Wednesday 20 April 2016
Llanmadoc to Port Eynon
Port Eynon Youth Hostel
The forecast promised a sunny day and it was delivered for my walk around the head of the Gower peninsula. I started with Whiteford Burrows; a spit of sand dunes and pine woods protecting Great Pill and the marshes from the Celtic Sea.
Unsurprisingly, the wind picked up as I walked further out but it was beautiful. I wasn’t alone though; an army EOD team was out to destroy some WW2 ordnance (this area used to be a military range).
When I reached Whiteford Point I got a great view of the iron lighthouse, built a mile offshore in 1865 and the only one of its kind in Europe.
I jumped down the lovely dunes and began my long walk along Whiteford Sands and then across Broughton Bay to the point at Burry Holms.
I climbed onto the cliff top at Broughton Burrows (a cliff top covered in sand dunes) and walked around the corner to face Rhossili Bay. What a beautiful beach.
I walked halfway along the golden sand until I reached Hillend, where I walked past the deserted camping fields and climbed up onto Rhossili Down. The coast path actually goes along the base of the Down but on such a glorious day I wanted the views from the top.
It was a perfect day for enjoying fantastic views from Rhossili Down. I could see across the whole of Carmarthen Bay and beyond. I could see St Govan’s Head at the Bay’s Northern tip, Worms Head at the Southern tip, and across the Bristol Channel to Lundy Island and North Devon. It was breathtaking.
It was windy on the top but worth the extra effort. It was early afternoon when I dropped down into Rhossili so I stopped for a quick coffee. I only had a short rest (out of the sun as I was a bit worried I was going to get sunburn or even sunstroke) I carried on to the Lookout Station opposite Worms Head. Here was a good spot to sit and enjoy the rest of yesterday’s picnic from the supermarket.
The tide was coming in so I was too late to walk onto Worms Head itself; I was quite happy just admiring it from the headland.
I still had a 7-mile walk along the spectacular cliff top to Port Eynon. This day had everything!
I passed a couple of forts on the cliffs, where circular earth walls and ditches were still clearly visible. There are lots of caves on this section of the cliffs but I didn’t climb down and explore any as I have done that before when visiting as a child. Culver Hole is the well-known man-made cave near Port-Eynon Point and was probably used by smugglers. (The small village of Port Eynon once had 8 Excise men stationed there.)
I rounded Port-Eynon Point and dropped down off the cliff by the remains of The Salt House, a 16th Century mansion built for the smuggler John Lucas. I passed through the beach-side campsite and stopped at The old lifeboat house that is now a youth hostel. Such an amazing location right on the beach and I had the best bedroom, overlooking the sea.
Diane, the hostel warden, was lovely and we spent ages chatting. She recommended the local pub for dinner and I enjoyed a lovely fish and chip supper. A great end to an amazing day.