One of my good friend’s birthday falls around the time of the May Bank holiday weekend – and it seems to have become a tradition that a group of us go camping. Good weather in the UK is never a sure bet but out come the tents and the barbeque’s in anticipation anyway.
This year we decided to explore a little bit of Wales and it was off to the beautiful coastline of the Gower. The Gower Peninsular is located in the south of Wales and is about an hour and a half drive away from Cardiff. The drive from Swansea onwards if very scenic and can be a bit hair-raising as cars squeeze past each other on the country lanes and in some cases come face to face before deciding who has to reverse first. I think we lost the stare down every time and our little Corsa got very used to moving backwards.
Our base for the weekend was the most southerly point of the Gower – Port Eynon. Port Eynon is a quaint little town full of character and cute cottages and offers some great cliff walks where the views are just spectacular. The beach is a little bit rocky but that did not stop us from having a game of rounders before exploring the rock pools in search of starfish. The weather remained good to us and we all enjoyed our first camping barbecue along with some tasty local Gower potatoes.
The next morning the weather was good to us again and I woke up to gorgeous sunshine. I had the perfect view of the campsite and ocean from my tent and was quite content to have my breakfast while watching the antics of the campsite.
As much as I liked Port Eynon it would be a waste of a weekend not venturing around the other parts of this dramatic limestone coastline. So we hopped in the car and drove to Rhossili Bay. This area is largely owned by the Natural Trust to preserve its beauty and you can see why with it’s 3 mile sandy beach and the prominent Worm’s Head. Access to the causeway to reach Worms Head is only possible 2.5 hours either side of low tide. As we arrived in the morning we decided to venture what we thought would be an easy walk across but turned out to be a bit of rock scrambling. It was worth all the effort just for the views.
I never did get to the tip of Worms Head though as it was the birds nesting season. I was happy enough to sit near a bird watcher and let him tell me what birds he could spot through his binoculars. A real big shame that hundreds of other people ignored the sign and went marching on. Lets hope nature has a way of coping with the disturbance and maybe the National Trust will monitor people’s walking around nesting season more closely.
I could not believe how packed the town of Rhossili had become while we were at Worms Head. Which was a shame as it took away the eerie feeling of the skeletal remains of the Helvetica ship wreck on an almost deserted beach. It also meant that I could not try some faggot at the local shop. No, is not a rude word but a traditional dish found mainly in the midlands in England. To sum it up it is like a meatball but made from meat off-cuts and offal. (I guess not everyone’s taste!)
After having enough of the crowds we went searching for a more quite spot to have our lunch. We chose Llangennith beach, known as a surfing beach and apparently a frequent haunt by young party people the locals would say it is far from quite! But if you find a spot amoung the dunes everything becomes still and you can watch all what is happening unseen.
When I eventually caught my £5 Megabus back to London, I reflected on how lovely my weekend was and what beautiful scenery Wales has to offer. I was also grinning to myself thinking Wales without the wellies was a good experience and it just goes to show that contrary to everyone’s belief the sun does shine in Wales.
Nominated for the Visit Wales Blog Awards 2009