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" 3 - Mewslade and King Arthur."
Date & start time: Monday 31st March 2014
Location of Start : Pitton Farm near Llangenith, Gower, Uk ( SS 429 875 )
Places visited : Mewslade Bay, the King Arthur Pub and then Arthur's Stone.
Walk details : 2 mls, 200 ft of descent (to the beach), 1 hours 15 mins.
Heights : Mewslade (sea level) to Cefn Bryn 513 ft (above sea level)
Walked with : Gareth, Ann and our dog, Harry.
Weather : Overcast but reasonably warm.
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At the far end of Gower are the lovely beaches renowned for their yellow sands and Atlantic surfing.
Mewslade and Fall Bay are the last beaches you reach before the western end of the peninsular
and we park at the farm car park at Pitton to walk the mile or so down the valley to the bay.
Support local industry . . . pay the farmer a few pounds for car parking.
To be honest, on a normal day there's nowhere else to park that doesn't involve an extra mile's trek so it is doubly worth it.
Passing the cottages and farmhouse there's a lovely spring display of Spring flowers.
Primroses, cowslips and blue muscaria.
In the farm lane down towards the beach there is a different, more wild display.
The major leaf plant with a white flower is wild garlic, with primroses and possibly yellow wood sorrel in there too.
Young lambs in the valley.
Quads are rare but not unheard of.
I counted the sheep (managed to stay awake) but there didn't seem to be a spare mum anywhere.
We're into limestone country here in Gower
so the valley down to the bay doesn't have a stream or river bed.
What it does have is a lot of small caves and openings, one or two of which are squeezable for kids on outdoor pursuits courses.
Ann and Gareth at the head of the bay.
Down on the beach looking back up the opposite way.
As with Pobbles yesterday, I'm sure there's much less sand here than I remember from childhood beach excursions.
Low tide today so we have the run of the beach . . . or at least Harry has !
This is the mighty Thurba Head, the name alone implies stature and boldness.
With low tide, the beach joins up with Fall Bay in the cove before the distant headland.
A few low rocks to cross as we walk towards the Needle Rock.
Two slightly different cliff pinnacles . . . one open and incised, the other protected at its foot but sharp at its head.
On the shoreline, three bold black backed gulls.
They are one of the larger of the gull species and other birds don't mess with them.
Harry is asking to play . . . but no trees so no sticks . . . sorry.
Gareth tries " Chase the Wave "
That seems to go down well . . . the dog's enjoying it too !
A tangle of fishing net marks our turn around point.
Limestone pinnacles with the crows flying around in the strong, turbulent breeze.
Gower's other famous rock is the conglomerate series.
These are raised beaches of water-washed stones that have settled into beds and have been fused with time.
There are several good examples of conglomerate rocks all along this coastline, evidence of higher sea levels in earlier millennia.
Back now along the beach . . .Ann's heading back to the distant Thurba Head.
Back up the valley to the car . . . this way Harry . . . or have you found a stick at last ?
Deep in the recesses of the mind, this view back up the valley with the summer house and the top square family home
is evocative of hot summer days, buckets and spades, and little 1950's sun burnt legs not wanting to go back home to bed.
- - - o o o - - -
Time for lunch . . . where shall we go ?
The King Arthur Hotel and a fine lunch stop today. ( Photo courtesy of the hotel web site)
A pint and an unusual, delightful laver bread burger if I remember rightly.
- - - o o o - - -
On the way back into town we drove up and over Cefn Bryn.
At a lofty 500 foot above sea level it is significantly higher than the Gower coastal area and so the views will be good.
There's a short but good walk across the grass and moorland to Arthur's Stone.
The views won't be brilliant today due to the haze but the walk will be nice.
One of the many wild ponies on Gower.
Like all "wild" ponies, they are owned by someone, but they spend all year on the moorland hills.
Three, or is it four more ponies on the other side of the pond.
An ancient tumulus or grave site with a large capstone supported by four secondary stone feet.
Over the years the major stone has split and toppled sideways giving the stone a slightly unbalanced look.
- - - o o o - - -
The origin of the name of Arthur's Stone comes from the Arthurian Legends.
Gower doesn't claim Arthur for their own but this stone was supposed to be an irritant in his shoe
as he walked across the high ground of Devon to the south.
In his fury he removed it and flung it over his shoulder and it landed here.
Arthur must have been a very big man with a very strong arm . . . Devon is 30 miles away across the Bristol Channel !
We'll leave the stone and start the short walk back to the car.
There looks like a large bus has just arrived . . . you can just see it on the distant horizon.
Close up now, it looks like a college party on a Gower field trip
as some of them have folders and information packs in hand.
Looks like we timed that well . . . all is peace and quiet again.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a pint of Felinfoel and lunch at the King Arthur.
Previous walk - 30th March - 2 - Dinefwr Castle, Llandeilo.
Next walk - 1st April - 4 - Swansea Market and Tor Bay