- Getting started walking
- Tips for walking with diabetes
- How often should I exercise?
- How many calories will I burn?
- Is walking a good workout?
- Warm up for walking
- Walking for health
- Pregnancy and walking
- Walking can help our overweight youngsters
- Walking helps in fight against obesity
- Avoid travel chaos: walk to work!
- Diet Coke nutrition info
- 10 reasons to take up walking
- Walking facts
- Finding motivation
- How a good walk can help with stress
- A cliff with a view: New Quay walk
- St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan
- Bawsey Church near King's Lynn, Norfolk
- Walking Facts and Figures
- Rambling: how to get started
- Footpath Erosion
- Advice and Information for Leaders of Rambles
- An Introduction to the Hadrian's Wall Path
- An Introduction to the Pennine Way
- An Introduction to the Coast to Coast Walk
- An Introduction to the Cotswold Way
- Public Rights of Way FAQ
- A Guide to Walking in Britain
- More Than a Walk
St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan
This gentle six-mile walk through arable land on the outskirts of Cardiff starts from the small village of St Nicholas - known as Sain Nicolas in Welsh - and passes two of Wales' greatest prehistoric monuments.
From the village church, cross the A48 at the crossing. The row of picturesque thatched cottages to the right are known as Blacksmiths Row. Head down the lane in front of you. A stone stile on your right shortly marks the start of the path, which crosses several fields and stiles to reach Tinkinswood Burial Chamber.
This impressive monument dates back to 3500BC, and was in use for 1,500 years. The capstone - the giant stone lying across the top of the tomb - is the largest in Britain and weighs over 50 tonnes. Luckily for those who had to move it, it was taken from a nearby quarry! Legend has it that the boulders by the surrounding fence were once women, who were turned into stone as a punishment for dancing on the Sabbath.
From here cross the stile and continue following well-marked paths across several stiles to reach the road at Doghill Farm. Turn left and follow a country lane. Just past the road junction a gate on the right leads into a field and to a second burial chamber.
This is St Lythan's, smaller than Tinkinswood, with three beautifully weathered stones supporting the capstone. Its Welsh name is Gwâl-y-Filiast, the Greyhound Bitch's Lair. Legends abound here. At night, don't be surprised to spot a ghostly saddled horse nearly. If you visit on Midsummer's Eve, expect to see the capstone twirl round three times, while the other stones go down to the river to bathe. On Halloween, all your wishes will be granted if you whisper them to the stones.
From the burial chamber, return to the road and continue to the right until you reach the hamlet of St Lythan or Llwyneliddon. A short distance after the village a track leads off on your left. At the far end of the track go through a gate on the right and follow the path across several fields to reach a small common known as the Downs.
At the road, turn left to rejoin the A48. Take the footbridge on your right and walk back to the path that goes up some steps and through a kissing gate. From here, a well-marked path takes you across several stiles to a quiet road at Haelfaes Farm. Cross the road and the stile on your right to follow a path behind the barn, through a hunting gate and into a small coppice.
On leaving the wood, enjoy the panoramic views across Ely Valley on your right. Continue ahead until you reach a track which is climbing up to meet you from the valley. A left turn here will take you back to the pretty village of St Nicholas.
This Ramblers walk is as featured in The Sunday Express Magazine and is reproduced here by permission.
This walk was included in the Ramblers' Association's annual Festival of Winter Walks from 26 December 2000 - 1 January 2001 which included more than 400 free events across England, Scotland and Wales.
Wet your whistle
The Red Lion in Bonvilston, two miles west of St Nicholas on the A48, serves food.
This walk can be found on Ordnance Survey Explorer 151.
Public transport: There are regular buses to St Nicholas from Cardiff. Call 01446 704687 for public transport information.
By car: St Nicholas is on the A48, around six miles from the centre of Cardiff . There is street parking by the village church.