Discover Wales' secret walking paradise. Truly get away from it all. Breathe in rolling, green vale, wonderful woodlands and explore our 10 Vale Trails
Get that rare feeling of near-exclusivity, with off-the-beaten-track walks in a county that saves its best for the most discerning. The Vale of Glamorgan has walks from beginner grade to those for seasoned ramblers and hikers. It combines convenient location, with accessible, dog-friendly trails and beaches, and high quality accommodation and dining. There's definitely a trail in the Vale to suit everyone. from gentle countryside and village walks, enjoying charming pubs or tearooms, to exciting beaches and cliffs along the world-famous Glamorgan Heritage Coast, with its incredible tidal ranges, history, and unrivalled views across the Bristol Channel to England.
Visit the Vale of Glamorgan, where geological aeons have buckled and twisted a dynamic coastline. One that needs to be seen to be believed, and who knows what fossils lay underfoot as you walk its beaches. Then walk undulating, green countryside, that gives its grace and peace to this beautifully named county, still, thankfully, a very real and hidden gem, to be taken at an enjoyable and leisurely pace.
They offer a selection of 10 easy to follow routes. Why not download the Vale Tales app, adding audio-history accompaniments to your walking adventures. For those seeking a helping hand and some native knowledge, Local Tour Guides, Valeways and Vale Ramblers offer guided walks from folk who will happily and enthusiastically divulge even more local secrets.
Learn more about our 10 Vale Trails
Numbered 1 to 10, each trail explores the Vale across 5 coastal and 5 inland routes.
Routes 1-5 takes you from Ogmore by Sea in the West through to Penarth in the East. Routes 6-10 takes you through stunning countryside where you'll never be too far away from a wonderful country pub or cafe. Click on each walk to learn more, and get a glimpse of what each one offers through watching our Vale Trail videos.
Big questions is...which will you choose first?
OGMORE BY SEA WALK ’Vale Trail 1’
This route takes you along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, designated for its unique geology and wildlife. Above Dunraven Bay, you’ll have one of the best views along the entire Glamorgan Heritage Coast.
Coast and Lighthouse Walk ‘Vale Trail 2’
A breath-taking walk featuring the Wales Coast Path as you explore the spectacular cliffs of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Inland, you’ll cross rural farmland and ancient woodlands, and discover historic buildings. Begin the adventure with a warm up session by TV presenter Heini, perfect to get you prepared for the challenge ahead.
Celtic Crosses and Coast Walk ‘Vale Trail 3’
The perfect walking route for history lovers. You’ll discover some of the fascinating stories linked to the town of Llantwit Major, which has been a settlement for over 3,000 years, and is Britain’s oldest seat of Christian learning. Enjoy the fine collection of Celtic carved stones in St.Illtud’s Church, and amazing views on the coastal stretch of this route.
Park and Seaside Walk ‘Vale Trail 4’
Take in the views from the most southerly point on the mainland of Wales and experience the Vale’s diverse coastline – from quiet coves to the traditional resort of Barry Island, home to the sitcom “Gavin& Stacey”. There’s an eclectic mix of landmarks including Roman remains near the Knap, and a Victorian railway viaduct in Porthkerry Country Park.
Coast and Pier Walk ‘Vale Trail 5’
Visit the site of the world’s first radio transmission over open sea by Marconi and enjoy fine views of Penarth Pier and Cardiff Bay as you head Eastward towards Cardiff, the Capital City of Wales.
SALMON LEAPS WALK ‘Vale Trail 6’
Parts of this walk were recently featured in The Times in an article detailing ’20 of the UK’s most beautiful woodlands for winter walks’. And it really is beautiful all year round. This delightful, refreshing walk which starts in the village of Dinas Powys includes a glacial valley, the Cwm George Iron Age hill fort, and, if you’re lucky, the occasional leaping salmon as you pass through fields and forests, and follow the Wrinstone Brook.
Haunted Field Walk ‘Tale Trail 7’
Starting in the lovely village of St Nicholas, this circular walk passes the splendid Dyffryn House & Gardens, and two Neolithic burial chambers that are older than Stonehenge. According to legend, the capstone of St.Lythan’s Burial Chamber twirls three times on midsummer eve while its stones go to the river to bathe!
Magical Forest Walk ‘Vale Trail 8’
The best of inland Vale of Glamorgan: rich and colourful landscape, large areas of native forest, pretty villages, and a series of impressive views of the coast, nearby towns and the city of Cardiff. Highlights include the mixed deciduous and conifer forest which gives the walk its name, home to the beautiful and pure Pysgodlyn Lake.
Iolo Morgannwg Heritage Walk ‘Vale Trail 9’
Discover the historic and vibrant market town of Cowbridge, its surrounding fields and wooded paths. Romantic poet, political radical and humanitarian, Iolo Morgannwg (1747-1826) was the first to propose that Wales should have its own national institutions lived in the local area, and many of the places of interest are linked to this most colourful of characters.
Ewenny Spring Flowers Walk ‘Vale Trail 10’
An idyllic trail with outstanding views across South Wales and towards the Somerset coast. It is rich in heritage sites, including St. Bridget’s Church in St Brides Major, and – at the furthest reaches of the walk– Ewenny Priory, the most complete Norman church in Wales, and the subject of one of JMW Turner’s finest paintings.
For further detailed info on each of the Vale trails see the information page.
Vale Trail Videos
We have created a series of Vale Trail videos to inspire you. Either click on each walk above, or take a look at our You Tube channel to help you decide which to choose first... Vale Trails - YouTube