Wales Coast Path: Llantwit Major to Nash Point

Over the August bank holiday weekend, I was keen to spend some time by the sea, so I headed down to the south Wales coast to walk a 5km-stretch of the Wales Coast Path between the town of Llantwit Major and Nash Point Beach.

Llantwit Major Beach

Our starting point was Llantwit Major Beach, also known as Cwm Col-huw (above), a popular spot with locals that boasts a sandy beach, rock pools, a café, free parking and toilets.

Wales Coast Path looking towards Tresilian Bay and St Donat's

We set out westwards over the cliffs from Cwm Col-huw, taking in the superb views over the Bristol Channel and the south Wales coast (above).

As we walked along the path, we came across a number of stone and brick structures perched near the edge of the cliffs (above), which we took to be either abandoned gun turrets or lime kilns (more informed guesses welcomed!).

Beach at Dimhole

After a short while, the path dipped down to sea level – we’d arrived at Dimhole, the first of a series of bays along this stretch of coast, where we stopped to take a look around.

Rockfall at Dimhole

As we ambled across the rocky beach, we could see a large pile of what looked like recently fallen rocks under one of the chalk cliffs to our left (above).

The beaches along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast are plagued by sudden rockfalls and it was a handy reminder to keep our distance from the crumbling cliffs while exploring the bays.

Caves at Dimhole

This part of the coast is also studded with caves and there were a fair few visible under the cliffs at Dimhole (above).

The caves are said to have been used by smugglers back in the day and rumour has it there’s a network of tunnels under the cliffs (although we weren’t foolhardy enough to venture inside to put that theory to the test).

Tresilian Bay from the Wales Coast Path

Having explored much of the beach at Dimhole, we headed back to the coast path and continued our walk over the cliffs until we reached Tresilian Bay (above), a small rock and shingle beach that’s popular with swimmers.

Tresilian Bay

This section of the coast is often referred to as the Jurassic coast as it’s famed for its fossils.

Despite keeping my eyes peeled as we crossed the rocks, I didn’t spot any ancient geological specimens – unlike my brother who found this detailed starfish on one of the rocks (below).

Starfish fossil at Tresilian Bay

Having seen what there was to see in Tresilian Bay, we followed the coast path to the top of the cliffs and continued along it until we reached St Donat’s Bay.

St Donat's Bay

The village of St Donat’s is renowned for its 12th century castle, which was once owned by the infamous newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst.

Hearst is reported to have entertained a host of glittering guests at the castle, among them swashbuckling movie star Errol Flynn, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the star of the silent screen, Charlie Chaplin.

St Donat's Castle

Today, St Donat’s Castle (above) is home to UWC Atlantic College, a prestigious, independent sixth form college that’s been nicknamed the ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ and is popular with European royalty.

At St Donat’s, we could hear music coming from the direction of the college and we later found out the college had been welcoming students for the start of the academic year (among them Princess Leonor of Spain and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands).

There wasn’t a huge amount to see at St Donat’s as the castle lies behind big stone walls, but we were able to get a glimpse of the outdoor swimming pool and some rather impressive facilities through the gates.

Wales Coast Path with Nash Point lighthouse in the distance

From St Donat’s, the coast path took us through a short patch of woodland to the top of the cliffs, where we embarked on the last section of our picturesque walk (above).

Nash Point lighthouse

We followed the path until we reached Nash Point lighthouse (above), which was built in the 19th century to protect ships from the hazardous rocks and sandbanks offshore.

Nash Point has the distinction of being the last manned lighthouse in Wales (it switched to being an automatic beacon in August 1998).

The striking, white lighthouse is flanked by four cottages, which would once have housed its keepers. It’s also home to a visitor centre that’s open to the public, but only by appointment, in a group of at least five people.

Nash Point Beach

Just beyond the lighthouse, we came to the end of our walk at Nash Point Beach (above), where we stopped at the small café for a well-deserved cup of tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake, before retracing our steps along the coast path to Cwm Col-huw.

I loved our walk along this stretch of the Wales Coast Path. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful part of the world, but there are lots of interesting things to see along the way, including castles, lighthouses and fossils. It’s somewhere I’ll be returning on a fairly regular basis.


  • Parking: You can park for free at Llantwit Major Beach or for £3 at Nash Point (pay at the café)
  • Facilities: Both Llantwit Major Beach and Nash Point boast cafés and toilets, although there are no facilities between the two points

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