STEP aside Tom Hardy – a new celebrity has graced Barry and it’s none other than Derek the weatherman.

Derek Brockway, who worked for MetOffice for 30 years before joining the BBC in 2016, recently joined Ramblers Cymru from Merthyr Mawr to Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan, popping into Homemade Wales on Barry’s High Street.

He visited the gift shop to sign copies of his - and Julia Foot’s – new book Weatherman Walking – The Welsh Coast which features guided walks of Wales’ Coast Path.

The walk which he joined Ramblers Cymru on is one of 15 walks featured in his latest publication from Y Lolfa and takes in the stunning scenery of the Wales Coast Path in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Starting from the car park in Merthyr Mawr, Mr Brockway joined the Vale Ramblers group for a five-mile linear walk to Southerndown.

Nineteen members of the Vale Ramblers, Ramblers Cymru engagement officer Rhys, and Mr Brockway headed from the picturesque village of Merthyr Mawr, along the estuary passing the ruins of Ogmore Castle before reaching the sea.

From here they meandered over the headland with breath-taking views of the rugged Vale of Glamorgan coastline to reach Southerndown.

Before the walk, Mr Brockway said: “I couldn’t think of a better way of celebrating the launch of my new book than a walk with my local Ramblers group on my home patch.

“When I was putting the book together it really made me appreciate the beauty and diversity of our wonderful coastline and I hope it will encourage others to get out and see it for themselves.”

Ramblers Cymru actively promote walking and play a key role in protecting access to the countryside in Wales. They were also a key driving force in helping establish the Wales Coast Path in 2012 and have around 6,000 members and 40 groups across the nation.

Director at Ramblers Cymru, Angela Charlton, said: “As a charity we want to see a happier, healthier Wales where walking is at the heart of every community.

“Walking is a great way to maintain and improve our health and explore our beautiful nation and Derek has been a great advocate for this for many years.”

Gwenda Fitzpatrick, of the Vale Ramblers, added: “Our walking group offers the opportunity for walkers of all abilities to get out and enjoy the outdoors and the opportunity to make friends and enjoy the social activities as well.

“So, if you would like to come along, we’d love to have you with us.”

Weatherman Walking – The Welsh Coast is on sale now.