Hello little bimblers, I trust the Easter holiday has been treating you well.
The bearded house headed off to a new land this week, the mighty and ancient Wales, Trecco Bay to be more precise.
As always a little history and a little explore was had.
My first outing was heading off into dunes of Merthyr-Mawr, this spectacular place can get you lost quickly, with more ups and downs than current politics, it makes for an interesting and challenging running area.
This area is the second largest dune system in europe covering some 840 acres and contains the second largest dune at a height of 200ft. It constantly shifts and moves and once covered an area ranging from Ogmore to Kenfig.
On my travels I was able to find a disused rifle range hidden amongst the undergrowth, dating from the late 19thC it remained in use up until the mid 20thC. The main building now bricked up, it still offered an intriguing insight into yesteryear.
The dunes themselves contain a nature reserve and the wetland gave an almost African Savanna feel to it
The weather being Wales was occassionaly wet with bouts of very warm sunshine. On one trek I spied a castle tucked away within a woodland, its appearence giving a fairytail sense of mystery.
Candleston castle, a ruined 14th century fortified manor house surrounded by its own unique myths and legends
Its hard not to see why this place evokes that eerie feel, its perfectly quiet and yet you never quite feel you are alone. It is also slightly odd that despite the car park next to it, people seem to leave it alone. The kids enjoyed exploring its many hidden areas as I snapped pictures
The castles history is a little sketchy but thought to be of norman origin and owned by the Cantelupes, built in a defensive style the area being a hotbed of violence after the Norman conquest Wales refused to give in so easily. More intriguing are the legends set around it.
During the years, a number of stone crosses have been found both around the castle and hidden in the dunes, thought to be from a celtic church, one such stone being named ‘the goblin stone’ passers by where tricked into touching the stone by a ghost and became entwined within its intricate carvings. Another mystery of a village hidden within the dunes, covered and lost to the ever growing sands Trenganllaw which translates as ‘village of a hundred hands’ in english, the village just vanished with no records or local tales. Although no major buildings have been found there is evidence scattered around of rubble from other buildings, the ghostly figures of the previous inhabitants are said to roam searching for their lost homes.
We took a stroll to Ogmore castle from here, across a lovely bridge
It seems here that you can throw a stone and hit a castle, this one like its neighbouring Candleston has its own unique history, but check my facebook page for more info.
I finished off with a wander and explore of Kenfig nature reserve and old train lines and mine workings around Bedford Park, my aim was to explore the abandoned quarry but with limited time and being unable ro find an entrance I settled for a short few miles along the tracks
5 days just wasnt enough, with so much history in such a small area Trecco bay is a great place to be based. The kids enjoyed their time there and is worth a revist later in the year for exploration of secret tunnels and more castles and myths.