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Wales Part Two: The Gower


Our Wales trip continued with a weekend at the western end of the Gower, around Rhossili Bay. The entire peninsula represented new territory, another beautiful part of the British Isles prompting a ‘why haven’t we been here before’ moment.

Exploration began on Saturday, leaving Hillend campsite we climbed the ridge to Rhossili Down, the highest point on the Gower peninsula, taking in the sweeping three mile Rhossili beach below. The ridge-walk passes remains of a WWII radar station and a less obvious Iron Age fort. Rhossili village lies at the ridge’s northern end, it’s Norman church has a memorial to Edgar Evans, a Gowerian and member of Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition party who perished alongside Scott on their return from the Pole (see our 11 May ’12 Journal post on the Natural History Museum Scott’s Last Expedition exhibition).

Continuing, we joined the Wales Coast Path and negotiating it’s oversized serrations on our approach to the well-named Worms Head. A timely arrival saw the causeway just exposed by a retreating tide so we walked the extra mile to the tip of the headland. Seals followed us, heads bobbing in the sea alongside or observing from rock ledges at sea level. The homeward stretch was broken with a pint of locally brewed Tomos Watkins Worms Head ale on the high terrace of the The Helvetia Bar. We returned to Hillend along the beach, the sunset blazed as we watched wetsuited figures continuing to enjoy the surf.

Early Sunday morning we retraced the first part of yesterdays walk to a section of hedgerow laden with late season blackberries – a tasty addition to our porridge. As the morning mist gave way to another sunny day we took inspiration from the dusk surfers, hired wetsuits from PJ’s Surf Shop in Llangennith and spent the day whizzing through the surf on body-boards.

Coming onto the Gower on Friday we passed the marshes of the Loughor estuary and spotted a sign for local lamb. Cumbrian salt marsh lamb is incredible, I was keen to learn if the Gower grazing imparted that same herby flavour. Howells Butchers provided us with a fabulous looking leg joint and so we have a tasting planned for this Sunday with a review to follow in a future Journal post.