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PEASE NOTE: These routes are now several years old and details are likely to have changed. For more up to date suggestions, please see the more recent collection of leaflets. If you wish to attempt this route, comments made by previous walkers at the foot of the page may be helpful.
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Cosmeston to Sully Circuit

A level, easy walk, but farm gateways will be very muddy after rain, boots definitely required. A more up to date description of this route is available in our walks leaflet series.

Distance: 8 km (5 miles)
Difficulty: Grade D
Start Point: Cosmeston Lakes Country Park car park [Grid Ref ST179692 ]
Maps: Landranger 171, Explorer 151

Getting there from Cardiff Central:
by bus: Cardiff Bus route 94 to Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.
by car: on the A48 to Canton, then A4055 on road signposted "Penarth"; at traffic lights in Lower Penarth take Sully road, B4267 which leads you to Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.


Go from Cosmeston car park to nearest lakeside. Turn left and take boardwalk passing behind cafe and, after 1100 metres, where boardwalk forks, go left. Shortly after end of boardwalk path meets wide cross track there are views over the second lake from here.

Go left, following track for 100 metres, and then go over stile on your right with footpath sign.

Walk half -left uphill, keeping just to the right of some old walls. Then go through gateway ahead at field corner. Keep to the left edge of field as it curves to the right and then to the left. There are views on the right over Cosmeston lakes. Look out for partly hidden stile on the left about 100 metres before fence at end of field. Go over stile to left then immediately turn and go over second stile/old gate which brings you into corner of next field.

Now head diagonally left uphill towards some small hillocks on skyline. Pass to the right of these. Two gates are now ahead. Go through the one on the right. Then keeping to left field edge, walk to the right of the barns and leave farm at stile in corner of field, near farmhouse. Walk down farm entrance drive to road.

Cross to road opposite, signposted "Sully -Barry". Walk this road for about 500 metres to Sully. There is no footpath, so take care, especially on bends, Continue on this road, Cog Road, through he village for about 750 metres, ignoring side turns. Look out for Sully Inn on the left and 50 metres beyond keep to left hand pavement as it curves left in front of church.

Walk past the bus shelter and, 50 metres beyond it, cross road and take signed footpath at kissing gate,

Take this path to sea front.

Go left over shingle beach in front of houses, soon joining a coastal path; near old boat slipway. The attractive view ahead now shows three islands; from the left, Flat Holm, Sully Island and Steep Holm. Keep to the coast path for about I km as, on the landward side, you pass houses, sportsfield, boatyard Hand more houses. A large sportsfield is ahead. Keep to the perimeter path of this, above the beach. Some 50 metres before fenced caravan park look out for large wooden post and remains of old metal stile/gate on seaward (right side). Go right and down steps to the beach. Keeping to the left walk for 200 metres over fairly flat, but broken and in parts slippery, rock and then go up stone steps to cafes and Swanbridge car park/promenade. Please note that if tide is high and it is preferable to avoid this beach section, then keep to sports field path, pass to the left of caravan park and join road where fence ends. Go right and then down road to Swanbridge.

It is possible to walk over to Sully Island from here at low tide. But check tide times carefully, the island is usually only accessible for about 2 hours either side of low water and the incoming tide is very dangerous.

Walk east across car park keeping to coast until you reach a small gateway which takes you onto coastal road.


Go up, keeping to this road for about 1.5 kms to the B4267 Penarth-Sully road. Cross this road to track opposite, there are Cosmeston Park notices on gate. Walk on and the recreated mediaeval village soon appears on the right. Take the metalled lane on right, signed to the village, and then, unless you want to visit the village, go left at village entrance, over bridge and boardwalk to regain car park.

If you are still raring to go, the walk may be easily extended by use of the paths around both lakes. Refreshments are usually available at cafes at Cosmeston and Swanbridge and inns at Sully and Swanbridge.



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Current comments about the route:

Note D: at the two gates, the right hand one is currently tied shut, probably due to broken gatepost. I had to vault it. The track past the barns is overgrown with nettles and hard to see, just follow the edge of the field and you should get there.
Sam - 2011-05-07

I have walked part of this route and I may be very dull but I found it somewhat difficult. Directions: A - no problem B - I still think imperial rather than metric (can you give distances in both)and there are umpteen options right - not one has a stile C - Found this double stile and decided it was too steep for the people I was intending to take walking. The second stile "gave" into the corner of a field where there was a huge puddle/pond and all that was available to help potential walkers were a few logs cast into the corner of the pond. They did not look safe - it was a health hazard. At this point I returned with my wife to the lakes for a hot chocolate and decided that when I bring my people it will safer to walk around the lake-main road-Cog-Sully-Sea Front-Sully Island and back to the lakes. Boring in parts but safer! David
- 2011-01-29