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.

Port Eynon to Nicholaston Farm

Our second day on The Gower, I awoke quite tired, but not as tired as poor A&A because their lilo had developed a puncture! They went off to Swansea to get a new footpump, having repaired the bed. Luckily, that was to prove a success, otherwise we’d have had to abandon the trip. So with the weather gloomy again, but with the promise of a better afternoon, we decided to put off our walk until after lunch which we had in The Ship at Port Eynon.

Alec has a thing about walking on sand. So although the WCP went behind the dunes between Port Eynon and Horton … we had to walk along the sand. Much grumbling and moaning from me – I hate walking on sand. We soon got beyond Horton however and enjoyed the low-level cliff walk looking down on the wave-cut platform and with me in my element describing solifluction terraces, periglaciation and abandoned cliffs. I may have ended up in computing, but my heart and mind has always been that of a geographer/geologist!

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Looking back towards Port Eynon …

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… and the WCP diversion near Slade where the path has slipped into the sea.

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We were then not far from Oxwich and then the drizzled came down, heavier and heavier by the minute! We just had to stop at the Oxwich Bay Hotel to get some respite (for me – Doom Bar). We had a great chat with a couple from Northern Ireland who were camping nearby and if we’d had transport outside would have quite happily stayed there longer than we did. But we had to get across Oxwich Bay and the stream at it’s eastern end …

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… before tackling Nicholaston Burrows which thankfully were not as exhausting as the ones at Penmaen the day before. Once again we enjoyed the wildflowers at the end of our 7 mile walk …

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… but I, for one, was very pleased to have a lovely warm shower and dry out after climbing the hill to the campsite, before settling back for another lovely evening of food and drink.