbles/Swansea ending at Chepstow on the Wales and England border. A 118 mile (190 km) long section, and an easy to moderate trail.
The South Wales coastline takes in the city landscapes of Swansea, Cardiff (Wales’ capital city) and Newport, quiet villages like Monksnash and Gileston, and major sand dune systems at Ogmore and Merthyr Mawr. The path utilises the spectacular Glamorgan Heritage Coast with breathtaking views of the Severn Estuary looking across to Somerset and Bristol.
This trail has something for everyone! And if you want more – the trail ends at Chepstow where you can start on another national trail, the Offa’s Dyke Path.
Mumbles to Chepstow
11 Nights, 10 Days Walking (easy to moderate walking)
Day 1: Own arrival to your first accommodation
Day 2: Walk Mumbles/Swansea to Port Talbot 16 / 13 miles (26km / 21km) Start your walk from Mumbles by walking the three miles of the Swansea Promenade to the River Tawe footbridge. You can opt to start your walk from the footbridge (avoiding the long promenade). This lowland route takes you out of Swansea towards open countryside by the Crymlyn Bog Nature Reserve. An unavoidable stretch of road to Briton Ferry, followed by dunes and open sands towards Aberavon and Port Talbot.
Day 3: Walk Port Talbot to Porthcawl 10 miles / 16 km The alternative route (avoiding walking through industrial Port Talbot) is recommended. This upland grassy path undulates along the lower mountain slopes of Mynydd Emroch overlooking Port Talbot steelworks. Both routes re-join at Margam where you can take a short detour to Margam Castle. Continue through Kenfig National Nature Reserve, full of rare and beautiful plants. The trail ends at the seaside of Porthcawl.
Day 4: Walk Porthcawl to Ogmore 9 miles/ 14.5 km Today, you now enter the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. It contains some of the largest dune systems in Northern Europe and on this easy low-level walk pass through the Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve, as well as the tidal stepping stones at Ogmore Castle.
Day 5: Walk Ogmore to Llantwit Major 10 miles/ 16 km Continue along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast along cliff tops with fantastic panoramic views of the Wales Coast Path coastline both east and west. One of the best areas in Wales to look for Jurassic fossils! Pass through Dunraven Bay, Southerndown and Nash Point with its famous lighthouse ending at the vibrant town of Llantwit Major.
Day 6: Walk Llantwit Major to Barry 12 miles / 19.2km An undulating cliff top path at the beginning of the walk today, but in general an easy walk as you follow the narrowing Bristol Channel on your way to the seaside town of Barry. The most southerly point of mainland Wales is on your walk today at Rhoose Point.
Day 7: Walk Barry to Cardiff Bay 13 miles / 21km Visit Barry Island’s Whitmore Bay before heading off to Sully and Lavernock Point where Marconi first experimented with radio signals across the open sea towards Flat Holm and Steep Holm Islands. Penarth’s Victorian pier is a highlight before crossing the Cardiff Bay Barrage to the Welsh capital. Pass the Norwegian Church with its connections to Roald Dahl, the Captain Scott memorial (Scott embarked from here to the South Pole in 1910), the Wales Millennium Centre (opera and theatre venue) and the Welsh Senedd (Assembly building).
Day 8: Walk Cardiff Bay to LighthousePark 11 miles/17.5 km Before setting off spend some time at Cardiff Bay or take a detour to the city centre to visit the National Museum of Wales, which exhibits paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Renoir. From Cardiff Bay the official route follows quite industrial sections. (This is by-passable by catching a bus from Cardiff Centre to Pengam Green). Continue to Wentloog Levels, an outstanding site for watching birds, attracted to the rich feeding grounds of the saltmarsh and muddy tidal flats. Lighthouse Park will be the end of the walk today as you approach the environs of Newport.
Day 9: Walk Lighthouse Park to Newport Wetlands 10 miles/ 16km Through the centre of Newport and onto the Transporter Bridge, a Grade I listed structure, one of only seven such bridges in the world! Flat walking follows as you cross fields and “reens” (ditches) to the Newport Wetlands RSPB Reserve.
Day 10: Walk Newport Wetlands to Caldicot 14 miles/ 22/5 km Pass by Redwick, the best preserved medieval village on the Gwent levels, well worth a short detour to visit the church where a flood-mark from the Bristol Channel Flood of 1607 can be seen. The walk ends today at Caldicot (Cil y Coed) with its castle.
Day 11: Caldicot to Chepstow 10 miles/ 16 km. Continue the final leg of the Wales Coast Path beneath the second Severn Crossing across the Caldicot Level. Flat walking for most of the day, passing Sudbrook Iron Age fort and Mathern church, with its carved wooden sculpture of the 6th century warrior King Tewdric. A brightly painted mural welcomes you to Chepstow with a view to the original Severn Bridge which crosses the River Wye.
Day 12: Own Departure from last accommodation