A Visit to Mumbles

Last week I had to visit Mumbles – a very popular place at the western end of Swansea Bay and at the gateway to the Gower Peninsula. It is a major tourist attraction and I enjoyed my short visit despite the dreary weather. Unfortunately my reason for visiting was to collect some videos from the Tourist Information Centre or TIC which had just closed.

It seems illogical to me to do this. I imagine it is partly because it is so much cheaper to deliver these services online. However, a balance of digital and “hard copy” is what I have always believed to be the best and most cost effective means of delivering a service or resource. I suspect that both visitors and town will loose out as a result of this change and I hope that the centre is able to set up afresh in a new premises.

The structures in the first image are Mumbles Pier and the new RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Mumbles lifeboat station

Mumbles seagulls

Historic Elements of the Landscape

I photographed these old fence posts towards the end of my production walk on Rhossili Down. I don’t know what their history is with regard to the pattern of holes but the second image shows an old WWII radar station facing out to sea at the end of the Gower Peninsula.

Also included in todays post is the collection of images from this past week along with a few that were not included in the individual posts – I hope you enjoy 🙂

Old Posts

Ruined WWII installation

A Sense of Freedom

I wasn’t able to ask the ponies and I didn’t ask the people, but I like to think that they were both enjoying the sense of freedom that can be felt in places like Rhossili Bay. Whether it be on top of the Down or down in the Bay, the sense of space and freedom is the greatest attraction for me and many others.

Rhossili Down is not that high but being next to the sea means that you are able to appreciate the full scale of this feature, particularly when you look down to those tiny people on the beach below.

People on Rhossili Down

Ponies on Rhossili Down

People on Rhossili Beach

Walking the Cliff Paths

Rhossili, Rhossili Bay, Rhossili Downs, the cliffs, the beach – all are popular places throughout the year at the end of the Gower Peninsula. It’s not difficult to see why and fortunately the large expanse of the bay and the hills above mean that it rarely feels overcrowded.

Cliff path

Man on the Downs

Seeing the Sea Wall – A Confusion of Scale

The scale of the sea wall separating Swansea beach and Swansea harbour can be seen here without to much ambiguity. However, when looking from the top end, at its lowest point to the ground, a confusion of scale becomes apparent.

While it seems from the top of the beach that the wall doesn’t “grow” in size much at all, as you walk towards the sea beside the wall, it becomes gradually apparent, until, at its highest point, you realise the true scale of it towering above you. The same effect of space distorted can be seen if you approach the wall “broadside” from a distance along the beach.

It doesn’t matter that I know the scale of the wall and have approached it in this way many time, that strange confusion of scale does its trick on my perception of it every time.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of spacial effect here or anywhere else?

Sea Wall rusty sea wall

Stumped

This large tree stump made it look like the tree had been growing straight out of the sand on Swansea beach.

Swansea harbour wall

tree stump

Coastal Features

The stony beach at Cwm Nash on the Bristol Channel coast of South Wales is made up of some pretty large stones – it is not shingle! This makes it difficult to walk, but perhaps there is some compensation for this in the amazing flat rock strata at the foot of the cliffs.

To see these you will have to watch the new StillWalks video, “Breakers Walk”, which will be available to view on Saturday. The sights and sounds of the woodland and waves ar, as ever, unique to the time ad place they were recorded.

Cliff top fence

breaker

Looking at the View – Swansea Bay

Looking in opposite directions from the middle of Swansea Bay cycle / foot path, you see Mumbles lighthouse and RNLI lifeboat station in the west and Meridian Tower by the maritime quarter in the east.

Swansea Bay Mumbles

Swansea Bay