Thursday, 22 January 2015

Three Cliffs Bay

Another frosty morning....

 We headed out to Three cliffs bay, a stunning sandy beach surrounded by rocky vantage points and the ruins of a castle.

It was windless and sunny, and the beach was completely empty.  

After a fun off-trail scramble up a muddy bank, we rejoined the Gower coastal trail and walked along the clifftops for a few miles.

The day ended up being quite warm and we considered stripping to t-shirts as we walked through Nicholaston Woods- a beautiful old beachside forest that deafened you with songbirds.

And who can resist a go on a swing?

The trail went across an enormous, foreboding country mansion with the ruins of a Norman castle on the grounds, and then into Millwood, a sunken forest.

As soon as we dropped down into the forest, the freezing cold air blasted us.  The low-lying woods with a stream running through it was amazingly much colder than the rest of the countryside, and the sun didn't hit it enough to melt the ice and frost.

Soon, we were out of the frigid woods and back up climbing Cefn Bryn, a long hill that formed the spine of Gower.

The downland was all common land, and sheep and ponies grazed the land has they had for generations.

A neolithic burial, stripped of its earth mound, sits at the top of Cefn Bryn.

The next four miles was across the spine of the downs.  In the last of the afternoon light, we enjoyed the absurdly wonderful late-December weather and marveled at the beauty of it all.  Gower is small enough so that if you can gain some loft, you can take in all of it with a slow spin.

 Beautiful, fuzzy ponies and adorable pony-foals.  In December?  Foals are usually born in early spring by design, but there were plenty of spindly-legged youngsters about.

 10 miles of really lovely countryside walking.  Time to start thinking about a move to Wales.

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