Taste of Gower Walk, Three Cliffs Coffee Shop

StillWalks will be joining this eighth Taste of Gower walk for 2016 at Three Cliffs Coffee Shop on South Gower. I will be photographing the walk and carrying out some field recording. These will be displayed on the StillWalks blog a couple of weeks after the walk and before the next taste of Gower walk.

Meet in the Three Cliffs Coffee Shop at Pennard for a circular walk along the cliffs to Three Cliffs Bay with a talk and cup of tea back at the cafe afterwards.

The walk will be approximately miles long.

Parking Options: National Trust car park at Pennard – Pay and Display

Leaving the Cliffs Behind and Reviewing the Walk

Monknash footpath

leaving the cliffs behind

Although I said I didn’t do much field recording on this walk, I did manage to capture the sound of the wild wind there that day and if you listen carefully you will also hear the sound of a buoy bell ringing two or three times. The buoy floats just offshore and now and then was tossed roughly enough by the wind and waves to sound out faintly through the roar of wind and sea. Be warned – I have added the sound of the old fog horn to the end of this soundscape but there is an amusing ending to it if you care to listen.

Nash Point Soundscape

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Content of the Cliff

Nearing the end of my walk this week from Nash Point to Monknash on the South Wales cliff-lined coast I have arrived at the mouth of Nash Brook and a place where the cliff tops come down to beach level. Looking at the content of the cliff it is easy to see why they are no longer the towering structures I have been enjoying along the rest of the walk. Although the durability (or lack of) in the layers and blocks of the cliffs can be seen in the structures and curves in photos below, the geology seen in this first image is much softer and in part explains the small valley from which Nash Brook flows.

cliff texture

Layer Upon Layer and Pieces of the Jigsaw

The depth of each layer of the cliffs along this section of the South Wales coast varies, as do the colours. From my artist’s viewpoint (or anyone else’s for that matter) these make for some fascinating and beautiful patterns. I know the basics about the geology going on in features like this and the length of time involved, but you will have to ask a specialist such as Jessica’s Nature Blog or perhaps Google.

Huge chunks of the cliffs have fallen onto the pavement below. No doubt this has happened over millennia, but whatever the timescale and geology, it is difficult not to be in awe at the structural patterns in them and the wider layout of the what could be the draughts pieces of giants.

cliff layers

Round Stones in a Sea of Rectangles

One of the strangest things on my walk this week at the foot of the cliffs along the South Wales shore between Nash Point and Monknash, were the smooth round stones nestled in amongst the rectangular rocks of the wave platform pavement. I almost expected them to be polished to a shine in the same way that gem stones are made smooth and reflective for display. The wave action of tumbling the stones against the harder rocks of the pavement has produced a fascinating juxtaposition of forms. Speaking of which, having walked across such an expanse of wave platform, it was then a surprise to come upon a wide area of beautifully smooth sand!

Roundstones

Roundstones

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Alien Landscape and Pavement Perspective

My walk this week at Nash Point was like walking in an alien landscape, or a set for Dr Who and this stretch of coastline at Southerndown was used as a location for the time lord.

I risked going quite close to the foot of the cliffs to get these shots on my iPhone but didn’t hang around there for long. The cliffs are continually being eroded by sea and wind and I felt  much more comfortable taking in the pavement perspective of the wave platform a lull further back from the rocky layer cake that makes up the cliffs.

Nash Point

Nash Point

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Waves of Stone

Having first visited Nash Point Lighthouse on my walk this week, we actually started our circular walk at site of the StillWalks production “Breakers Walk”. From there we walked along the cliff tops back towards the Nash Point. The tide was out and the view over the wave platforms of this stretch of the South Wales coast were incredible. The patterns of those waves of stone were so clear – it was as though time had frozen still and allowed the structures to form in an instant.

Waves of Stone

Waves of Stone

wave platform

 

Nash Point footpath

Descent to Nash Point

My Walk this Week – Nash Point

My walk this week is from Nash Point on the South Wales coast. It is a place that holds memories for me, not least of which is a schools / RNLI project I did with HyperAction some years ago – “Launch the Lifeboats, Stories of Wreck and Rescue in the Bristol Channel”. Other memories are of the cliff lined, wave platform shoreline between Nash Point and Monknash where I produced the StillWalks video “Breakers Walk” for CARIAD, the research unit at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The lighthouse, its foghorn (no longer used but listen below) and the cliffs with the wave platform at their foot makes this a truly amazing place.

Nash Point Lighthouse

Nash Point Lighthouse

It was pretty windy when we were there and I did not get much done in the way of field recording. – that is not what we were there for. I didn’t even take my camera so all photography for my walk this week was done on my iPhone.

I recorded the clip below on the “Lifeboats” project and you will be able to hear the wind between the blasts of the fog horn if you are not too blown away by the horn itself!

Nash Point Fog Horn

Nash Point Fog Horn

Nash Point Fog Horn

Monkfish Cliffs

Monkfish Cliffs