Mini Adventure: Glamorgan Heritage Coast

Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes

Another year of limited over-seas travel opportunities, means more exploring what we have on our doorstep. With a brand new tent this year, I was itching to get away for the first camping trip of the summer. We headed west, over the bridge, to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, just an hour and half drive from home in Bath.

Dunraven Bay

We headed straight for the beach at Dunraven Bay (or Southerndown Beach) and arrived just in time for a picnic lunch. This beach really surpassed all expectations, a real little gem. The access is good, no narrow country lanes to navigate, there is loads of parking (£5 for all day), there are toilets and an all important ice cream kiosk. Checking the tide times is a good idea, as at high tide there would be limited beach space. But as soon as the tide goes out sand is revealed and amazing rock pools to explore.

The beach is patrolled by the lifeguard and the sea doesn’t disappear for miles, staying within easy reach. If the sea is too much for little ones, the rock pools provide ample opportunity for paddling and splashing. Access down to the beach itself is a little tricky (about 30 metres of large boulders to clamber over) so not really suitable for those with mobility issues or buggies.

We loved our day here and could well become a new favourite as a day trip. We didn’t even have time to explore the castle ruins or the walled gardens.

Ogmore by Sea and Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes

After a very windy night, a good test for the new tent! The weather had turned and was a fair bit cooler then the previous day. We started the day by exploring Ogmore Castle, a ruined 13th Century monument. This is a free site in a really picturesque location next to the Ewenny River. The kids enjoyed running around the castle pretending to knights and raiders! There are also some ancient stepping stones across the river which we all enjoyed the challenge of not getting our feet wet!

From Ogmore Castle we drove around the estuary to Merthyr Mawr Warren National Nature Reserve. This is a huge sand dune system, the boys thought we were in the desert! We went on a little trek through the dunes trying to get to the sea, we never made it but it felt like a proper adventure! So much fun running up and down the dunes!

The weather had brightened up by the time we had made our way out the dunes so we headed back around the estuary to the beach at Ogmore by Sea. This is a lovely big beach with lots of space and rock pools to explore. We even found an octopus! Again there are facilities, lifeguards and a fish and chip van!

Loved exploring Glamorgan Heritage Coast, can’t believe we haven’t been before as it is pretty much on our doorstep! Perfect for a last minute get-away. Compared the the Gower further down the coast, it is very quiet and easy to get to. Looking forward to coming back and discovering more of this beautiful coastline.

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