Thursday, 14 July 2011

Forest Café, Porthkerry Country Park

On a walk this week from The Knap in Barry to Rhoose Point (“Most southerly point on mainland of Wales”), I stopped off in Porthkerry Country Park. Near the viaduct, just inland from the pebble beach, down from the woodland walks, the new Forest Café Porthkerry has recently replaced the old refreshment kiosk. This new facility is a vast improvement on what was there before.

The Forest Café serves meals (burgers, hot dogs, and dishes of the egg and chips variety); a range of basic paninis, baguettes and sandwiches; coffees, teas and soft drinks; pastries and cakes; and Sidoli’s ice cream. Also for sale are nets (the ponds and streams here are rich in wildlife), sunscreen, sunhats and other items.

There were plenty of kid’s lunch boxes behind the counter, just as well as several coaches full of school children were there today (although I think some had bought their own barbeques). Organized games were in progress on the long expanse of grass nearby. There’s also a play area and a miniature golf course here.
An extended area of decking has been built around the café, with plenty of outdoor seating. The café is a welcome addition to Porthkerry.

Rhoose Point, incidentally, is more interesting than the photo I have posted below suggests. There's a vast sprawling new housing estate, but the coastal section is an area of reclaimed industrial land that has been recently landscaped. There are lakes in the old quarry that is now a maturing nature reserve. The stones on the ground have been landscaped into interesting shapes, which are worth looking at from an aerial view (click on the third link below), An impressive new stone monument within a stone circle has now been erected by Blue Circle Cement at the most southerly point of mainland Wales. Further along from the point some industry remains - the cement works and the coal-fired Aberthaw power station. 

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