Thursday, 1 September 2005


Cadoxton → Cardiff

['No Pedestrians' road sign]

Distance: 18.5 miles
Ascent: 375 metres
Duration: 5 hours 59 minutes

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It's unfair of me to admit it, but the lasting impression I have from today's walk to Cardiff is of a city that's actively hostile to pedestrians. On reaching Penarth Marina I should have been able to complete the walk with a one-mile trundle across Cardiff Bay Barrage. Unfortunately although there's a toy-train that'll take you across, the footpath isn't planned to be opened for another three years.

Since I'm generally a law-abiding person I headed inland. The first bridge bridge across the Ely River - the A4055 - is closed to walkers; the next, the A4232 Grangetown Link can't be reached. The most faithful alternative route is to follow the A4160 Penarth Road into Grangetown, then head south on Clive Street and Ferry Road to pick up the A4232 across the River Taff.

[The new Welsh Assembly building]

The redevelopment of Cardiff is in full swing, and already full of icons. The Millennium Stadium and Millennium Centre are well known. The new Welsh Assembly building is well on its way towards completion, and today - on loan from across the border - the red and white England team bus was parked proudly outside the Cardiff Bay Hotel.

[Second Severn Crossing]

My first glimpse of Cardiff came from the cliffs above Penarth. This viewpoint gave me another opportunity: for the first time I could trace land on the horizon all the way from Wales to England. The Severn Bridges link the two countries. The Second Severn Crossing was visible with the naked eye but more exciting was catching a glimpse of the original Severn Bridge through my binoculars.

Here thankfully, road planners support walkers. A cycle- and foot-path across the old bridge saves coastwalkers a 100-mile round-trip up and down the Severn to Gloucester. Crossing the bridge was my original goal for this week but I've fallen short. Tomorrow it's back to mid-Wales. The Severn can wait until next summer.

Posted by pab at 20:51 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!