Leaving the best ’till last

🙂 I don’t often agree with Alec, but he was spot-on in his assessment of this, our final section of our walk round The Gower – this stretch of coastline equalled anything else we’d walked, even matching some of the marvellous Glamorgan Heritage Coast we walked last year. On a lovely summer’s day with our wives – Angie and Jenny – for company we completed the 7.9 mile walk in less than 6 hours with a generous number of stops for photo-taking and lunch. The walk was generally easy, along the cliff top, but with a few gentle descents and ascents where we had to cross valleys. The views, as you will see from the included images below, and the extended set on Picasaweb (starting here) or on Google Photos from image 51 – if you can find it   🙄 – were truly magnificent.

We met at The Ship Inn at Port-Eynon, Alec having previously negotiated a parking space on the back of the promise of us having supper there later. We got into our car and drove to the National Trust car park at Rhossili and started the walk at about 11:00am. A gentle walk down towards Worms Head, looking north towards Rhossili Bay where Alec and I had walked the week before. [Clicking on the images should open them in their own window – which is good for the panorama shots!]

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Passing on round the headland, and past the Information Point, we were soon able to look back on Worms Head – which we could have walked across to – as the tide was not due to make things difficult for at least another three hours – but we didn’t!

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Beyond Tears Point we were able to see the sequence of sandy bays, first Fall Bay – where we saw something moving in the water, but couldn’t identify it …

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… then Mewslade Bay – a couple of different views below …

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… and then looking across Mewslade Bay towards Thurba Point …

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… before we reached the cliff tops that took us across the platform above Red Chamber, Deborah’s Hole and Paviland Cave – all sites with archaeological significance (I believe) …

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We stopped for lunch on the cliffs somewhere near Foxhole Slade and were treated to the sight of a pair of Choughs as we ate.

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I rested as well [thanks Alec  😉  ] …


… as did the Painted Lady butterfly Alec got  picture of …

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It was then on past Blackhole Gut and Common Cliff, until we dropped down below Overton Cliff and along the solifluction terraces above the wave-cut platform, before our last climb of the day on to the cliffs above Culver Hole …

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… where we able to look back on Overton Mere …

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… before the final walk up to the monument on Port-Eynon Point.

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From there we were able to look across Port-Eynon Bay – seeing Nicholaston Farm in the middle distance (look for the camping site with the blue rig in the centre, when enlarged, of this picture) – in completely different weather to that which we’d experience a fortnight before.

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All in all, a really splendid walk. FinalGowerBlog (2 of 14)Really pleased and happy to have been able to have shared it with Jenny and Angie. We were tired at the end, but that was probably due to the sun as much as physical exertion. The walk was not particularly challenging; the descents and ascents were generally gentle. A great time was had by all, finished off with early-supper in The Ship Inn, which served up huge portions of cod and chips. We were home before 7:00pm.

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Just one more walk to go after this one and we’ll have got round The Gower. To summarise the stages we’ve done so far …

We returned to do this stretch with two vehicles, leaving just one section to do before we head off into Carmarthenshire and more difficult day travel territory.

After a little bit of confusion – which I won’t detail but Alec can elaborate on if he wishes – we parked #duettovan at the car park in Llanmadoc and drove back to Middleton near Rhossili in Alec’s car. Although strictly not on the WCP, Alec had suggested that the walk would be much better if we walked over Rossili Down and as I’d never been up there, I readily agreed. A great idea and I really wonder why the official path doesn’t go that way, instead it follows the high-water mark across the vast expanse of beach that makes up Rhossili Bay.

This is a walk with some huge wide open views from on top of Rhossili Down. These cannot be appreciated from the blog images below, so you ought to go to Picasaweb (or here on Google Photos) to better see them – starting at Image 34 (Picasaweb) but not here on Google Photos (as there’s no navigation from this image. Duh!).

[Update: I’ve just written about Google’s “difficulties” with it’s Picasaweb/Google+ Photos/Google Photos mess in this post.]

Below you see Alec striding across Rhossili Down towards the trgig point which, at 193m, must I presume, be the highest point on The Gower. The weather prior to this had been quite grumpy – I’d got soaked walking from #duettovan to Alec’s car at Llanmadoc, but now the sun was out, it was hazy and there was a wind to our side, but it was lovely for walking.

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Just too much of a temptation to take pano shots, so there are several – here stitched together in Lightroom 6 using the new pano tool as well as using the new de-haze tool, which I used on many of the other pictures that follow too. Both are very good and easy to use.

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Worms Head was not accessible as we started the walk – perhaps the tide will be favourable for the last stretch when we walk from Port Eynon to Rhossili.

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Two more panos of Rhossili Bay – isn’t the viewamazing? The pictures hardly do the view justice. The first one shows the WWII Radar Station, the second takes in the whole Bay.

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Then looking north from Rhossili Down before we descended to Hillend you can see where we had to walk – towards Llangenith Burrows and Broughton Bay.

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After a brief stop for tea, scone and Welsh cake at the campsite cafe, we started the long walk across the beach towards Burry Holms. Below … an attempt at being clever – a shot from six inches off the sand – what do you think, apart from the seagulls not being in focus!?

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Walking towards Burry Holms, an ancient Hill fort, at the end of Rhossili Bay. We were intrigued at the deep swales of the sand which impounded the receeding tidal sea water.

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On Burry Holms. We’d walked nearly the whole way round before we came across the ditch that must have been the rampart to the hill fort. Duh! I think this picture shows Alec in the ditch.

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Coming off the island (only accessible when the tide is out) I came across this graveyard of shells. Pretty dramatic!

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As we left Burry Holms a last look south across Rhossili Bay with Rhossili Downs – a popular hang-gliding location dominating the beach. Lots of surfing on this beach as well (camping at Hillend is £20 per night) – so much space!

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Walking through Broughton Burrows we again enjoyed the wildflowers, here some darker geranium, and some hare bells …

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Here a carpet of small blooms …

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The bay and cave at Foxhole Point, very secluded and difficult to see how you got down to it.

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Our first view of Broughton Bay with Hills Tor and Prissen’s Tor marking the end of the bay and the point at which Whiteford Sands begins. It was here that Alec elected to walk across the beach and I opted to stay on the Path and walk through the caravan site, behind the burrows and up over the hill behind Cwm Ivy.

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The view of Whiteford Sands and Burrows, looking across to Berges Island where we had walked the previous week. Just beyond this point is where I met up with Alec who had walked round the Tors and through the dunes in the foreground.

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A fantastic walk, much better than I’d ever expected it to be, and at 7.6 miles, an almost perfect length. We did the vehicle transfers in reverse and met up at the King Arthur’s Hotel in Reynoldston to relax and have a little fun. Again, I’ll leave it to Alec to expand on this, if he should so wish. Anyway this is the route I took – Alec deviated from it as we left Hillend but we both arrived at the path up to the car park at Llanmadoc at the same time …