BARRIE from Penarth and District Ramblers is fast gaining a reputation as the ‘Rain Man’ because more of the wet stuff seems to fall on the day of his planned walks than on all the other walk leaders put together.

Because of the forecasted heavy rain his walk upon the open moorland at Mynydd-y-glog from Garwnant was hastily cancelled and instead, not wishing to disappoint the four people and Pepper the spaniel that turned up at the start, a trip around his standby at Cardiff Bay was on the cards.

Heading out of Cogan Leisure Centre along Windsor Road and making their way down Marconi Avenue overlooking all the boats tidily moored on the River Ely, the route was thoughtfully tackled in an anti-clockwise direction so the expected heavy rain and wind would be upon their backs.

They set off down past Penarth Marina and the Custom House towards the Cardiff Barrage which created and formed a huge freshwater lake at Cardiff Bay and is topped up by the Rivers Ely and Taff.

Three locks allow sailing and motor vessels in and out and a fish pass allows salmon to reach their breeding grounds on the River Taff, whilst the whole of the Bay is dotted with various pieces of artwork including one on the Barrage entitled, 3 Ellipses for 3 Locks by Felice Varini that when viewed from the right angle creates three perfect yellow circles.

Crossing an open area and heading towards the skate park and the Doctor Who Experience, then over the bridge to the Scott Memorial and on past the white painted Norwegian Church where the low walls are carved with a variety of sea creatures and poetry, the World Harmony Peace Statue led them towards the Senedd and the unusually carved terracotta Pierhead Building, once the administrative office for the port of Cardiff.

After crossing the footbridge above Roald Dahl Plas, named after the Cardiff born author, which overlooks the outdoor amphitheatre that was formerly the Oval Basin and entrance to West Bute Dock, upon reaching the Mermaid Quay a deviation for morning coffee in one of the many cafes that grace this area.

Continuing past the towering glass fronted St David’s Hotel with its sail-topped roof and into the Cardiff Wetlands, a glance towards the Grade II listed Windsor Esplanade built in 1856 which housed rich sea merchants and ships captains.

Then on past the sandstone, blue slate and bronze artwork by William Pye inspired by Cader Idris in Snowdonia and inscribed with both English and Welsh poetry, along with the Ship in a Bottle by Melissa Gibb which also serves as a bench and into Hamadryad Park.

This park was named after a Royal Navy frigate, hauled up onto the shore at the locally known Rat Island which was used as a hospital ship for the free treatment of sick seamen from 1866 until around 1900, after which the actual Royal Hamadryad Hospital was built and opened in 1905.

Pavements at Clarence Road Embankment led them across Clarence Bridge over the River Taff onto the west side of Cardiff Bay with its tall blocks of apartments and joining the boardwalk on the perimeter of the International Sports Village, they moved on past its ice rink and swimming pool.

Following Watkiss Way to Pont y Werin or the People’s Bridge spanning the River Ely and dubbed by many local youngsters as the ‘Tesco Bridge,’ brought them uphill past Tesco’s and back along Windsor Road to their start, whilst the anticipated rain fell later in the day.

On March 11, meet 9am at Cogan Leisure Centre for an eight-mile moderate walk from the Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre taking in Mynydd Illtud and Cefn Llechid; contact Liz on 029 2051 3698.

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 or Facebook. Programmes and membership advice can be obtained from Pam on 029 2025 5102.