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" West Wales - 6 - Swansea Weekend "
Date & start time: Friday 30th April / Monday 2nd May 2016.
Location of Start : Gareth & Rhian's House, Hendy, West Glamorgan, Uk ( SN 597 031)
Places visited : City Centre, Mumbles, Clyne Park, Penllegaer Woods, Cefn Bryn.
Walk details : Local walks of an hour on each day.
Highest point : Visiting the Dylan Thomas Theatre . . . and all the other things we fitted in.
Walked with : Gareth, Rhian, Gill H., Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Wet on Sunday morning otherwise very good.
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We leave Abercastle after a cool but sunny week
where the visibility was superb and the coast path delivering what all that the brochures promised.
We've visited a few new places, revisited old ones and had a great week at Doves Cottage
Time to be making a start on the hour or so drive to Swansea . . .
Welcome to the culture shock . . .
We've seen more cars and more people in half an hour on a Saturday morning than we have all week.
Inside photo courtesy of their Facebook page
While we were there we had a quick walk around this part of the Marina
and looked in at the Mumbles Train Exhibition.
The train was the first every passenger railway service in the world . . . even beating the Stockton and Darlington line.
It started as a horse drawn service, tried wind power (with a sail), steam, even petrol and diesel for a while.
Eventually the red electric trams worked the route.
The service started in 1804 serving the limestone quarries of Mumbles and the coal mines of Blackpill.
It carried the first fare-paying passenger in March 1807 when they sold tickets to ride in new passenger carriages.
In 1959 it closed, changing to standard motor buses, the council closing it in order to widen the sea front road.
Click (or right click) on "A History of Mumbles" for more information (in a separate window).
Time to be off as we have an appointment to keep . . .
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" Dinner in the Big Apple with a Hollywood Star ? "
. . . not quite . . . but something equally nice . . . lunch at Mumbles with Gill.
Time for a quick walkabout to exercise the dogs and ourselves . . . where nicer locally than a stroll out onto Mumbles Head.
Here we're looking down on Mumbles Pier with the old and new Lifeboat houses.
On the island at the end is the Mumbles Lighthouse.
Looking back at Bracelet Bay . . . not sure why the green contractors equipment is in place.
On the Tutt (the next headland) is Castellamare Restaurant and the Coastguard Coordination Centre.
We're meeting Gill at Verdi's on the seafront in Mumbles.
Italian style and ice creams for a hot day . . . and plenty of space to sit out with the dogs tucked under the table.
Extensive views remind me of the days and evenings spent sailing in the bay.
Like our St Justinian's pictures recently, this photo has three lifeboat houses in it too.
The white with grey roof building (that looks like it has Mumbles lighhouset growing out of it) is the site of the original lifeboat house and slipway.
The new barrel-roofed house at the end of the pier must have the same architects as the Pembrokeshire one.
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After lunch a stroll in the park with Gill . . . Clyne Park to be precise.
The park is set in a woodland and valley location so the habitat can be quite moist and well protected from winds.
On the valley floor . . . Primula (Primula pulverulenta)
Many exotic plants from around the world . . . as the park was the private gardens of Clyne Castle in the past.
Don't ask me for a name . . . just mind out for any triffids.
At the top of the park is the Chinese Bridge and shelter . . . good idea as it looks as if it is going to rain.
Gill and Ann are old friends and school colleagues, teaching as they did in adjacent classrooms in Gowerton.
A huge azalea bush is in full flower this month.
Down through the woodland with its display of bluebells.
It is said that the park has so many varieties that you can always find one in bloom at any time of year.
Elsewhere with the bluebells we found banks of wild Garlic.
It is a clever trick to remain calm in the face of a charging Rhinoceros.
[ We'll call him Neil after the film star RyanO' Neil . . . ? ]
Clyne Castle . . . now part of the Swansea University facilities.
At the main entrance to the park we were offered tea and Welsh cakes by the West Glamorgan Guide organisation.
[ I even got recognised by some of the ladies as my mum was Guide Commissioner for many years ]
Sunday was wet . . . it came as a bit of a surprise . . . though looking back on the day it was forecasted.
We opted for a local walk in Penllegaer Woods, an area Ann and I had never been to before.
" Reclaiming our forgotten inheritance " in this " linear wildlife hotspot "
Well it wasn't quite so hot today.
This is a tunnel on one of the two northern by-pass lines that travel a short distance north of the city.
The main line from Paddington heads for the main railway station near the town centre of course.
This line is not so busy but you do get steam trains occasionally . . . hold your cursor over the picture to see one passing.
Sunday evening we dined out
at a really authentic and delightful Indian Restaurant in Pontarddulais, close to Gareth's home . . . " Chillies "
Our grandson Jack came down from Cardiff for the evening.
Our hosts . . . Gareth and Rhian.
You know these two . . . but perhaps not so smartly dressed !
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On the final day of our stay we visited an old friend Ursula in Bridgend.
She is Godmother to Gareth and Jenna
and was a great friend and neighbour of Ann's family for many, many years.
In the afternoon the sun came out so we headed for Gower for a walk on Cefn Bryn.
Roadside parking at the top of the bryn (hill).
Dylan wishing humans weren't quite so daft . . .
. . . and that they made the top of the trig points a littel bit bigger.
Cefn Bryn offers extensive views of the Burry estuary to the north ( and the Gower Coast to the south).
Some of the moorland fell ponies on the common.
Dylan rushes across having spotted a tree.
This was a lovely muddy option to cool down for both dogs.
An ancient cromlech known locally as Arthur's Stone.
Arthur's Stone, sometimes known as King Arthur's Stone or Maen Ceti, is a Neolithic burial tomb dating back to 2500 B.C.
and was one of the first sites to be protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882. [ Courtesy of the Explore Gower Website]
Handholds are few on this quartz conglomerate boulder.
The flat stone alongside it was once part of the main rock, split by some historic event . . . the profiles match perfectly.
One reason for visiting Cefn Bryn was to call over to The King Arthur Hotel at Reynoldston.
Gareth and Rhian have recently announced their engagement and this will be their wedding venue in the summer of next year.
A new extension on the back of the hotel makes a beautiful wedding venue . . . more pictures next year no doubt
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We hope you've enjoyed our Welsh visit this week
. . . time to face the M6 once again and head back to our lovely home in Cumbria.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a ticket to the theatre . . . or six tickets to be precise.
Previous walk - 29th April 2016 - 5. Abereiddi
A previous time up here - 28/29th March 2014 - Swansea Visit
Next walk - 6th May 2016 - Rannerdale Bluebells 2016 - 1