Kenfig Burrows (sandy dunes), Margham Moors (heathland and edgeland in the shadow of Port talbot steelworks), and quiet sandy beaches
8.5 miles for the main walk. 6 miles for a circular walk. 13 miles for the circular walk plus out and back to Porthcawl. Add 1.5 miles for Margham Moor
|Toughness||3/10. Flat, but some sandy paths|
This interesting rather than spectacular walk crosses Kenfig Burrows (sand dunes) Nature Reserve to get to the coast via a very ruined castle. It then follows the remote and very quiet sandy shoreline of Kenfig Burrows (with Port Talbot steel works on the skyline) via the WCP to Porthcawl, a former beach resort
There is an option to explore Margan Moors (surprisingly pretty edgelands around the steel plant), by following the WCP north a little way towards the steel plant.
You might pass the odd naturist along the coast, but you will definately pass the odd dog walker.
Instead of walking to Porthcawl along an easy but plain part of the WCP, there is a much shorter circular walk which returns to your car via the Burrows, visitor centre and Kenfig Pool.
For the linear walk, there is a good Pyle (station) - Kenfig - Porthcawl bus route to return to your car.
The linear option is best for WCP walkers. The Circular Walk plus Margham Moors option is best for a nice varied walk.
You can combine the both the main and circular walk, for a full day's walk. There is also a link from Pyle station to the start for public transport users.
Margham Moors : Adds up to 1.5 miles
An out and back route following the WCP for 1km or so through Margham Moor and past old railway sidings.
There is a public footpath with beach acces at the end of this path, about 1km north, right next to the steel plant. The direct 'along the beach' route to it from Kenfig Burrows is private. Some walkers have attempted it, but been stopped. You can reach it by following the WCP towards Margham Moor, then veering off on to the left, at the end of the path, by turning left, instead of following the WCP right towards the M4.
You could continue on the WCP to M4 Junction 38, and follow the dual carriage to Porth Talbot, then walk through it, but this is strictly for completists only. At the far end of the steel plant, Port Talbot beach (Aberavon Sands) is surprisingly nice.
Circular Walk : 6 miles
Park by the pub, or the main nature reserve car park. A circular walk is shown on the map back through the dunes to the nature reserve car park via the lake. Take a sat nav or compass - its easy to get lost in the dunes!.
Circular Walk + out and back to Porthcawl: 13 miles
Kenfig to the coast, out and back Porthcawl, then back via the inland route.
Linear Walk : Pyle Station to Porthcawl
For public transport users, although you cross over the M4, its not a bad walk. You can then join the main walk to Porthcawl, and take a regular bus to Brigend for the train home. Or do return through the Moors for a circular walk.
2 pubs near the start in Mawdlam, The Prince of Wales Inn (CF33 4PR), and the Angel Inn (CF33 4PG) by the church (and M4). Both have outside seating, and great online reviews. The Angel is the more expensive of the two.
Malc's Cafe at the start of Porthcawl, past the golf club building. Many places in Porthcawl's shopping area.
Trains run from Swansea - Pyle - Brigend - Cardiff
The # bus (hourly, every 2 hours on Sun) runs Bridgend - Pyle (station) - Mawdlam (the 2 pubs) - Kenfig (main nature reserve car park) - Porthcawl
Drivers can park in the main car park, or by 1 of the 2 pubs in Mawdlam
A large town that, like Barry Island, has seen better days. It has 2 sandy bays, dominated by a large caravan park. Regular buses to Brigend (train station). Hourly buses back to Kenfig (and Pyle station.)
Beyond (SE of) Porthcawl is a large sandy beach, backed by dunes, that goes all the way to Ogmore-by-Sea
NW of town, the coast path passes a golf course. The coast is part sand, part rocky.
The ruins of the Norman Kenfig Castle are near the start of the walk. Little remains.
Private, similar to Kenfig Burrows, but there is public footpath access off the WCP.
Private, no access along the coast in front of it.
Aberavon Sands (Port Talbot beach)
Wide beach with a promenande. On the far side of the steel plant. Not on this walk
The Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world (after the Bay of Fundy), with typically, a 30 foot (10 metre) difference between high and low tide.
If you walk along the beach beneath high cliffs, or far out on the sands, be aware of that you can be cut off by a rising tide!
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
Its easy to loose your sense of directions in the dunes. A satnav would help, even google maps on your phone. At least, take a compass
Kenfig to Porthcawl
- Starting from Mawdlam, near the Prince of Wales pub, head north towards the remains of Kenfig castle
- Foillow the footpath NW towards the steel plant, till you meet up with the WCP
- Optionally, follow the WCP north to Margham Moor, then return to this point.
- Follow the WCP west to the coast, then south towards Porthcawl
- For the circular walk, head inland, just before the rocky outcrop (Sker Point)
- Keep following the coast, past a golf course, then the outskirts of Porthcawl.
- At Porthcawl Point, head inland to a roundabout. Then left, then right on St John Street for the bus back to Kenfig
You'll need a map and compass, or satnav for this part. (Your smartphone or tablet will do)
- Head inland (east), then veer NE towards the NNR main car park and visitor centre
- Head west, then north around Kenfig Lake, then west along its northj shore back to the start, and the Price of Wales pub