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UK Travel Forum Your Travels in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the few other odd little Islands that Great Britain are left with.

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Old 17-07-2013, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A trip to the Gower Peninsula, Wales

I thought I'd start a separate thread for my pics and descriptions of this trip, so they come up on the first page making it easier for people to find and enjoy.

The Gower Peninsula is a NNR, National Nature Reserve, on the southern coast of Wales about 20 miles west of Swansea. In 1956 it was declared the UK's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, both of which mean development is very limited and the scenery is really unspoilt. So, no tacky arcades and shitty promenades along the coastline here!

So, me and a few mates decided to have a couple of days away here last weekend, seeing as the weather in the UK recently has been so good, after seeing some photo's of the stunning scenery and reading up on the general area. It was a bit of a last minute thing, and none of us had been there before, but we loaded up a couple of cars and headed to a campground near Oxwich Bay.

The journey there was a bit of a nightmare once we approached Swansea, and we were stuck in traffic for an hour or so in the midday sun, which was approaching 30c. I think half of Swansea and loads of people from England had the exact same idea as us, making the most of the glorious sunshine. But, we got there eventually, set up camp and as we were all hot and bothered we abandondoned our sightseeing plans for the day instead heading straight to the beach, beer cooler in hand.

This is what we found when we got to the beach at Oxwich Bay (A first attempt at using the "Panoramic" mode on my camera, stitching three shots together):


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Old 17-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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2 miles of completely unspoiled beach. We walked about a mile up the beach and cracked into the contents of the coolbox. It was bloody sweltering, by this time it was about 1.30 and hovering around 30c, the hottest day of the year so far in that area.

After a while, the beer wanted to exit my bladder so I walked up into the sand dunes to release the pressure, here's a couple of shots looking up and down the beach from the top of a dune:



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Old 17-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So, after a while we decided to head back to the campsite to cook up some grub. When we got back we noticed that all of us were glowing red, the sea breeze can be really deceptive, and those couple of hours in the sun had bloody cooked us without us noticing.

Seeing as we'd all already had a rake of beer we were pretty limited in what we could do as none of us could drive, so we just reloaded the coolbox and headed back down the beach.

I haven't really got many photo's, as the sunset set directly behind the beach making sunset shots an impossibility. Pissed me off a bit tbf, I was hoping to get some nice shots but hey ho. Here's a couple as the sun was going to bed anyway, pretty crappy but there you go:





Once the sun had set, we carried on drinking, cracked the Barbie out, turned on a small portable mp3 dock and made a campfire. I was unsure before we arrived whether it'd be allowed on the beach, but we'd asked around and found out it was OK and were directed to a place to buy firewood.

There were at least six campfires I counted up and down the beach and their was a fair "party" atmosphere. If you wanted to, you could go to the far end of the beach, camp there, and have a right little rave-up without anyone bothering ya I reckon, we're planning to do so on a longer trip in the near future, if the weather remains as good as it's been.

We stayed on the beach until late at night talking, drinking, smoking, eating and looking at the stars, it was a really nice night. (Sorry, no pics as they're all of me and my mates)
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Old 17-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Where did you travel down from?
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Old 17-07-2013, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So, next morning I got up at around 6.30am, before my mates were awake, and decided to take a stroll back down to Oxwich Bay and walk the entire length of the beach until I reached the small bay at the end, Tor Bay.

The Sun was glaring at me from the direction I was walking to so the photo's I took are all quite glarey, but some came out quite nice I think:

Looking back to where I entered the beach;



Looking toward the direction I was walking in:



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Old 17-07-2013, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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These pics show my progression up the beach, wasn't sure which ones I liked best so I'll just chuck a load up:





These next couple show where a river comes out onto the beach, and at the furthest curve Tor Bay:









Tor Bay:







So, I had a little sit for a while and it was time to hike back down the 2 miles of beach to see if me lazy bastard mates were up yet and for a bit of brekky.

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Old 17-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwarner View Post
Where did you travel down from?
Midlands mate, I stayed at my mates house near Stratford the night before so we could get an early start.

I'll upload the rest of me piccies later on, got to go out and do a few bits and bobs now.
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by khmen View Post
So, next morning I got up at around 6.30am, before my mates were awake, and decided to take a stroll back down to Oxwich Bay and walk the entire length of the beach until I reached the small bay at the end, Tor Bay.

The Sun was glaring at me from the direction I was walking to so the photo's I took are all quite glarey, but some came out quite nice I think:

Looking back to where I entered the beach;



Looking toward the direction I was walking in:



Shame all of your photos are not showing but I get the feel.

Only been to Wales once which was a weekend camping trip near mount Snowdon.

Beautiful on the way there but magnificent when we got there even though it pissed down for most of the time.

It was another great camping trip for me,always a laugh!

Would not want to spoil the tranquility of that beach photo but would love to scream along it on a Motocross bike
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Old 18-07-2013, 01:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Shame all of your photos are not showing but I get the feel. Only been to Wales once which was a weekend camping trip near mount Snowdon. Beautiful on the way there but magnificent when we got there even though it pissed down for most of the time. It was another great camping trip for me,always a laugh! Would not want to spoil the tranquility of that beach photo but would love to scream along it on a Motocross bike
Cheers Dave. Yeah I know what you mean mate, I'd have loved to have ripped a motoX bike about around there, some great riding terrain around the dunes and coastal paths down that way. To be honest, it's a great area to ride on road too, some really winding and hilly little roads with great views all along the coast.

Can anyone else not see all the pics? They all show for me, but maybe it's in my cache? I'll be pissed off if I have to re-upload them all to the TD gallery.
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Old 18-07-2013, 01:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry, double post.

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Old 18-07-2013, 01:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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So after I got back to the campsite we made a bit of brekky and decided to do a bit of sightseeing, seeing as how we basically just got pissed up and sat on a beach the day before.

We decided to head up to Rhossili Bay, an area I've read is very popular with surfers due to the big waves that come in from the Atlantic, but the day we went the sea was really placid so there weren't any about.

Anyway, we arrived at the southern end of the beach, parked up the motor and headed to a viewpoint at the top of the cliffs, and this is the view we were greeted with:






This rocky headland is known as The Worms Head, I'm not really sure why and as we were somewhat limited for time as we were leaving later in the day this is as close as I got to it:



Now, for summat a bit different from the beach shots:



Anyone know what type of bird of prey this is? It was sat on the cliff edge literally 3 metres away from us. I reckon it might be a peregrine falcon, but I'm not sure...

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Old 18-07-2013, 01:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Next, we walked to the top of the steep cliff path leading down to the beach, here's the start of the path:



And here's the view from the edge of the unfenced cliff:



And here's another attempt at a panoramic shot, stitching two together this time. Unfortunately, I didn't line them up quite right because the sun glaring on the viewfinder made it really hard to see properly:

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Old 18-07-2013, 02:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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So, we started to walk down the path to the beach and saw something I've never seen before in the UK:





An adder, sunning itself on the path. Apologies for the crap quality photos, but it was moving pretty fast and I didn't want to get too close to it! They ain't deadly I don't think, but they do have a venomous bite which is meant to be pretty painful!

Some more as we walked further down the cliff path:





At the bottom:






We sat in the shade of the cliffs, as it was approaching the hottest point of the day again, and we were all feeling a wee bit tender from the previous days burns and alcohol consumption. Really nice place to sit for a couple of hours and have a read.

Next, we headed to the stunning Three Cliffs Bay, but I haven't got time to upload the shots from there now, so I'll finish the thread off tomorrow evening.
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Old 18-07-2013, 02:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khmen View Post
So after I got back to the campsite we made a bit of brekky and decided to do a bit of sightseeing, seeing as how we basically just got pissed up and sat on a beach the day before.

We decided to head up to Rhossili Bay, an area I've read is very popular with surfers due to the big waves that come in from the Atlantic, but the day we went the sea was really placid so there weren't any about.

Anyway, we arrived at the southern end of the beach, parked up the motor and headed to a viewpoint at the top of the cliffs, and this is the view we were greeted with:





Now, summat a bit different from the beach shots:



Anyone know what type of bird of prey this is? It was sat on the cliff edge literally 3 metres away from us. I reckon it might be a peregrine falcon, but I'm not sure...
That is a Peregrine I would say,good shot mate of what is a fine Rapture!

Friend of mine kept Harris Hawks,but one had a Peregrine lovely bird pretty much the fastest flying foe from the sky!,its amazing to see these birds at work.
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Old 18-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Cheers Dave, I thought it might be but I'm not that knowledgeable about birds of prey. I remember working on the roof of a building site next to Coventry Cathedral a few years back, a couple of Peregrines were nesting in the spire there and I used to really enjoy watching them hunting the pigeons etc. Beautiful birds.
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Old 18-07-2013, 05:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That beach looks great and not too many people, not like the pics i've seen of Brighton!!
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Old 18-07-2013, 08:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Where are the rocks?
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Old 18-07-2013, 11:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The Vikings thought the rocks were a dragon.

Worm's Head in Rhossili, Gower
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Old 19-07-2013, 01:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsycat
That beach looks great and not too many people, not like the pics i've seen of Brighton!!
Yeah, we came past a beach near Swansea on the way there, Mumbles Beach I think, and it was absolutely rammed to the rafters. I think the amount of people in these photos is about as busy as the Gower ever gets! Really peaceful unspoilt area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by withnallstoke
Where are the rocks?
Sorry Withnall! TBH mate, even if we'd have had a bit more time I probably wouldn't have done much walking, it was absolutely scorching for the UK! I'm planning to go back there for sure at some point though for a few days to walk all the coastal paths, so I'll keep adding to this thread as and when,

Here's some consolation rocks for you :








Quote:
Originally Posted by can123
The Vikings thought the rocks were a dragon. Worm's Head in Rhossili, Gower
Nice one Can, I was going to look it up myself but you saved me a job. Interesting stuff, thanks.



I haven't got time to finish the thread this evening, I've had a ballache of a day at work so I'll try to finish it either tomorrow or Saturday, cheers.
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Old 19-07-2013, 02:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khmen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsycat
That beach looks great and not too many people, not like the pics i've seen of Brighton!!
Yeah, we came past a beach near Swansea on the way there, Mumbles Beach I think, and it was absolutely rammed to the rafters. I think the amount of people in these photos is about as busy as the Gower ever gets! Really peaceful unspoilt area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by withnallstoke
Where are the rocks?
Sorry Withnall! TBH mate, even if we'd have had a bit more time I probably wouldn't have done much walking, it was absolutely scorching for the UK! I'm planning to go back there for sure at some point though for a few days to walk all the coastal paths, so I'll keep adding to this thread as and when,

Here's some consolation rocks for you :








Quote:
Originally Posted by can123
The Vikings thought the rocks were a dragon. Worm's Head in Rhossili, Gower
Nice one Can, I was going to look it up myself but you saved me a job. Interesting stuff, thanks.



I haven't got time to finish the thread this evening, I've had a ballache of a day at work so I'll try to finish it either tomorrow or Saturday, cheers.
I love the rocks in the bag for all the wrong reasons! Now back on track please
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Old 20-07-2013, 02:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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So, after we left Rhossili Bay we went for a walk along a clifftop path over the headland separating Oxwich Bay and Three Cliffs Bay. Again, it was scorching and we were suffering because of the previous days sunburn so it was only a brief visit before we went back to the campsite to pack up and go home.

In the distance you can just make out the very far end of Oxwich Bay:



Following the path, you get your first glimpse of the back of the bay, where a river flows out of a valley to meet the sea:





Then, as you follow the path a bit more, you come to a viewpoint over the mouth of the bay and you're greeted with one of the nicest coastal views I've personally seen in the UK:









And that's pretty much it, time to go home. As I said, I'll definitely be back there at some point, for a few days next time, and I'll have a bit more of an in-depth explore of the cliffs and coastal paths. I'll update this thread as and when.
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Old 20-07-2013, 02:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yes,Wales is beautiful...we like it. Thanks for the pics and commentary.
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Old 21-07-2013, 10:13 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Wonderful pictures and they make me miss home (sob, sob)!

I grew up in the Gower and lived in "The Mumbles" which is the start of the Gower and where all the hotels, pubs and guest houses are. My Mum had a guest house.

The Gower has incredible beaches and all water sport activities - I still remember surfing on Christmas Day in the sleet, snow and freezing conditions (hence I moved to Thailand in 1990)!

The pictures that you took of Llangenith reminded me of the Annual British Surf Competion (took part in 2). I started watersking when I was 6 and surfing when I was 11 (now 60+) - amazing days and in my 20's about 20 boats ( 8 - 12 man crew) we used to sail across the channel to Ilfracombe for a monthly piss up! there are great water sport activities on the Gower and the beaches are some of the best in the world (if the sun is shining).

The Gower is a wonderful place to tour and my Thai wife has been there 2 times in their "summer", which you always laughed at our friends for being in shorts and t shirts while we were in jackets and scarves. She is used to the cold as we spent 1 year working in Moscow which was a little worse = minus 36!!

I would thoroughly recommend the Gower as a great place to experience the beauty of the UK, but dont forget to take a coat!!!!

Whicker (named by my Mumbles friends after having visited 80 countries and worked in 25).

PS I left the UK in 1980 and moved to paradise (Phuket) in 1990.
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Old 21-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Excellent a part of Wales i have yet to visit.
Spent about 4-5 months down south, construction.
I thought the photo of the raptor was a "sparrowhawk" but on closer inspection and going by the plumage i would say that was a "Kestrel".
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Old 21-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well done mate on those pics , Ive nicked a few to have a go at in me art thread ,, allthough they wont look like your photo,s as I will have to add " artistic licence " to them to make them look more like paintings
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