My Walk this Week – Taste of Gower, Llanmadoc

My walk this week is another Taste of Gower walk organised by Steve Lancey with the Gower Landscapes Partnership. The walk started from the village of Llanmadoc on the northern tip of the Gower Peninsula. The weather was fine and still but with storms threatening.

We headed down to the beach which took us past the woodland we would return through and the dramatic rock outcrops that are a feature of the place – worth climbing too, but not today.

Llanmadoc Walk-1

I’ll get onto the beach in tomorrow’s post but in the meantime I have included a short sound clip of a blackbird and a cockerel welcoming us on this typical Gower lane.

Morning Cockerel

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Descending Through the Wild Woods

Descending from the hill at Weobley Castle to the level of the salt marshes on my circular walk this week on the northern edge of the Gower Peninsula, we passed through some woodland which was filled with wild flowers.

It is always good to see bluebells and it is also good to see wild garlic. Even though the scent can be almost overwhelming at times, I love both the sight and the smell garlic in the woods.

Bluebells

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see more of the post, thank you.

A Field of Fog and Fences

When I arrived at the highest point of my walk this week and rose above the fog, I was taken completely by surprise. Despite having walked through the mist, I hadn’t expected to see such a solid looking wall of it completely blocking the view I would normally have over the Loughor estuary and beyond to the Gower peninsula.

field of fog

However, on turning my eyes to the north, the scene was clearer and the last wisps of mist were Continue reading

My Walk this Week 23 – Hill Walk

When I started out on my walk this week I though it promised to be a bright and sunny walk. The mist was already lifting from the valley and my expectations felt fairly well founded. This will be shown at one point to have been optimistic – keep watching through this week.

My photos start about half way up one of our local hills, Graig Fawr, but my full walk rises from a few metres above sea level to 276 metres (905 ft) at the trig point at the highest point.

The photo below, of the view over the Loughor estuary towards the Gower Peninsula, was taken from where the trees are in the first shot and includes the 11 arched railway bridge but not the intrusive red logo of Tesco which I had great pleasure in cropping out, though annoyance at having to do so.

Graig Fawr Walk

The birds sounded as though they shared my optimism at the stage of my walk – listen below.

Graig Fawr Birds

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Rhosilli Down and Reviewing the Week 59

My walk this week along the ridge of Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula started with a beautiful February day. In spite of the falling rain to be seen in the image below, the weather mostly held bright for me and the walk, aside from a painful descent at the end, was very enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area.

If your knees, like mine, warn you against it, then I suggest a flatter walk out to the end of the peninsula for a closer look at the Worm’s Head and a more distant look at the Down. You may be able to watch the hang gliders and birds soaring above the hill slope and beach.

In the meantime, listen to the soundscape below and click the first thumbnail image below to view a selection of this weeks walk photos in sequence.

Rain clouds

The soundscape below is, I feel, a little condensed but illustrates the changes in wind, the activities in the sky and the ground underfoot. I expect the StillWalks video to be about twice the length and therefore I will have a bit more flexibility with soundscape for it.

Rhosilli Down Soundscape

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Clinging to the Cliffs

Approaching the steep descent to Rhosilli from up on Rhosilli Down and towards the end of my walk this week on the Gower Peninsula, my knees had just about had enough for the day.

The views had been and still were spectacular but the height I had to climb down from can be seen in the footpath photo below. That is not the path that I would follow as that one descends right down to the beach and Rhosilli itself is at the top of the cliffs from which that path clings. However, the way for me would still be steep and my knees had decided to complain.

I postponed the inevitable and took some more shots of the wall and fence near the start of the downhill track and the distant threatening weather (see tomorrow). Finally, though, I plucked up the courage and began literally inching my way painfully down the slope. My only other option would have been to call for a helicopter and things weren’t so bad to tempt me to suffer that embarrassment.

I reached the bottom eventually and after returning home, spent the next couple of days with my feet up! This is not something that often happens to me but for whatever reason, occasionally my knees protest. Certainly I have always preferred ascent to descent.

Cliff footpath

The wind was quite calm at this point on my walk and so the sound clip below is mostly the continuous motion of the sea. The sound is not rhythmical as you might expect of waves, but it is quite distinct from the sound of the wind.

Sound of the Sea

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

 

Walking Under the Radar

Considering that the old WWII radar station on Rhosilli Down is in ruins, I was definitely walking under the radar when I reached this point on my walk this week. The light and shade on the old slabs of concrete made for some interesting abstract patterns in the landscape.

old radar station

Rocks in the Landscape

From this viewpoint on my walk over Rhosilli Down at the end of the Gower Peninsula, I wouldn’t need to do much by way of camouflage to hide the houses of Llangennith, as they already appear to fit so well with the rocks in the landscape.

I recently attended a talk at our local library by Geraint Owen of the geography department at Swansea University. It was a fascinating illustrated talk about the geology of our local area and so I now understand the reasons behind the forms of the rocks in the outcrops in the last couple of photos below.

I am not going to go into the details of this geology but Geraint and his associate Siwan Davies have developed a series of 10 wonderful walking leaflets featuring details of walks and the local geology. Unfortunately a direct link to the website currently reveals it to be under construction, but at least it gives contact details.

Llangennith from Rhosilli Down

There is a fair wind blowing in the sound clip below. The background sound of surf in the sea mingles with it but none of that stops the skylarks singing and there are not in my opinion, many sounds more uplifting than an lark.

Wind, Sea and Larks

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

One Last Tree and Reviewing the Week 51

My walk this week may have been from a different year but that winter was almost as mild as this one has been. Had these photos been taken in 2015/16, there would probably have been more rain than mist but hopefully that would  not have stopped me doing the walk. I am, however, looking forward to some drier walks in the coming year!

Tree and Mist

Try listening to this soundscape of the walk while viewing the images in sequence – click the play button and then the first thumbnail below.

Misty Walk Soundscape

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Back to the Top Again – Happy New Year

The mist is still there as I climb back up the bracken covered side of Ryer’s Down on the Gower Peninsula. It could be said that yesterday’s magical atmosphere in the woods has come with me into the new year – mist can certainly have a mystical effect on things (sorry about the pun).

The landscape can look very different depending on the conditions. Trying always to look at things with a fresh eye helps me see what is there and appreciate the subtle differences.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Footpath and Tree

Misty Landscape

Misty Gower Landscape