Wales Coast Path: Nash Point to Dunraven Bay

After our walk from Llantwit Major Beach to Nash Point, we were keen to explore more of the Wales Coast Path. So at the end of September, we set off for Nash Point to continue our walk along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Our destination? Dunraven Bay, some 7km away.

Wales Coast Path at Nash Point

We began our walk at Nash Point Beach, where we followed the coast path up the hill to our left (above) to the top of the cliffs.

There wasn’t a huge amount to see along this section of the path as we found ourselves walking along the edge of a series of farmers’ fields and clambering over a number of excessively tall stiles.

Wales Coast Path between Nash Point and Monknash

After a little while, the cliffs ahead dipped down into a valley – we were approaching Monknash Beach, also known as Cwm Nash Beach (below).

Approaching Monknash from the Wales Coast Path

Monknash Beach (below) is a secluded cove where the Nash Brook meets the Bristol Channel. It’s a pretty, scenic place and one of my favourite spots along the south Wales coast.

Monknash Beach with the tide in

It takes a little effort to get to Monknash Beach and, as such, it’s usually far less crowded than the other nearby beaches and feels a bit like a hidden gem.

If you look up at the cliffs to the west of the beach, you can sometimes spot bones sticking out of the rocks. The locals used to bury their dead and the victims of shipwrecks on top of the cliffs during the 16th and 17th centuries, and as the cliffs have crumbled away over the years, they’ve revealed the old burial sites.

The Bristol Channel has one of the strongest tidal ranges in the world, which means the tides here are very changeable and potentially deadly, so it’s important to be aware of the tide times before venturing too far across the beaches.

We saw first hand just how quickly the tides can change during our walk and were amazed at how much of a difference there was in such a short space of time. On our way to Dunraven Bay, the tides were high, with only a little of the beach visible (above, left). But by the time we made our way back a few hours later, the tide had gone out uncovering a huge expanse of beach (above, right).

Sheep in a field between Monknash and Traeth Mawr

From Monknash, we continued westwards onto the top of the cliffs and followed the coast path through yet more fields – including a field full of cows and another home to some curious sheep (above).

Traeth Mawr

As we walked along the clifftops, we made sure not to stray too near the edge as the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is renowned for its sudden rockfalls. We, nevertheless, managed to get an occasional glimpse of the striking shoreline below (above).

Cwm Mawr and Traeth Bach

We continued along the clifftop path until we reached another valley – Cwm Mawr. As we approached the edge of Cwm Mawr, we could see a number of faint, narrow trails leading down into the valley, but the hillside was incredibly steep and the paths looked far from safe.

Cwm Mawr

Looking around for an alternative route, we spotted a sign for the coast path to our right, which took us around the valley instead (above).

Once we’d safely reached the other side of Cwm Mawr, the coast path led us into a wood and a section of the trail I didn’t enjoy, as the area was teeming with flies and there were lots of uncomfortably steep steps.

Beach at Traeth Bach and Southerndown

On coming out of the woods, we again found ourselves atop the cliffs and we followed the path to another of my favourite places along this part of the coast, Southerndown, stopping en route to admire the utterly stunning beach below (above).

Ruins of Dunraven Castle

We continued along the path until we reached the ruins of Dunraven Castle (above) and its walled gardens (below), where we stopped to look around, before making our way to our final destination, Dunraven Bay.

Dunraven Castle walled gardens

I was famished by the time we reached Dunraven Bay, so we plonked outselves down on the sea wall overlooking the beach to enjoy a spot of lunch. A few mouthfulls later, we heard a commotion on the beach and on looking up, we saw a large group of women running into the sea in nothing but their birthday suits.

There was a photographer documenting the occasion, so I’m assuming it was for charity. It certainly made for an eventful lunch, as watched the few other people on the beach tactfully avoid looking in the women’s direction. Needless to say, I didn’t take any photos of the bay that day.

Lunch over and feeling sufficiently well rested and replenished, we retraced our steps back along the coast path to Nash Point.

Walking this stretch of the Wales Coast Path made for an enjoyable day out. It wasn’t as interesting as the walk between Llantwit Major Beach and Nash Point as there were fewer things to see, but it was still a great walk, boasting some spectacular views and one very ruined castle.


  • Parking: Parking is available at Nash Point (£3, pay at the café) and at Dunraven Bay (£5)
  • Facilities: There are toilets at Nash Point and Dunraven Bay, although there’s nothing in between the two points. There’s a small café at Nash Point selling drinks, snacks such as bacon butties and toasties, and cakes. The kiosk at Dunraven Bay sells drinks, ice creams, crisps and muffins

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