Ogmore-by-Sea is one of my favourite stretches of coastline in south Wales. The rocky strip of land, which boasts fantastic views over the Bristol Channel, is around the corner from another favourite beach, Southerndown, and is a great place for a brisk weekend coastal walk.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a blustery morning exploring Ogmore as Storm Ali approached, whipping up the occasional (painful) blast of sand and giving my hair a very windswept aesthetic.
There’s a long strip of grassland along the top of Ogmore beach and I set off for a stroll along it, admiring the sea views as I walked and stopping every so often to watch the waves crash onto the rocks below. The rocks are home to lots of rock pools and, on a calmer day, they’re a great place to look for marine life such as starfish, anemones and crabs.
Having strolled along the coastal path and back, I wandered down to the shore near the mouth of the River Ogmore (above), and from there, made my way to Ogmore Castle, a short walk down stream.
Built in Norman times by one of William the Conqueror’s knights, William de Londres, Ogmore Castle is now very much a ruin and what’s left of it is maintained by Cadw, the Welsh heritage organisation.
The remains of the castle were more extensive than I was expecting, but there still isn’t a huge amount to see. It is, however, in a beautiful location, set against the idyllic (and strategic) backdrop of the Ogmore River. And it was a fun place to spend a little time clambering over the ruins, exploring its nooks and crannies, and trying to imagine how the castle would have looked during its medieval heyday.
Down by the river, there are a series of stepping stones you can use to cross it and from there you can walk to Merthyr Mawr, home to a large sandy beach and Wales’s biggest sand dune, and had it been a nicer day I would have set off in their direction. But by now the weather was turning blacker and the rain wasn’t too far off, so I made the decision to turn back rather than risk getting stuck the other side of the river during a storm. I’ll just have to go back next spring/summer when the weather’s better and properly explore the area.
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