" 1. Swansea 2015 ~ Days 1 and 2 "

Date & Time: Saturday 18th / Sunday 19th April 20015

Locations : Swansea and the Gower Coast.

Places visited : Nicholston Burrows (Crawley Woods) and Three Cliffs Bay next day.

Accommodation : Staying with our friends Sandra and Jackie in Swansea.

Walked with : Sandra, Jackie, Gareth, Rhian, Ann and the dogs, Rufus, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Glorious early summer sunshine, warm with big, blue skies.

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A short break holiday staying with friends

and looking forward to the Swansea Amateur's stage production

with Gareth at the helm as Stage Manager.

Our visit coincides with a week of glorious sunshine,

allowing us to enjoy Gower at its best.


- - - o o o - - -


We unload Dylan the Mearkat from the car . . .

He wakes in the morning to an unusual view from his garden.

Gone are the mountains, swapped for city scapes and the seaside.

It was a year ago, after our 2014 Swansea holiday

that we drove home via Durham and collected him

from his puppy home.

The view from our bedroom window overlooking Swansea Bay.

The white tower is part of the Swansea Guildhall, with the twin islands and lighthouse of Mumbles in the background.

Our first meeting with Rhian, Gareth's girlfriend and a lovely lady.

We've talked electronically via the computer in recent weeks but there's nothing quite like a real meeting.

Harry and Bethan have a friend for the weekend too . . . meet Rufus.

He's looking a bit nervous . . .

Perhaps he had heard about the hair brushing he was to receive before we set out for a walk.

Meet Sandra (in blue) and Jackie seated behind.  A big thanks to them for their fantastic hospitality again this holiday.

- - - o o o - - -

After a discussion at home on the patio it was decided that a walk in Nicholaston Burrows would be a good idea.

A redundant stone stile and a delightfully trimmed hedge

neatly cut around the footpath signs at the start of the walk.

The start of the path down to the beach.

We know it as Crawley Woods, but it is also known as the Nicholaston end of Oxwich Bay.

Gareth, Rhian and myself.

You'll have to put up with more photos of me this time.   I managed to lose my camera whilst unloading the car last night.

It was there in the car on the way down but it never made it into the house, so all photos are on Ann's camera this holiday.

The local Oxwich Reserve information board is a little off-centre due to a tree landing on the sign.

Otherwise it is in perfect balance . . . English on one half . . . a Welsh translation on the opposite half of the map.

The path down through the wood is bilingual however.

Take care of adders, biting horses and sand in your sandwiches . . . said the 'health and safety' sign.

Triple mug-shot as we reach the back of the sand dunes and get a closer view of the sea.

That faint shadow above the horizon is the coast of Somerset and Devon,

with Exmoor National Park and Ilfracombe about 28 miles away across the channel.

The tide is low at midday today so there's plenty of dry, sea washed sand to walk on.

Gareth and Rhian.

We make it down to the edge of the sea . . . the calm weather creating no more than gentle waves today.

Jackie and I "catching up on life" . . . as the dogs run and play in the background.

It's those two again !

The Burrows have an extensive covering of gorse, which is covered in fine yellow flowers this spring.

Oxwich Bay is a fine crescent of lovely sand,

which extends from Oxwich Head all the way round to Great Tor at this end of the bay.

Hang on  . . . we only brought two retrievers down with us !

Both this gentleman and ourselves had difficulty spotting who was who, as the dogs rushed around in play.

Time to put the boots on again and make our way back up through the dunes.

- - - o o o - - -

The following day we were out again, this time to the other side of the Great Tor headland.

Myself, Jackie and Sandra doing the hokey-cocky at the start of the path down to Three Cliffs Bay.

The bay takes its name from the headland which sticks out into the middle of the bay.

If you can remember back to the TV programme "Britain's Favourite Views" . . . well this was second favourite as voted for by the show's audience.

( Wasdale in Cumbria was voted number, one for those of you too young to remember.)

The Parkmill river reaches the sea here in the bay

and a fine set of stepping stones allows visitors and Gower Coast walkers to cross the river, dry-shod except at high tide.

The Stones . . . over to the sand bar at the head of the bay.

Pennard Castle held a commanding position, high on the hillside above the bay.

Nowadays the castle is in ruins and the valley is no longer full of water except at high spring tides.

A seagull is spotted on the rock as I zoom in on the castle.

There has been a stone maze in the valley for nearly fifty years (since hippy days I think)

but changes in the sand layers due to various storms has forced it to be rebuilt at least once over that time.

Back over the stones in order to walk on the sandy side of the bay.

We walked around the lagoon onto the main beach.

[ Our path back to the car later would take us up past the cottages and chalets on the hillside opposite.]

Down on the beach . . . low tide again as yesterday.

There are quite a few folk about this fine Sunday, including a horse and rider enjoying the open expanse of the beach.

The ladies passed on such wild exertions in favour of a sheltered spot by the dunes.

Not for me however . . . the dogs need more exercise and there's lots to see.

I walk across the beach towards Three Cliffs.

The Parkmill River sweeps around the bay, brushing against the headland on its way to the sea.

The tidal range here is up to 13 metres at high spring tides, as can be seen by the darker area at the base of the cliffs.

Three Cliffs is also famous for the cave that penetrates the limestone structure.

The pool this side is as a result of the sea water surging through and washing the sand away, as as it does twice each day.

The Bristol Channel . . . . and folk looking at something.
There's a rope and a rock climber high in the top of the cave.

Three Cliffs is a favourite spot for rock climbing but I learn today that there is actually a squeeze through to the open air

from the apex of the rock cave.  It is so tight that the climber has left his unwanted gear down on the rope in order to fit through the hole.

He should appear out somewhere near the top guy in red.

The rest of the rock is covered in other climbers, young and old.  It is a favourite haunt of the University climbing club

and several outdoor pursuit centres locally and is certainly popular today.

The dogs and I head back, leaving the amazing rock structure to the sportsmen and women and their climbing ropes.

I wonder if that guy did make it out through the chimney ?

Out in the bay the river is shallow enough to wade through easily.

The next headland round is Great Tor where we walked yesterday.

Hi . . . have you had an exhausting time sitting there in the hot sunshine ?

We walk back across the lagoon area and climb up the hill past the chalets.

Now . . . we deserve an ice cream on a sunny day . . . where shall we go ?

Shepherds Shop or is it a Joe's ?


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . .that rich Italian ice cream, the recipe to which is hidden deep in the vaults of Cascarini's Cafe.

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Previous walk - 14th April 2015 - Fellbarrow for Richard & Hilary

A previous time here - 28th / 29th March 2014 - Our previous Swansea Visit