Friday, 29 February 2008


Cardiff → Newport


Distance: 15.8 miles
Ascent: 174 metres
Duration: 4 hours 22 minutes

Industrial expansion
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Today has been a day of road walking in drizzle. Not the best conditions to be out, and with little pavement or footpath not the best place to be, but there's been plenty to look at.

Starting at Cardiff's Atlantic Wharf I made my way through the East Moors industrial estates and past the huge steel works with its amusing "Caution: Hot Slag Route" warning signs and rocket-ship shaped rust-coloured industrial architecture.

On the approach to Lamby, pure white geese washed themselves in filthy puddles on old industrial wasteland surrounded by the results of years of unchecked fly-tipping. Nearby ponies were chained to stakes in the roadside verge, scavenging what grass they could.

After an unsuccessful attempt to find a true coast path south of the tip at Lamby I returned to the road and followed the B4239 the rest of the way into Newport through the Wentlooge villages and past a garden centre with an army tank parked besides customers' cars. This whole area will feel much better when the inevitable transformation is complete: when the industrial outskirts of Newport and Cardiff have expanded towards each other until they meet.


In Newport I reached tidal water at last, flowing beneath the feet of the dominating Transporter Bridge. I'd rather hoped to use the bridge to cross the River Usk - in a gondola suspended a few metres above the water - but unfortunately it's been closed due to structural problems. The previous time the bridge closed it remained out of action for a decade. On a plaque at the foot of the bridge Anne J. Gatehouse has committed to "travel on the transporter bridge every week and help preserve it". With any luck by the time I'm ready to walk on from Newport she - and many like her - will have been able to reopen the structure so I can fly across the Usk in style.

Posted by pab at 22:43 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!