Leys Beach is one of the better beaches on this section of coast. It consists of good areas of sand, some small dunes and a pebble bank with concrete groynes and backed by a concrete sea defence wall. There are some small sea and fresh water lagoons, and behind the beach is a derelict lime works and the Aberthaw Biodiversity Area. It's a good place for sunbathing and there's plenty to explore. The sea water is a muddy brown colour and you wouldn't want to swim in it. The river Thaw emerges onto the beach here - this part of the shore is known as Leys Beach. The shore towards Fontygary is Watch House Beach (not to be confused with Watch House Bay near Barry), and is mostly rocky with a considerable strandline of driftwood and other marine debris.
Directions: Parking is in the village of East Aberthaw where there is a large free parking area opposite the Blue Anchor Inn. Just to the north, Well Road leads down to and under the railway where the road ends and footpaths lead off in both directions. Take the path on the left (heading south) towards the beach. Parking spaces can usually be found under the railway bridge.
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I should point out that a lot of controversy exists relating to the nomenclature of the coastline between Rhoose and Gileston beaches. Before the coming of Aberthaw power stations, post-1957, the tributary of the River Thaw meandered considerably before it reached the shoreline. The marshy area between Pleasant Harbour, East Aberthaw and Gileston beach was generally known as the Leys and preceding the power stations, there was an established Leys Golf Club on the site, west of the River Thaw, the latter which was straightened for almost 500 metres from the shoreline. Officially the area south-west of the present about-to-be-demolished Aberthaw "B" power station, is called Limpert Bay but the public at large generally call the 1½ mile coastline with its sea wall, the 'Leys beach' and most large scale Ordnance Survey and lesser scaled maps do use that terminology. The southernmost projection of the sea wall at Gileston beach (Limpert Bay) is called Breaksea Point and there is a conflict as to whether it or Rhoose Point, 4·4km to the east, is the most southerly point of Wales. However, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has placed a 'monument' in the form of a notice, stating that Rhoose Point is the winner! With the eroding coastline, a recent check on the latitude of the two points on a large scale area Ordnance Survey map has revealed just a few of seconds of arc difference in latitude of the two points!
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