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" 3. Rhossili and Gower - The Downs and the Britannia"

Date & start time:     Tuesday 3rd October 2017.            ( Map ref SS 417 881).

Location of Start :    Sunset View Cottage, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales, UK.

Stayed at :                 Sunset View Cottage (self-catering holiday house).

Places visited :         Rhossili Downs, the old Radar Camp and The Britannia.

Walk details :            Two hours, 3.5 miles, 760 ft - 234 m of ascent.

With :                         Gareth, Rhian (later), Luke, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                  Brighter today, beautiful sunshine, but still breezy.

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Red sky at night . . . holiday maker's delight . . . Next day turned out to be beautifully sunny and dry as the old proverb suggested.

We woke to wall-to-wall sunshine and pretty good visibility.  Across Carmarthen Bay we make out all the coastline

from Pembrey Sands all the way round to Tenby, Saundersfoot and distant Caldey Island.

Sunset View as seen from the top of the lawn.

We'll take a stroll up Rhossili Downs today which is reached by walking up the rising ground seen behind the cottage.

Over breakfast we were able to enjoy the clear views of Burry Holms Island.

Like Worms Head, it is also cut off from the mainland at high tide.

The famous Rhossili deer herd are out roaming the hills in front of our window.

[ Okay . . . they are a sculpture . . . perhaps I should have darkened the photo to increase the silhouette effect.]

We're expecting Gareth and Luke to arrive shortly so make sure the dogs are looking their best.

Harry had a bit of a problem with his balance and mobility yesterday so we'll have to leave him rest today while we take Dylan on the walk.

That's not a great problem . . . they can both 'sleep for Britain' if we let them . . . but then we wouldn't get a walk ourselves !

Brushed up and fluffy . . . ready to provide a soft backrest for Luke.

He's used to his other grandparent's dogs and Harry's no problem as he doesn't move when we put Luke down next to him.

" Daddy he MOVED ! " . . . at six months he can't say it . . . but he can certainly convey the meaning.

Out for the walk now . . . all dressed up and ready to go.

He may look over-dressed but that won't be a problem as there's a cool breeze blowing which can only get stronger higher up.

- - - o o o - - -

We used the left hand path on our climb . . . and as it happened, we descended on the other one at the end of the walk.

The old building was apparently associated with the lifeboat service

and used as a store room for equipment and the rocket maroons that they used to call out the crew (before the days of pagers).

Climbing up through the bracken our horizons expand.

It's a popular path to the trig point up ahead.

Looking down there's a brown splodge on the water . . .
. . . it moved, flew closer and the kestrel took form.

On the summit of Rhossili Downs . . . the photo kindly taken by a fellow walker.

For those intrigued by the passage of time, compare this picture to one above.  What date would you put on it ?

Yes the people are the same . . . apart from Jenna in my backpack substituted for the next generation, Luke in Gareth's front carrier.

Young Gareth sits atop the trig but unusually Nicky, our Golden Retriever dog of that time, was not in the photo. He must have been off sniffing something!

We don't feel to have grown any older at all  . . . it's just that we've changed fashion !

[ The answer is below the second next photo ]

A western panorama from The Worm to Burry Holms and over to Llangenith Village, located beneath Llanmadoc Hill to the right.

A closer view of The Worm . . . the tide has turned and the causeway is getting narrower.

[ The date of the trig point photo was . . . Summer 1986 ]

Zooming in on the outer head . . . the blow hole is not working today

as the sea is calm and the wind is from a different direction.

Occasionally you look around, away from the obvious views, and discover surprises.

Here we can see over Scurlage and across to Oxwich Bay with Three Cliffs down to the left of the prominent white house.

- - - o o o - - -


The track down to the bay from our holiday cottage

skirts along the cliff edge and crosses the fields

and then turns to give access to

The Old Rectory


- - - o o o - - -


You can hire this as a holiday destination

from the National Trust

though I believe it is fairly booked up

for a year or two ahead.


- - - o o o - - -

Looking along the seaward side of Rhossili Downs.

Ahead is an area of an old abandoned, wartime installation.  All that is left is the concrete bases of the buildings and some overturned brickwork.

Before then we have the prospect of an undulating but easy high level walk along the top of the Downs,

joining the old military track part way along the ridge.

The trackway is the concrete slabs along the front, the levels behind were for two rows of wooden huts.

- - - o o o - - -

There's an information board which gives a certain amount of detail.



The buildings were removed after the war

and what couldn't be dismantled was blown up

using surplus war munitions.

- - - o o o - - -

It was realised that the radar system, set up for shipping, could also track aircraft, and that was important in wartime.

Sadly breaking up the old brick structures has resulted in a pile of alien stonework of little meaning

rather than a brick structure that could be related historically to the wartime lookout point . . . how attitudes have changed over time.

Ann on the northern summit of Rhossili Downs.

On a nice day in the 1940's, the service personnel must have enjoyed the same extensive view.

On the Hillend end of the bay the dunes are home to a chalet and permanent caravan site.

The first bright green field and the dunes there about were the car parking area for our day visits to the beach.

Presumably that is still the case nowadays.

The tide quietly creeps up the beach and the distant causeway has now closed.

Beyond the northern high point of the Downs the ground falls away before rising again on Llanmadoc Hill.

The large village of Llangenith  has grown across the low ground between the two.

- - - o o o - - -

Time to turn around and return to base.

We walk back along the high ground towards the trig point.

On the way we pass several ancient monuments,

including the Sweyne's Howes burial chambers.


In close up.

These stones are a fallen Cromlech,

presumed to be an ancient burial site from about 3000 BC.

- - - o o o - - -

We head back down to the cottage now, taking the left hand path for a change.

A small herd of Gower ponies is grazing the hillside as we walk down . . . but they were not bothered by our presence.

" You can take a White Horse anywhere "  used to be an old 1974 classic advertising slogan for a certain brand of whisky.

New arrival . . . 40+ years later.
This old weathered fence post caught my eye.

The houses of Middleton  and more horses below the end of the old wall.

It has been lovely sunshine all the way.

- - - o o o - - -

The house opposite our holiday cottage is being renovated

and we've said hello to the guys most mornings.

Today they are replacing window lintels.

Two damp days ago they took delivery of three lorry loads of cement

in order to create footings for additional buildings in the back yard

of the old house.  At least the weather is better for them today.

- - - o o o - - -

Rhian arrived after work later in the afternoon . . . Between them they are sharing the home parenting duties.

She looked after Luke during the school holidays and now Gareth has taken paternity leave for the autumn term so she can go back to work.

Decisions are yet to be finalised for next year once the statutory maternity leave period is over.

Luke, who was a delight on the walk, is enjoying an early supper.

He's just started on solid food this month.

" I'm sure I had a square of cheese on toast somewhere . . . have you taken it ? "

- - - o o o - - -

In the evening we venture out to The Britannia Inn at Llanmadoc,

which is not only a good pub but has a reputation for excellent food as well.

Luke, awake after the journey over, took time out in his pushchair for an evening nap whilst we ate our supper . . . he was no problem at all

- - - o o o - - -


Afterwards we carried him back out to the car,

(the steps up into the dining room were not exactly buggy-friendly)

and he surprised so many people

who hadn't realised that there was even a baby in the room.



Full marks to the staff of The Britannia

who were most helpful and attentive

and to the chef

for the excellent food served tonight.


- - - o o o - - -


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera or my good old phone.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a hearty appetite after a good walk.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 2nd October 2017 - 2. Rhossili Coastguard Walk

A previous time up here - 10th to 18th May 2009 Our Swansea Holiday - 7 - North Gower

Next walk - 4th October 2017 - 4. Kitchen Corner and Fall Bay

5. Rhossili Beach


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