Station Bagging

A new idea. Station bagging. Visit a station and from there bag either: a benchmark, a trigpoint, find a geocache, climb a hill or pay a forfeit and drink a pint of beer.

Why? It gives me a motivation to visit new places or places I’ve already visited and have a different experience.

A special thanks to Every Last Station for the inspiration and spreadsheet.


Aber, with its elevated platforms, mean you bounce a bit when walking along! End of a long day so forgot to take photos of the lovely surrounding hills. Bagged a benchmark on the road, the bridge the railway goes over. One of the new FLIRT trains went past doing a test run – they were introduced to revenue generating service the day afterwards.


From Abercyonon station its a short walk to the miners monument then I headed up onto Craig-Evan-Leyshon Common and a bit of a scary geocache find and continued upwards to the disused quarry and eventually the top. A great day out.


A wintery visit to Aberdare took me to the interesting museum and art gallery before I headed up to Aberdare Park that looked great, even in December. A geocache was found before a cheeky pint in the Beehive and a wander down the High Street of the town.


I walked across the causeway from Barry Island and found a few benchmarks in the area, the most interesting probably being the one on the former St Nicholas church, now a Sea Scout group building. The church was rebuilt 1874-76 on site of medieval church of Barry village; architect John Romilly Allen, who claimed to have followed general outline of old church.

Barry Docks

A short stop here and just enough time to visit the old Barry Dock Offices, now used restored and used by vale of Glamorgan Council. The statue in front of the building is David Davies, the man responsible for the building of the docks, depicted studying his plans for the docks. I found the cut bench mark on the corner of the building.

Barry Island

Mixing it with the holidaymakers here today. Did a circuit of the island finding benchmarks and a couple of geocaches before heading across the causeway to Barry.


There was a feint and difficult to find benchmark on the railway bridge but I also took a walk down Caerphilly Road, past the lovely names Hill Snook Park and sound a cut bench just south of the Ty Wern Rd junction. On returning to Birchgrove I took the short hop to Ty Glas station – one of the shortest distances between stations in Wales I would have thought.


I had a circular walk around the Cadoxton area collecting benchmarks. I liked the one on the old Royal Hotel on Main Street, now Tesco. I had time for a stroll around the pretty Victoria Park before heading back to the station.


Followed the route described in the Walking the Valleys book by Peter Finch, talking in Caerphilly Castle, Tommy Cooper statue, Morgan Jones Park, and the Van mansion. Lots to see here.

Cardiff Bay

A short journey from Cardiff Queen Street bought me to the renovated Cardiff Bay station. Plenty of benchmarks to find here. The one pictured is on a wall on Bute Street. Also found one on the old Coal Exchange building. Met up with my very patient wife afterwards for lunch at the Norwegian Arts Centre café as part of my Armchair Travel Challenge.

Cardiff Central

I’ve lots of memories of this station over the years. It will be interesting to see how it is redeveloped in coming years. Today, I took a walk though the city centre, past Cardiff Castle and into Bute Park to find a geocache hidden near the Secret Garden. The flower beds were looking good despite the lack of rainfall. Lots of people heading for the cricket.

Cardiff Queen Street

A busy station catering for most of the trains heading up the valleys. I like the mixture of new and old on Churchill Way with the old chapel now converted into a restaurant and the new apartments behind. There’s an unusual benchmark a house on the corner of Guilford Crescent and Churchill Way that has been spared when the rendering was applied.


My closest station to home though not necessarily the one I use most frequently. Travelled down from Llandaff to Cathays today then went for a walk through Cathays Park and then Bute Park and found a geocache in Bute Park. Its great to have so many parks here in Cardiff.


After admiring the lovely pink wrought iron footbridge at Cogan station and finding a nearby benchmark I headed down Cardiff Barrage via Penarth Dock along the marina. Lots to see here.


End of the line of this Cardiff suburban horseshoe. I walked north up an old railway line and found the Taff Trail Copse geocache. Nearby is a lovely view up the River Taff to Castell Coch.


Walked down from Aberdare to Cwmbach on a mixture of roads and footpaths. Struggled to find the benchmark I was looking for but eventually found it on the wall of the chip shop. Good information boards in this area. The local one told me about the award winning young conductor Caradoc.


Found a benchmark on the bridge at the southern end of the station. Had a wander up and down Llantrisant Road looking for some more. I was looking for one on a wall when I stumbled upon this lovely old gate that led into an old BBC building.

Dinas Powys

A hot summer day and a crowded train heading towards Barry Island. Soon found a benchmark in the nearby railway bridge. I walked through the village and down towards Eastbrook station.

Dinas Rhondda

Arrived at Dinas Rhondda in a train on loan from Northern Rail. Walked north from there up to Mynydd Brith Weunydd and discovered a concrete ring trig point – such excitement – maybe only for the trig point aficionados among you. Descended into Porth and onwards to Trehafod.

Dingle Road

A great name for a station – one of the best. It is somewhat hidden away in the residential streets of Penarth. Found a couple of benchmarks including the one pictured on St Joseph’s church.


A nice walk from Dinas Powys station to Eastbrook station, through the village then found a benchmark on St Peter’s church, a rivet on the bridge over the River Cadoxton, a shady spot for a coffee out of the heat then another benchmark on the primary school, all three of which have eluded me previously.

Ebbw Vale Parkway

I had a pleasant walk down from Ebbw Vale Town station to here but I failed to find the geocache I looked for but found a couple of benchmarks on Bryn Terrace in Waun-lwyd.

Ebbw Vale Town

Always nice to explore the area around this station, the old iron works HQ, the little museum, the Archives building, the vernacular and more. Took a walk a little way up the hill to find a geocache and hen down the path parallel to the track to Ebbw Vale Parkway. And the sun shone!

Energlyn and Churchill Park

Not going to win any photography competitions here! An unplanned stop. Pizza and mug of tea in nearby Asda once I found a way of getting there. On my walk to Aber station I bagged a bench mark on the school in Parc-Y-Felin Street.


Had a nice walk in the area including visiting Insole Court. Found a number of benchmarks including one on the wall of Roald Dahl’s house.


Grangetown, a suburb of Cardiff, offers good views of the area around. There’s a benchmark under the bridge near the station entrance but the one pictures is on a shop corner at 7 Clive Street, opposite the recently vacated library which is a grand building.

Heath High Level

There is a cut bench mark on the bridge near the station entrance. It is one of those that is easier to spot from the other side of the road rather than from up close. After that excitement I took a walk down to Roath Park Lake.

Heath Low Level

Bagged a benchmark near here that also seems to be a favourite with dogs! Saw the train arriving as I was on the bridge. A mad dash and I made it and they even waited whilst I took a photo. So accommodating.


Walked down from Parc Panallta to here. Lots of dedication to Gren the cartoonist who was from here. Walked over the impressive old viaduct. Found a geocache called Hengoed Bridge.

Lisvane and Thornhill

A trip out to find the Lumpy Bumpy geocahe in Thornhill. On my walk from the station I cut through Pinecrest Drive and then struggled to find the footpath that emerged at the side of the Thornhill Primary School. Lots of happy faces here as it is the last day of term. Found the cache just fine in a tiny copse nearby. From there I walked down to Llanishen Station.


I walked from Radyr down to Llandaff on the west side of the River Taff that is somewhat wilder than the east side. The path over the river runs parallel to the railway. A short diversion took me up to the restored Melingriffith Water Pump, constructed around 1793, that was used to return precious water from the Melingriffith Tin Plate Works to the Glamorganshire Canal. I found a number of benchmarks plus the flush bracket G3710 on the bridge above Llandaff station. Celebrated with a pint of Guinness in the Pineapple.


Walked over from Pencoed.  Snowdrops are out.  Beautiful new wooden sculptures in Brynna Woods by sculptor Chris Woods.  Didn’t find the geocache near the stations so scampered beck up the rod and bagged a cut benchmark.  


After finding a geocache in Thornhill I walked down to Llanishen and found the first flush bracket of this adventure which is on the old station master’s house at the entrance to the car park and the northbound platform. This bench mark was used during the Third Geodetic Levelling, England & Wales (1950-68). It was included on the Penhow to Cowbridge line.

Llantwit Major

What no train I hear you ask. I arrived on train 150213. Unfortunately my plan to catch a train back to Rhoose was thwarted by a cancelled train so I hopped on the waiting bus rather than wait another two hours. Whilst in Llantwit I found the Flush Bracket mounted on the Old Bakery and also visited St Illtud’s church and saw the Celtic Stones that date from the 9th to the 11th centuries. 


Struggled to bag much – three unfound geocaches, but found a benchmark. Also stumbled across the statue of Archibald Hood, a benevolent coal mine owner, if the inscription is to be believed.


A quick stop off on the way from Cardiff to Swansea with time to find a couple of geocaches, a benchmark, a flush bracket with an unusual number S1234, and a trig point intersected station at St David’s church.

Ninian Park

A station with views over to the football stadium. Walked past the new Gary Speed painting and down to the attractive St John’s church where there is a flush bracket.


A hot weekend so where better to head than nearby Penarth. Found a few benchmarks including the one pictured on the lovely All Saints Church. Wandered down to the front and enjoyed the cooling breeze on the pier.


Took me a while to spot the other platform.  Now that’s what I call staggered. Mooched around the village: war memorial, tattoo parlours and old chapels. Looked admiringly ay the closed micro-brewery tap only open evenings. Visited the library in temporary accommodation at a chapel whilst refurbishments in progress.  Geocached in nearby playing fields then walked over to Llanharan.


I walked from Tir-phil station up over Cefn y Brithdir (446m) then down into Pontlottyn, lunch in the Lord Nelson before catching one of the new Flirt trains back to Cardiff.


Just enough energy left to walk up the road and find the Flush Bracket on St Paul’s church before returning to the station in search of a beer.  Liked the railway connotations of the Brunel Arms but the beer in the  Windsor Arms appealed more.

Port Talbot Parkway

A quick stop off on my return from an event in Swansea at this futuristic looking station. Didn’t have too far to go to find a benchmark as there is one on a building opposite the station entrance which apparently used to be called the Temperance Hotel.


An interesting pootle around Porth, first down to the Two Rivers sculpture which has the words of the hymn Cwm Rhondda inscribed in stone underneath. Whilst I was there the Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned – they say you will always remember where you were when dig events occurred. Wandering back through town I found the flush bracket on Elim Pentecostal church, was admiring the old library when it started to pour with rain so had to go in for a cup of tea before going to look at the old pop factory. An interesting visit.


Lots of evidence at Radyr of work going on for the South Wales Metro. Wandering around the village I found a few benchmarks. The highlight was finding one on the Old Church Rooms, in the Jardin de St Philbert. The gardens celebrate the twinning of Radyr with the French town of St Philbert. From what I could work out Radyr gave them a red telephone box and St Philbert gave Radyr a cider or wine press that is now on display in the garden. The benchmark is on the wall just behind the press.


Didn’t have far to go to look for a benchmark here as there is a rivet, or should I say a damaged rivet, on the railway bridge. It took me a while to find and I had to consult previous photographs to help pin down the location. After that there wasn’t too much time to wait for the next train! I liked the innovative advertising being used by a local garage.


Arrived by bus from Llantwit Major after a train was cancelled. Found a cut benchmark on the side of the Rhoose Social Club before heading down to the sea. A beautiful day for lounging around. Caught 150262 still in Arriva livery back to Cardiff.


I was hoping for a ride on one of the new Flirt trains but it was not to be. A strenuous day.  First a visit to the library to look at the Idris Davis display cabinet.  Then a climb up to Rhymney Hill to find a geocache.  Back to the town for chips then more sculptures, plaques, cemeteries, model village of Butetown and the Twisted Chimney sculpture.


A fun day in Swansea for a college reunion saw me find a couple of benchmarks, visit the Oriel Science exhibition and find a couple of geocaches in Murton, one where the log book took the form of lollipop sticks rather than the traditional notebook.

Taffs Well

Lots of work going on here in Aug 2022 with the construction of the TfW south Wales Metro depot and control centre. Look in the other direction however and its a completely different scene with the lovely Garth hill in the background. Took a walk up the bank of the Taff, found a geocache and then visited the actual Taffs Well thermal spring.


Arrived at Tir-phil station, found a benchmark on the opposite bridge pier, admired the unusual war memorial in the form of a stumpy clock tower, then a steep climb up onto Cefn y Birthdir. Walked past the aircraft navigation beacon and then onto Pontlottyn.

Ton Pentre

Some nice bits of history detailed on an information board in the station. Wandered around the town a bit. Admired some of the old buildings. Found three benchmarks and failed to find one geocache. Then walked down to Ystrad Rhondda.


My visit to Tonypandy took me from Llwynypia to the Clydach Vale Country Park, the site of a former coal mine where Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the NHS, worked. It’s a lovely walk from the bottom lake up to the top lake. On arriving at Tonypandy station I caught a Northern train being leased to TfW, back to Cardiff.


In my wandering around the area looking for benchmarks I stumbled across the Ty Crawshay campus of South Wales University and the eye catching sculptures on display in front of a large historical industrial machine.

Treforest Estate

A quiet station on a Saturday. With an hour gap between trains I just had time for a fast walk up to Hawthorn to photograph the flush bracket on the primary school. The electrification process of this line is part way through with the overhead stanchions in place but not the wires as yet.


Caught the train to Dinas Rhondda then went up a hill and down into Porth then up Penrhiwgwynt hill before making my way down to Trehafod. Stopped and admired the Darren y Pistyll waterfall, found a geocache then onto Trehafod station. I had some time before my train arrived, enough to see the old coal dram outside the station and find a benchmark on the old board school.


The last station on the Rhondda Valley line. I walked up the valley towards Blaenrhondda and met a gentleman who advised me to climb up a hill. The way he pointed seemed almost vertical but he assured me it was straightforward. It was great advice and a rewarding walk, passing the Pen Pych waterfall on the way.


Arrived at Treorchy weary having been up to the Pen Pych waterfalls and a few other places. Saw the Flush Bracket on the wall of Treorchy Primary School and also the blue plaque commemorating the reformation of the famous Treorchy Male Voice Choir in 1946.

Ty Glas

Ty Glas is very close to Birchgrove station but serves different passengers. Birchgrove is probably primarily residential where as Ty Glas serves nearby offices and light industry including the Kingsmill Bakery workers. Bagged a benchmark on Maes-y-Coed Road.

Waun-gron Park

An interesting station where the north bound platform is on top of a bridge. Also interesting to spot the electrification gantries being installed. I walked down from Fairwater station and found the Flush Bracket on The Fairwater pub wall. It’s been pebble-dashed and painted over but the number is just about visible.

Whitchurch, Cardiff

Stopped off here on my way back from Coryton and bagged a couple of benchmarks including one on a garage in a lane at the side of Heol y Forlan. This hobby brings me to some great places!


My visit to Ynyswen took me to the site of the old Polikov clothing factory which then became the Burberry factory before being controversially closed when production was moved to China. I then went to see a flush bracket that was on the side of an old Methodist Chapel, also now demolished.

Ystrad Mynach

Train to Ystrad Mynach then a steep walk up to Penallta Park. Telaxed on the seats of the sculpture before heading down to explore winding wheels of the old colliery and then onto Hengoed, finding a benchmark on the way.

Ystrad Rhondda

I took a stroll from Ton Pentre down to Ystrad Rhondda spotting a few cut bench marks along the way and then the highlight (I kid you not), the flush bracket on the wall of the primary school. Lots of work going on at the station on the bridge as part of the Metro works.