Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Glamorgan Heritage Coast Sunset Tour

Dunraven Bay, Summer Sundowner Tour, Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Wales Coast Path

There's worse ways to spend a warm summers evening than a journey along the jurassic coastline in the Vale of Glamorgan. Only 30 minutes from the centre of Cardiff, I was whisked away with three other bloggers on an evening exploration with Real Wales Tours.
You may remember I was invited on a tour with the company back in the Spring and had a wonderful time in the Wye Valley.
This "Summer Sundowner" tour began at 7:30pm from Cardiff Central, making it a perfect after-work experience with friends and family.

Dunraven Walled Gardens, Rabbit, Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Southerndown Beach
Dunraven Historic Walled Gardens Entrance, Southerndown, Vale of Glamorgan

After a drive through the pretty market town of Cowbridge and surrounding countryside, we parked at Dunraven Bay and began a leisurely walk up to the castle and historic walled gardens. On our way we spotted nature in full glory; birds chirping, cattle grazing and bunny rabbits hopping up the hillside. 

Dunraven Tower, Castle Fortress Walls, Flower Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan
Orange Rose, Macro Photography, Dunraven Castle and Gardens

Our tour guide Nia offered some insight to how the gardens here came to be, including a poem by adoring guests who stayed at Dunraven Castle in the 19th century.
It's a surprisingly large area with one garden leading onto another - keen photographers like me will particularly enjoy snapping the vibrant mix of flowers in full bloom.

Dunraven Gardens, Historical gardens

Beyond the walled gardens is a dense woodland that's rich with the scent of wild garlic. The gentle incline leads up to an exposed cliff top overlooking the sea. It's here where the rugged shoreline can be fully appreciated.

Dunraven woodland, Wales Coast Path, Glamorgan Heritage Coast
Glamorgan Heritage Coast, SSSI area, picnic spot in Wales
Limestone and shale coast cliff, Vale of Glamorgan

The incredible power of the tide is evident with the limestone and shale cliffs constantly crumbling away. Nia informed us the geology is of special scientific interest, 'The Bendricks' further up the coast is particularly famous for its fossils and dinosaur footprints.

Dunraven Castle Ruin, Vale of Glamorgan

Dunraven Castle on the cliff top lies in ruin. The site was thought to have first been built on during the Iron Ages, later used as a hospital during the World Wars. Its fate was sealed in the 1960's when it fell out of use and was demolished. The views, however, will forever impress! 

Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Sunset, Summer Sundowner Tour

We descended down to the rocky beach to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, luck wasn't on our side and the milky sky clouded over. Though the tour is based around this element, I didn't feel like this was a let down as the walk before hand and hazy moonrise more than made up for it.

Long exposure photography, smokey sea, Dunraven Bay
Southerndown Beach, Log fire, Real Wales Tours

I think everyone's highlight was when we toasted marshmallows by the fire Nia had prepared. If I had a bucket list, this would've been on it. I felt like I was a thousand miles away from home (helped also by the warm temperatures).
We were also offered blankets, welsh cakes, cold and hot drinks to enjoy with a local ghost tale.  

Toasting marshmallows, Travel Bloggers

It was fantastic evening and none of us were in a hurry to leave. Whether you're a local or far flung visitor, I wouldn't hesitate booking this tour (or indeed any other with the company). As mentioned, if you work in the week and want a relaxing/romantic/riveting evening out, "Summer Sundowner" is absolutely ideal! 

Dunraven Bay, Night Photography, Long exposure, Seascape

For further details or to book, click here to visit the Real Wales Tours website. 
Disclaimer: I was invited on the tour however I was not obliged to write a review. All opinions are my own. First image by Miss Nicklin
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© Explore With Ed | Wales based Food, Travel and Cruise Blog

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