Southerndown to Nash Point
When you think of photography opportunities along the south Welsh coastline, its likely to be the Gower and Pembrokeshire that first come to mind. Both do indeed provide some of the most quintessential Welsh coastal landscapes. However, for photographic variety, I would argue the stretch of the Glamorgan Coast from Southerndown to Nash Point takes a bit of beating. Being just west of Cardiff, its also one of the more accessible stretches of coastline for anyone travelling in from England or the east of Wales.
It may be a bit of a stretch to call this a “location” as it’s about a 15 minute drive from Southerndown to Nash Point. But there’s a lot of parallels between the photo opportunities along this spectacularly rugged and rocky stretch of coastline. While there is a lovely sandy beach at Southerndown, for me this stretch of coast is all about the sea and the rocks. Pack your waterproofs, your long exposure gear, and be ready to move quickly as the tide here is one of the largest in the world, and it comes in fast.
The most iconic view is of Nash Point with the sweeping curve of the cliff line beyond – but there’s so much more, from waterfalls after heavy rain to.. well, rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. Although don’t forget the views from the headlands too! I would say this spot is best in winter, and later in the day, as its mostly south to south-west facing. If you have the day open it can easily be combined with a morning in the Brecon Beacons, giving you a wonderful mix of South Wales landscapes in relatively close proximity.
In terms of specific locations, in my view its best just to get out there and explore based on what tides, swell and light are on offer. Good starting points are the beach and surrounding rock pools at Southerndown, the beach to the east below Dunraven Castle (both better at mid to low tides), and the area around Nash Point. Between them, Monknash is another option and can be reached on foot from Nash Point along the beach at low tide or the headland. The first image above is from Dunraven, while the others are from Nash Point (all taken in Jan or Feb from mid afternoon onwards).