ON A dry but overcast morning four walkers joined Clive from Penarth & District Ramblers for a trip to Ogmore Vale.

Setting off up the road to the driveway of Aber Farm before passing through a farm gate onto the grassy hillside, soon the path narrowed between ferns at the bottom of Cwm y Fuwch. Beginning the long steep climb up through the valley covered in ferns and blossoming heathers above the Nant-Cwm-y-fuwch tumbling down to meet the Ogwr Fawr, they had only sheep for company.

Crossing a stream further up the valley a boggy area led to a scramble up a steep incline below the northern side of the Ogmore forest, where two buzzards swooped to eye level seeking out food and calling to each other.

Upon reaching a track below a wind farm on the hilltop there came a stop for morning coffee whilst gazing back down the beautiful deserted valley before tramping across Garn fach and spotting wind turbines in almost every direction.

Pausing at the trig point at Mynydd William Meyrick on Garn fawr (big cairn) which actually stands on the original site of a large circular cairn that has been dismantled, there were fantastic views into the Ogmore Valley and the ex-mining villages of Nant-y-moel, Price Town and Wyndham where the colliery closed in 1983 causing mass unemployment.

Continuing along the edge of a forest where many of the trees were dead, rough pathways where they met two off-road motor cycles led on across the steep sided Craig y Geifr, with glorious views to the misty central Brecon Beacons and then steeply downhill to the viewpoint at Bwlch y Clawdd.

Pausing for a cooling ice cream the views stretched over the Rhondda Fawr with Cwm Parc and Treorchy in the valley below. More climbing led them up over Craig Ogwr and a chat with a local man checking out trig points in the area because 2016 marks the triangulations points 80th birthday.

Dizzying narrow sheep tracks on the edge of the steep hillside overlooking the hair pin bends of the winding A4061 led up towards the direction of the Werfa radio masts and heading around the top of the valley, a stop for lunch with spectacular views down Cwm Ogwr Fawr.

A boggy field led them to the first stile of the day and onto a man-made track where another wind farm will be sited. Then heading along tracks above Tarren Rhiw-maen, where off-roaders came roaring past again, paths led onto Mynydd Llangeinwyr.

Making towards its trig point at 530m and the highest point of the walk, care had to be taken to avoid the almost hidden deep holes underfoot in the tufty grass, before a wide path led across the ridgeway from there were stunning but misty views southwards to the Bristol Channel, from Aberthaw Power Station across to Minehead, Porlock and Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor and west to Swansea Bay and the Mumbles on Gower.

As Ogmore Vale came into view in the valley below and beginning the descent past the remnants of an old drift mine at the Aber Colliery and through a field of cows carefully guarding their sturdy calves, their second stile led into a steep field and downhill to a stream.

Unfortunately the public footpath was blocked by the landowner with metal gates tied together, wooden pallets and a pile of rubble, so evasive action was taken before joining a road festooned with Himalayan Balsam and bright drifts of flame coloured Montbretia.

Following a cycle track and circumnavigating Ogmore Vale Primary School, a quiet woodland path on the banks of the Ogwr Fawr led them back to their start.

On August 27, meet 9am at Cogan Leisure Centre for a 12-mile plus moderate circular walk along the River Usk from Llanellen to Llanfair Kilgeddin; contact Rachel on 01446 410545.

On August 29, meet 9.30am at the Barry Waterfront for an 11-mile moderate walk around seven villages in the Vale of Glamorgan; contact Joy on 01446 737131.

On August 30, meet at Cardiff Central Railway Station to catch the 9.12am train to Chepstow for a 10-mile moderate walk from Chepstow back to Severn Tunnel Junction, the first part of the Wales Coast Path; contact Terry on 029 2070 6315.

Wear suitable clothing, preferably boots and carry waterproofs, food and drinks. Some degree of fitness is required and if you are in any doubt, then please contact the walk leader for advice.

To follow the group please log onto penarthramblers.wordpress.com or Facebook. Programmes and membership advice can be obtained from Pam on 029 2025 5102.