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

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

Sounds of Swansea Bay Cycle Path

For all the years I have lived near Swansea, I have never walked the full length of the cycle/footpath from Swansea to Mumbles, just different parts of it at different times.

The path runs along the top of the beach from Swansea’s maritime quarter right round to Mumbles Lifeboat Station. On the other side is Oystermouth Road, a busy road along which tourists must drive as well as locals to reach the Gower Peninsula, one of Wales’ most popular areas and was designated as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956.

Despite the proximity of Oystermouth Road, the sound clips I recorded recently might suggest that the road is much further away than it is. There was plenty of traffic on it at the time but the light breeze was blowing away from the cycle/footpath and so even for my iPhone, this was not the predominant sound.

Swansea Cycle Path 1

Swansea Bay Cycle Path

Swansea Bay Cycle Path

Swansea Bay Cycle Path

Architecture – Victorian Footbridge, Swansea

This is going to be a StillWalks week of architecture! Starting with the old, these images are of the remains of the footbridge by Victoria Park, St Helens in Swansea. The bridge itself was dismantled for safety a few years ago but I am pleased that the steps have been left as I find it an attractive structure.

I may be behind with my post production (see note below re featured videos), but that does not mean I am not always looking out for new locations for StillWalks videos. Swansea beach, seafront and marina are all locations I would like to use and in time I expect I will manage it. For now, however, I will continue to keep my eyes and ears open to the possibilities for StillWalks in all kinds of environment – man made as well as natural.

St Helen's Footbridge

Swansea Beach

St Helen's - SwanseaFeatured SillWalks Videos – I’m afraid this is going to be another week without a featured StillWalks video. I have a number of productions to complete and I look forward to adding these to the StillWalks collection. For now there is, as always, access to sample length videos is available through the Walks menus and you can always buy them at anytime for as little as £1.50.

Somewhere in Between – Going Black and White

At first glance these images may appear to be black and white – but of course, there is colour in there, it’s just very subtle. The view looks across Swansea Bay and towards Mumbles Lighthouse in South Wales. The weather, being wild and windy with a lot of changing sunlight and shade, made the sea a range of greys and it was the intermittent clouds that created much of the contrast.

I debated whether or not to make them monotone and I tried it out as it seemed the obvious thing to do. I made the necessary adjustments as best I could to ensure they worked, and tried out some whackier filters and balances. However, in the end I found I prefer that subtlety of colour that is there if you look closely, and gives a different atmosphere to the images than was the case when converted to black and white.

I made small adjustments to all the images. They could all have been made much more dramatic but I guess I am a lover of nuance, and so decided to stick with what you see!

Swansea Bay

Black and white sea

View to Mumbles

High Winds in Swansea Bay-35

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

Paypal button

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High Winds and High Seas

The strong winds in the UK last week brought with it the opportunity to do a bit of photography. Swansea Bay didn’t get the forecast storm as badly as other places but the winds were still high.

There was a mixture of light with the sun shining through the clouds from time to time and the next moment the atmosphere was murky to say the least. I have a number of shots to post from this event and I am starting today with two that illustrate the darkness of the weather.

The wind was wild and it was almost impossible to keep myself steady let alone the camera. I could have straightened the first image easily and did so to begin with. Then I realised that the angle of the shot helped to emphasise the wild conditions.

The second shot has been manipulated. There was very little colour in the scene anyway and I felt that giving it a sepia tinge helped this aspect of the atmosphere. To further help the photo feel more like my experience of the location, I also blurred the foreground and added grain.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out this week’s featured StillWalks video at the bottom of this post – “Moss Wood Walk” from Neath, South Wales. It will be there all week.

High Winds in Swansea Bay

High Winds in Swansea Bay

You can use the new Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Moss Wood Walk” which is from Gnoll Park in Neath, South wales. Click the image below to watch the video.

Paypal button

Evening Over Swansea

I have been told that the thing to do is to climb Kilvey Hill at the end of the day when the sun is going down and enjoy the spectacle not only of the sunset but of Swansea gradually lighting up.

We were already half way down the hill when this was said so I will have to wait a little longer for this experience – I just need to make sure it doesn’t take me another 30 years! (see Friday’s post – Ticking the List).

In these photos you can see Mumbles Lighthouse in the background, Swansea just beginning to light up and the Meridian Tower with the bay behind. The full collection can be seen (and bought) on the StillWalks Photography website.

Mumbles

Walking down Kilvey Hill – Mumbles in the distance

Mumbles in the Background

Mumbles in the Background

Swansea Bay

The Lights are Coming On

Meridian Tower

Meridian Tower

Ticking the List – A Walk up Kilvey Hill, Swansea

Finally, at last, after nearly 30 years, I have climbed Kilvey Hill in Swansea! It is one of those things I have meant to do since moving to the area but just never managed to get round to, even though it is almost on my doorstep.

The Transition Swansea group, which I signed up to last November, arranged a walk up the hill on Wednesday evening and it was all I needed to make the move. I had spent most of the day driving and so it was a welcome change of activity and well worth it for the views.

Over the next few days I am going to post some of the photos I took on the walk but they can all be seen (and bought) anytime through the StillWalks Photography website.

Swansea from Kilvey Hill-

Swansea Harbour

Swansea from Kilvey Hill-

Swansea Bay

Swansea from Kilvey Hill-

Mumbles Lighthouse

Swansea from Kilvey Hill-

Walking up the Kilvey Hill