Leave the car at home: see the UK coast without driving

In the first of her monthly car-free coast series, our writer takes the train to the Vale of Glamorgan, to explore its beaches and clifftops by bus and on foot

Clifftop bluebells frame the view. Below us is the beach we’ve just crossed, balancing on barnacle-crusted rocks and jumping over rain-boosted streams. As the falcon flies, we’re less than 20 miles from Cardiff, but there is a wild remoteness here in the cascading valleys, pungent with wild garlic, and shining sand that mirrors a cloudy sky.

I’ve joined the Vale of Glamorgan branch of the Ramblers for a walk along the crumbling shore, after first filling up on gourmet fish and chips in Monknash. Cliffs rise like shale-and-limestone layer cake over curving waves of rock, and a huge fossilised ammonite clings to one stony ledge.

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