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A Week on the Gower Peninsula. Day 4. A Clifftop Walk to Mewslade Bay.

Walking toward Mewslade Bay.

Day 4 of our visit to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Day 1 is here, day 2, here, and day 3, here.

Our walk along the Rhossili Beacon had been pretty challenging, so we thought we’d stick to more level ground for the day following our wedding anniversary. The Ordnance Survey Explorer map of the Gower (164) showed a number of paths along the coast, and we’d picked up the National Trust’s useful leaflet about Rhossili, which also detailed a number of local paths, so we decided we’d take a circular route via Mewslade Bay.

The National Trust map of the area, from their free leaflet.

We set off along the track toward Worm’s Head, as that leads to other coastal paths including the Wales Coast Path, which we intended to follow. The wind was still strong, but less than the gale force of the previous day, and the sky appeared to have watched the weather forecast and agreed with the BBC that rain was less likely. In fact, for most of the way we travelled under broken cloud with patches of welcome blue. Just a short spell of rain toward the end of our walk, followed by a lot more once we were back in the hotel.

The track toward Worm’s Head.

We met few people as we’d set off relatively early, after a good breakfast. Rhossili Bay appeared on our right for a while until we reached the point not far from the Coast Guard Lookout Station, where we turned south to follow the drystone wall along the top of the cliff, slowly turning southeast toward Tears Point. From the path, we had good views of the craggy cliffs that characterise this coast and, behind us, of the Worm’s Head. The village slowly came into view over the top of the wall to the northeast.

Rhossili Bay from the path.
The wind creates broad bands of surf in the bay.
The rocky base of the cliffs.
The path passes through gorse and other bushes.
Rhossili village appears.
A steep drop toward the rocks.
Worm’s Head reappears.

It was a quiet trek and we enjoyed the fresh breeze and changing views as the dips and rises gave us new perspectives.

Fall Bay comes into view.

At Tears Point we turned northeast for a short way, now moving toward Fall Bay, a popular spot for surfers. We were tempted off the main path here, hoping to descend to the attractive looking beach below, where we could see a surfer entering the breakers. But the way down was narrow, steep and very slippery, so we allowed discretion to be the better part of valour and continued along our way.

The path leading toward Fall Bay.
Looking back the way we had travelled.
A wind sculpted tree along the path.
From the clifftop above Fall Bay.
The narrow, steep path leading down to Fall Bay.

At one point, we spotted a Merlin hovering briefly over the water, and I managed to capture it on my camera; a small image, but one that encapsulated the environment and the bird in flight.

A Merlin hovers above the sea as a surfer enjoys the waves.
The path passes lots of fascinating rock formations.
Looking back toward Fall Bay.

We moved on, now going direct east toward Mewslade Bay. What we didn’t appreciate at the time was we’d veered away from the main coast path. But the scenery was so captivating that was of no consequence. We came across a narrow strip of rugged rock pointing out to sea. Looked the sort of place I might’ve dared investigate more closely when a foolhardy youth, but the maturity of arthritis warned me off such an adventure and I was happy to make do with photographs. A pair of odd oval stone shelters appeared and we had a closer look. No idea who’d built these, or why. But they’d give some small relief from the wind, though not much from any rain.

The path runs by a drystone wall for a short stretch.
The rugged coast.
Enjoying the walk.
Looking down to a small stretch of sand.
The narrow rocky promentary.
Valerie tries out one of the rock shelters.

The path then veered away from the coast and took us a bit further inland, where we came upon a makeshift barrier with a notice displayed by the National Trust, explaining that they were attempting different plants in the hope of attracting some birds to the area. It was out of bounds for the time being because of this.

Gorse is a tough plant but the prevailing winds have bent this one horizontal.
The path dips down as the countryside comes into view.
The oddly constructed barrier to stop access to the field.
The National Trust notice.

We continued on the smaller path we were following and came to a drop toward Mewslade Bay. There, we found a rather well-made drystone wall with the path running beside it. A father and his young daughter were collecting blackberries from the wild bramble briars and we asked him where the path led.

The path leading to Mewslade Bay.


In one direction, it took us to a very narrow rocky inlet on the bay. This was full of foam from the breaking surf on the rocks. The sea tide was now out, but access via this route was unwise and unattractive, so we returned along the path. We passed a rocky outcrop with some weather sculpted holes that had been partially blocked with iron bars to prevent the curious from entering them. It wasn’t hard to imagine the rescue organisation extracting some unwary potholer from these narrow spaces before the barriers had been put in place.

Foam filled entrance to Mewslade Bay.
The path runs through a deep valley from Mewslade Bay.
Holes sculpted in the rock by erosion.

Further along, we came to a pleasant track through trees leading to a farmyard and then a car park on the edge of the village of Pitton. We joined the road here for a short way until we reached Middleton, where we were able to cross the fields and make our way back toward the edge of Rhossili.

A pleasant path runs through trees toward Pitton.
The tree tunnel continues toward the road and car park.
We passed through a field of sunflowers planted for the seeds for bird food.

We stopped for lunch at a small cosy café called the Lookout, where we had a tasty lunch and hot drinks. This was a pleasant spot and we decided we’d return during the week.

The cosy cafe called the Lookout.

Back to the hotel, where we remained because the rain decided to set in at that point. But we’d had the best of the day and enjoyed our walk. I took only 225 pics on this one, so selection wasn’t quite so difficult!

Day 5 will follow shortly.

8 Responses to “A Week on the Gower Peninsula. Day 4. A Clifftop Walk to Mewslade Bay.”

  1. stuartaken

    Thanks, Miriam. There are a couple more posts to come from this trip. It’s certainly an area we will return to; very beautiful. So glad you’ve enjoyed the vicarious visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. delphini510

    I have greatly enjoyed following your walk along the coast via your excellent photos. It is pretty stunning and I can just imagine how that nature would draw you in.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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