World Friendship Day



It was appropriate to be holding a walk for carers in the week of world friendship day. Being a carer can be a lonely and isolating occupation with very little time to spend outside the responsibilities of caring. This walk gives people a chance to chat, meet other people and enjoy the beauty of the Vale coastline.

If you’re wondering why this walk is illustrated by a circle of feet…the walk leader miscalculated the tide at Jacksons Bay and to get around an outcrop of rock wading became necessary! The wet feet didn’t stop people enjoying an ice cream when the walk finished!



Jackson’s Bay.


The walkers gathered under a bright blue sky at Barry Island and after the relentless rain throughout the month of May, there was a holiday mood as the group set off for Jackson’s Bay. Chatting happily and enjoying the warmth, paddle boarders and swimmers greeted the walkers as they turned into the Bay. A new carer joined the group and she was soon involved in the conversations that were taking place. Dazzling sunshine cannot be guaranteed on every walk, but we do promise splendid company and the opportunity to get some some fresh sea air and gentle exercise!!



Leisurely Stroll Over Barry Island


On the same day that the world’s longest pedestrian bridge opened in Northern Portugal, the Valeways Carers group met once more for a leisurely stroll over Barry Island.

Welsh Government Covid restrictions were eased at the end of April, and meant organised groups could meet up outside once more. It had been nearly 5 months since the walkers had met together and although there was no pedestrian bridge to navigate, the stroll around the headland and along the promenade certainly blew cobwebs away and allowed people to catch up. If you would like to join an informal, friendly group for a walk and a chat, meet us at Barry Island train station, 10:30am, on the last Thursday of every month.



Dazzling Intense Sunshine


Dazzling intense sunshine, glittering sand tranquil sea: these are not phrases normally associated with the Carers Walk at Barry Island at the end of November. Fortunately, this is what the group were lucky enough to experience as we set off around Nell’s Point to Jackson’s Bay. The cloudless skies meant the views across the channel made the English coast appear to be in touching distance..or swimming distance! As we enjoyed the picture perfect scene of Whitmore Bay a familiar voice called out to us….Helen had been waiting at what she believed was the starting point for the walk, at Barry Station. When nobody turned up she decided to drive to Barry Island anyway and luckily found us as we strolled leisurely towards the beach!

If anyone would like to join our friendly group, we meet at Barry Island Station at 10:30 on the last Thursday of every month.



Christopher Columbus’ Carers

Christopher Columbus’ Carers

On September 23rd 1493, Christopher Columbus embarked on his second expedition to the New World, setting sail with a fleet of 17 ships. On September 23rd 2000, members of the Carers walk, discovered one of Columbus’s ships in the Old Harbour at Barry Island! The ship was certainly a colourful sight and looked like it had survived many voyages on the seas, as can be seen in the photograph.

Our voyage around Barry Island took in both Nells and Friars Points and a stroll across the almost empty, freshly groomed golden sands. We are lucky to live in the Vale and during our local lockdown to have such a wonderful beach to walk on. Come and join us.



Gathering in the Gloom

Barry Island Station  First Carers Walk

A small group gathered in the gloom outside Barry Island station for the first Carers walk since lockdown in March. Before starting the walk, the new procedures, particularly with regard to maintaining a social distance of 2m, outlined in guidance from the Welsh Government were shared, and a new walker was welcomed.

The group set off towards Jackson’s Bay as storm clouds gathered and the rain started to fall heavily. Enthusiasm for the walk was not dampened, however! For one walker, it was his first social outing since the lockdown was announced. He had spent the past months shielding with his medically vulnerable wife, who had been advised, like other vulnerable people to stay indoors. Needless to say, he was unaware of the rain and welcomed the chance to chat, socialise and exercise.
Trish’s husband rang halfway through the walk to see if she wanted to be rescued from the rain! She declined the offer, and finished the walk soaked through like everyone else! As a group we decided we were too wet to sit in any cafe, who we were sure would be unlikely to welcome saturated walkers spreading water everywhere!
I can’t promise what the weather will do next month but I can promise good company, a chance to chat and a relaxing stroll…..and hopefully a coffee! Come and join us!



Valeways Guided Walks


The Guided Walks programme organised by Valeways started again on 9th August. All government guidelines regarding Covid 19 and walking safely will be followed, so walkers can once again enjoy a safe walk in the countryside in good company.

Valeways is an independent volunteer run charity created to promote health and well being through walking and proxies guided walks for all ages and abilities.

The full and varied programme of walks for August and September can be found on the Valeways website.

As a Valeways walk leader (you may have read about my adventures in previous editions of What’s On.), I offer two walks:-

  • Living with Cancer Strollers, the first Thursday of every month at 10.30am, meeting at Cosmeston Information centre
  • Carers walk, the last Thursday of every month at 10.30am, meeting outside Barry Island train station

All are welcome to both walks. If you walked regularly during lockdown and want to meet a friendly, sociable group of people for a walk and a chat…..please, join us.



A Stroll Around Barry Island.

A Stroll Around Barry Island.

February’s Carers walk welcomed 2 new carers (photo-shy!) to the regular stroll around Barry Island. The two new members of the group welcomed the opportunity to take a break from their caring activities and gave them a chance to take some personal time, exercise and chat. Alan, a regular walker said he never realised how important it was to have a little time out from caring, and thoroughly enjoys his monthly strolls. If you are a carer and would like some time out to regenerate, then meet us at Barry Island train station on the last Thursday of every month at 10.30am. We are a friendly group!

The Valeways Walking Organisation has cancelled their walking programme for March and April, due to the coronavirus. Hopefully the Living with Cancer Strollers and the Carers walks will resume soon.