Clifftop Path At St Donats

Posted by Stuart Herbert on July 17th, 2010 in Photos, Shoot.

The Photos

The Path Along The Clifftop

St Donats, recurring venue for Beyond The Border, sits right on the edge of the Glamorganshire coastline, and provides easy access to the clifftop path that winds its precarious way along the top of the cliffs. Back in 2007, when we camped at the festival, we walked along the path, but didn’t manage to snag any decent photos (it was the first of three pretty miserable summers here in South Wales … we’re certainly making up for it this year!). Last weekend, one week after the festival, we headed back down there, and had a great time ambling along in the peace and quiet of the Vale of Glamorgan countryside.

More Barbed Wire Than You Can Shake A Tetnus Jab At

If you take kids with you out along the clifftop path, it isn’t just the sheer open drops down onto the hard rock shelves below that you need to be mindful of with them. There’s plenty of rusted barbed wire too along the path, perfect for snagging little horrors running riot along the otherwise peaceful path.

Dangerous Cliffs Keep To Path

The funny thing about this important warning, if you know this path at all, is that the warning sign is on the seaward side of the wall. That’s right, in order to see the sign, you have to follow the path through the wall and out onto the cliffs. It isn’t as mad as it first seems; on the other side of the wall, the path ambles along cliff tops that have suffered from erosion that has claimed ever-increasing chunks of the wall itself over the years.

The Fence That Goes Over The Edge

This is a path on the move, because it runs atop cliffs that are slowly but surely being claimed by the relentless tides of the Bristol Channel down below. There are countless reminders of this along the walk, such as old fence post pits, bits of wall that used to be joined up, and even bits of open cliff where the safety fence has now been lost. My favourite from all of these choices was this solitary fence post, which still has a bit of wire clinging to it like two trapped lovers waiting for rescue from the inevitable.

St Donats

The clifftop path, to be honest, only rarely affords views along the coast, but when the breaks in the bushes and fences and walls come, the views are very pleasant indeed.

One such view is this one of St Donats itself, complete with sunbathers on the slipway if you view this image at full size.

Grass On The Clifftop

The grass here is the kind that just invites you to lie down and let it swallow up all of your cares and troubles, even if just for a moment. Never mind that some of it is a peculiar blue colour, and that most of it is the wrong side of what looks like a possible fault line in the crumbling cliffside. Just give into temptation, and relax for a bit.

Looking Up At The Trees

A little ways along, past the old (presumably World War 2) pillbox on the cliff, the path descends down into a little bay mostly walled off from the passing public. Behind the wall sits a house, and in the grounds of the house I spotted these trees creeping over the skyline.

Pebbles On The Shore

Like nearly all of the bays along the Glamorganshire coast (the notable exception being Whitmore Bay at Barry Island) the bay that the clifftop path descended into is stony rather than sandy.

Search and Rescue Helicopter

Whilst we were down in the bay, this Sea King search and rescue helicopter flew down the Bristol Channel (that’s England over there in the background, btw). This was the closest I could get to it with my 70-300mm lens.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Don’t forget to check out my Beyond The Border 2010 photos too.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Railings To Gabalfa Roundabout

Cardiff Council has recently (2009?) remodelled the underpasses at Gabalfa Roundabout, putting in disabled-friendly ramps. The ramps have these distinctive handrails down each side, and they caught my eye during an early-morning visit with my camera.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Grass On The Clifftop

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

To bring this week’s theme to a close, my last desktop wallpaper this week is this shot of the grass on the clifftop near St Donats.

The grass here is the kind that just invites you to lie down and let it swallow up all of your cares and troubles, even if just for a moment. Never mind that some of it is a peculiar blue colour, and that most of it is the wrong side of what looks like a possible fault line in the crumbling cliffside. Just give into temptation, and relax for a bit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my choice of desktop wallpaper this week as much as I’ve enjoyed looking at this photos this week whenever I’ve been sat in front of my computer. Have a great weekend, and I hope you’ll be back on Monday for a new selection of desktop wallpaper, (almost) Beyond The Border free!

And I hope you’ll check back tomorrow for a bonus blog post featuring all the photos I took along the clifftop path during our walk there last week.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Cathays Station

Opened in 1983, Cathays is (I believe) the newest station on the old Taff Vale Railway (opened in 1983) and the only station opened on the line since the demise of the coal mines that the TVR was built to service.

On the right of this shot is the hut holding the new ticket barriers that Arriva Train Wales installed. When the station is manned, the passageway beside the hut is gated closed, and passengers must pass through the hut to enter and exit the southward-side platform (aka the down platform).

Immediately to the north of here, on the east side of this surviving track, used to stand a large rail yard, complete with several impressive railway sheds. I don’t know when the yard’s track was ripped up, but the sheds were only demolished a few years ago.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Looking Up At The Trees

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My desktop wallpaper choice today is another shot from the clifftop path that runs through St Donats, host of the Beyond The Border international storyteller festival.

A little ways along, past the old (presumably World War 2) pillbox on the cliff, the path descends down into a little bay mostly walled off from the passing public. Behind the wall sits a house, and in the grounds of the house I spotted these trees creeping over the skyline.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Public Telephone At Heath Low Level Station

I didn’t think to check to see whether it was in working order or not 🙂

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Dangerous Cliffs Keep To Path

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My desktop wallpaper today is another shot from the clifftop path near St Donats, host of the Beyond The Border international storytelling festival.

The funny thing about this important warning, if you know this path at all, is that the warning sign is on the seaward side of the wall. That’s right, in order to see the sign, you have to follow the path through the wall and out onto the cliffs. It isn’t as mad as it first seems; on the other side of the wall, the path ambles along cliff tops that have suffered from erosion that has claimed ever-increasing chunks of the wall itself over the years.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Cathays Station Grill

I shot this to symbolise what has been a growing trend in the UK over the last few decades … publicly-owned facilities (in this case, Cathays Railway Station in Cardiff) being fenced off so that private operators (in this case, Arriva Trains Wales) can charge us taxpayers for access.

With such disenfranchisement, is it any wonder that no-one feels a sense of civic duty any more?

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »

Cathays Station Grill

I shot this to symbolise what has been a growing trend in the UK over the last few decades … publicly-owned facilities (in this case, Cathays Railway Station in Cardiff) being fenced off so that private operators (in this case, Arriva Trains Wales) can charge us taxpayers for access.

With such disenfranchisement, is it any wonder that no-one feels a sense of civic duty any more?

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »

The Fence That Goes Over The Edge

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My desktop wallpaper today continues the post-Beyond The Border theme of the wonderful clifftop path easily accessible from the festival’s venue, St Donats.

This is a path on the move, because it runs atop cliffs that are slowly but surely being claimed by the relentless tides of the Bristol Channel down below. There are countless reminders of this along the walk, such as old fence post pits, bits of wall that used to be joined up, and even bits of open cliff where the safety fence has now been lost. My favourite from all of these choices was this solitary fence post, which still has a bit of wire clinging to it like two trapped lovers waiting for rescue from the inevitable.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

Be the first to leave a comment »
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