Mumbles to Nicholaston Farm

The 2015 Wales Coast Path season opened on the 13th July when Alec & Angie, Jenny and myself went down to Nicholaston Farm Camp site to do a few walks and try and get as far round The Gower as we could in four days. The weather was not with us as we set off on the first walk from Mumbles.

We didn’t leave until after mid-day and it was damp and grey as we posed outside The Pilot. Believe it or not – we didn’t stop there, or have a drink all day! We’d previously been to our campsite at Nicholaston Farm to enable Alec & Angie to pitch their tent and for us to get our pitch for #duettovan.

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Off along the promenade we went past the lifeboat station and round the headland before we descended down into Limeslade Bay. Not much thought of photo taking at this stage. I’d decided to only walk with the iPhone today, so the pictures that follow are included to record the walk, not to represent “good images”. The light was terrible! We were soon in Langland Bay – not much dawdling at this stage as we pressd on through the gloom.

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Leaving Langland Bay behind us, we walked past Snaple Point …

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… and on towards Whiteshell Point.

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Climbing up to Whiteshell Point …

… and then we were heading towards Caswell Bay. No photos of this as we headed inland following the high tide path, before it dropped back to rejoin the main path above Brandy Cove and then on towards Pwlldu Bay.

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The walk was going well at this stage. The clouds almost seemed to be lifting as we walked a rather muddy and slippery path around the National Trust managed Pwlldu Head. We followed the path along the edge of the cliffs towards Southgate – omitting the pub on our right that we passed – and headed for Penmaen Burrows.

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It has to be said that up to this point things had not gone too badly. The weather hadn’t been kind to us, the ground had been a bit slippery in places and we’d made good time. This was all about to change as we scrambled across, down and through Penmaen Burrows.

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It’s difficult to describe just how sapping sand dunes can be at the end of a walk. The size of them is quite amazing!

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And then, just as you think you’re getting out of them and you’re not far from the end of your walk, there’s another sequence to clamber down.

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On the plus side, we did see some lovely wildflowers, mainly geranium, in this section …

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… before we crossed the stepping stones …

… and started the last climb up through the Burrows and on to the coastal road, to then drop back into the campsite by its back footpath entrance. We walked about 10 miles. It took us over 5 hours. We were exhausted at the end. We ate round at Alec & Angie’s tent and enjoyed a delicious home made blackcurrent tart.

Letting the bike take the strain

A change of strategy for this section of the Wales Coastal Path. Alec and I decided to take our bikes on the back of #duettovan to Pyle and then cycle to The Mumbles. A good decision because it enabled us to to get through the built-up areas of Port Talbot and Swansea quickly. The ride was of 31 miles which included the return back to Swansea Railway Station for the train ride back.

The highlights? The route Alec took us around the back of Margam Country Park yielded a lake where we watched a model boat club sailing their vessels. Then there was the surprise of the Aberavon promenade and seafront which neither of us had seen before. A lovely expanse of sand.
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The marina at Swansea, I’d never seen before either – we watched as two boats went through the lock and then we cycled along the seafront against a wind that seemed to get stronger the further we went. Eventually we got to Mumbles and found a great pub – The Pilot – which has its own micro-brewery and also serves a mean pint of Bass, a beer I hadn’t tasted for several years. Lovely.

The ride back to Swansea was much easier. The tide had gone out and with it the wind had died down. The sun had shone all day, the legs which had been tired in Mumbles recovered on the platform at Swansea as we waited for the train to take us back to Pyle.

The Google Map of the trip is shown below …