BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Saturday, April 01, 2006

WHERE'S THE BEACH?: An afternoon on one of South Wales hidden treasures

Living in the valleys, it is often hard to forget that if you drive north for an hour you can be in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, or if you drive south for an hour, you can be on the coast. Today we drove south and found ourselves on the beach at Monk Nash. This is probably my favourite of all the South Wales beaches.

Hidden between Southerndown and Llantwit Major it is a massive beach, which very few people know about. It is about five miles from the nearest village, you have to park up in a field attached to a farm then walk about a mile down a track which would be too narrow and rugged for even a four wheel drive. When you eventually get to the end of the track you find the beach, which is completely untouched. No ice-cream vans, no toilets, no boathouse, no pier, nothing. I think that is why I like it.

The beach stretches for miles east and west and when the tide is out it is a fair old trek to get to the sea. Because the beach is so flat the a small rise in the height of the tide equates to the tide coming in by a huge distance, it is very easy to find your self stranded on the rocks as the sea rushes in and out with the tide. When the tide goes out it is possible to walk all the way to Ogmore, but you can guarantee you wont get back before the tide steals your beach towel from where you left it.

After a long walk on the beach you can call in to The Plough and Harrow pub, which you have to drive past to get to the beach. It is a cracking little pub on it’s own in the middle of nowhere, famous for its real ales, pub grub and live music; it has even had its own festivals in the past. Did not call in there today though, after our beach stroll it was straight back to Iguana HQ.


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