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Aberafan

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General details:

A long, sandy beach, SW-facing beach hidden behind Port Talbot & Baglan. I've only visited the beach once - unfortunately there wasn't enough wind to sail, but it shows great potential. The beach is all golden sand, however - with Port Talbot , BP Chemical works & Llandarcy oil refinery all within spitting distance - there has to be a question of water quality.

It looks like it could be a good wave venue, especially in SE wind.

As the beach is pretty flat, I don't suspect there'll be much problem with shoredump. However, it does face out of the Bristol Channel, & so is in direct line of the swells coming up the channel. There were 4-6 foot waves breaking on the windless day I was there.

Becoming very popular with kiters.

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Directions to the right place:

From the M4 westbound, take jn 40, turning L towards Aberavon. After 1/2 mile, turn R on to the A48. Another 1/2 ml, straight on at the roundabout onto dual carriageway. Another 1/2 ml, take 1st exit (left) at next roundabout towards Aberavon. [Point A] After 1/4 mile, turn off to the R , signposted to Aberavon beach. Follow this for about 1 mile & you'll hit the sea front just by the big ugly jetty just downstream from Port Talbot port entrance. Follow the sea front road along, heading NW. There are numerous places to park, with steps down to the beach at regular intervals. However, if you follow the promenade all the way to the end, there's a piece of derelict industrial land which has been cleared to form a free car park (Jan 2003). This also has the advantage of being the furthest accessible point away from Port Talbot!

From the M4 eastbound, either:

leave at jn 42 and follow the A48 for 2 miles to the roundabout in Baglan where you could rejoin the M4 - there take the 3rd exit (right) towards Aberavon. Go straight across the next roundabout, then 2nd exit at the 2nd roundabout. At the 2nd roundabout after here, take 3rd exit (R). Follow this road for 1/4 mile & it brings you to the above-mentioned car park.

or

leave at jn 41, going round the exit roundabout to the R, towards Port Talbot & Aberavon. At the next roundabout turn R again towards Aberavon. You're now at point A, above.

Look here for a map.

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How the winds work:

It would seem that SE would be perfectly cross-shore from the L. Anything from SE through W to NW ought to be good, though SW would be dead onshore. Pretty much identical conditions to Rest Bay

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Tidal conditions:

HW springs tend to occur around 07:00 - 08:00 (19:00 - 20:00). HW neaps around 13:00 (GMT).

Looks like there's about 300m walk on spring lows. Apparently, the sea doesn't usually reach the sea wall (though take a rain check on this), so there may still be some beach left at high tide. However, on the biggest tides there is no beach at all but it's still possible to launch by the navy club.

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Hazards:

Water quality is suspect (but then I'm a suspicious git).

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Facilities:

Free parking (2002)

Sand dunes at N end (popular with scrambler bikes)

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B&B's / campsites

I can't imagine anyone wanting to camp round here, but you never know!

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Pubs and eateries

With the run-down of steel-making, the area is decidedly run-down. I noticed a couple of closed-down Chinese take-aways in Aberavon, 'though I'm sure there must still be some cafes/chippies around.

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Content supplied by . Anon update - Dec 2010.

Note: All comments and opinions mentioned in this section of the site are the personal opinions of the various contributors. Inevitably, one person's favourite may be another person's least favourite.

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