Wild Swimming Trails in the Vale

With miles of unspoilt coastline and dramatic cliffs revealing hidden tidal bays at low tide, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast makes an ideal destination for a wild swimming walk adventure.

Wild swimming walks are growing in popularity, offering away to immerse yourself even more fully into the beautiful landscapes and blue spaces that we have in Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan, which not only benefits from a wonderful and dramatic coastline, but also luscious green, traditional countryside and fascinating history, offers much for the wild swimming walker.

New book Wild Swimming Walks – South Wales includes a circular route on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, taking in two wonderful swimming opportunities at tidal bays Monknash and Nash Point. Find out more here

The route begins at Nash Point, where the Glamorgan farmland reaches an abrupt conclusion at the edge of golden cliffs. This coastline is dynamic. A marker buoy clangs to warn sea-goers of the hidden bank of sand which runs parallel to the coast off-shore. The beach here becomes completely cut-off at high tide, with unevenly eroded rock beds and channels making this abetter place to swim at low tide, when the flat golden sand is revealed.

Nash Point

A pretty woodland trail alongside a babbling stream leads you inland, through fields and along a sleepy country lane, before returning back to the sea past medieval monastic grange ruins and through an even more enchanting wooded valley. The route emerges at the hidden storm beach of Monknash, which feels secluded and secret, for another swim, best enjoyed at low tide. The route returns over the clifftops with spectacular views over the channel.

The best thing about wild swim walking is that it is a low-cost activity that can be enjoyed by many. That said, there are some safety considerations to bear in mind; here in the Vale of Glamorgan you need to be aware of the rapidly moving tides and take time to consider your exit points, be aware of unstable cliffs, which should be given a wide berth, and consider submerged rocks under the water. At times the waves and currents can be powerful, so always assess the water before you enter. It’s best not to go alone, and if you’re not a confident swimmer, remember that there are alternatives nearby such as the life-guarded beaches at Dunraven, Ogmore, Llantwit Major and Whitmore Bay, all of which also offer excellent walks.

Author: Nia Lloyd Knott, Director Wild Trails Wales

The author of this Inspiration post, local guide leader Nia Lloyd Knott is as passionate about Wales and its natural landscape as you can possibly get. Hugely experienced guide leader and author of several outdoor publications, we're lucky to claim Nia as one of our own in the Vale, as she lives here with her young family on the beautiful Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Find out more about Nia and her Wild Swimming adventures here Wild Trails Wales

Follow Nia on Instagram and Facebook for more inspirational trails in Wales

Be Adventure Smart

Check out this great website to help you prepare for your days of adventure in Wales. We recommend you follow the guidance to ensure you and your party stay safe in the Vale

AdventureSmart UK

Vale Trails

You might like a copy of one of our Vale Trails which features this part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Vale Trail 2, Coast & Lighthouse Walk. You can order a copy here

Note - all photos on this page are kindly supplied by Nia Lloyd Knott. Any request for the use of these photos must be submitted to Wild Trails Wales.

Camping in the Vale of Glamorgan

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