Day 262 Oxwich and a Chalet at Threecliff Bay

Thursday 21 April 2016

Port Eynon to Sandy Lane

11 miles

Pippa’s chalet

A darker, cloudy sky today; no sun to be seen. It didn’t matter because I was still on a high from yesterday. I made my packeted porridge and ate it in the hostel lounge, staring out across Port-Eynon Bay. 

the old lifeboat house, now a youth hostel, at Port Eynon
I was on the road just after 8.30 am, heading across the beach to Horton and then past some big houses onto the cliff path. I noticed that my legs felt a bit tired today, which I put down to the last couple of days being quite long and strenuous. How fortunate then that I wasn’t going to walk so far today (not that I knew it at this point as I was aiming for Mumbles). 

Port-Eynon Bay
I made my way around Oxwich Point and Oxwich Beach came briefly into view before I was enveloped by trees. The path wound up and down through a lovely wood on the side of the cliff and I got a chance to admire the carpet of bluebells. I crossed paths with a lady who was also walking the whole of the British coast. Natalia had started walking clockwise from Durdle Door in February. She was on a very different walk to me as her 5-year old daughter had died 4 months ago and she was walking for charity, and through grief. She had a back-up team that arranged people for Natalia to walk and stay with, so she wasn’t carrying a tent. We wished each other well and swapped website addresses; hers is http://www.elizabethsfootprint.com. 

looking back on Oxwich Beach and Burrows
St Iltyd’s Church is buried in the wood, barely visible from the beach. Noting the saint’s name I wondered if I was still on some sort of pilgrims’ path?
the wood on the side of the cliff, St Iltyd’s Church is just visible
I dropped out of the wood onto Oxwich Beach, a long stretch of golden sand with huge dunes behind. In the middle of the beach I had to head into the dunes to cross a small river via a bridge. I stopped here for a short break and to eat something (porridge makes me hungry!). Then I stuck on the path, through the dunes and up the cliff. I found a brilliant rope swing and stopped to play on it for a bit. 

you can’t beat a good rope swing!
I rounded the small headland to overlook Threecliff Bay; wow. 
Threecliff Bay
What a stunning sight, with Pennard Pill meandering down the beach and the cliffs protruding into it. I thought it looked quite magical. (It also looked like the path did a lot of serious up and down.)

Pennard Pill meandering down the beach
I kept stopping to admire the view from different angles as I made my way into the beach and across the stepping stones bridging the Pill. Pennard Castle was visible high on the cliff.
Pennard Castle above Threecliff Bay
Someone had lit a fire on the shingle and I walked towards it. Two ladies walking their dogs also gravitated towards the fire (I thought they’d put it but they hadn’t). We got chatting and they were both local. After 5 minutes Pippa had offered me a bed for the night just up on the cliff in Sandy Lane. It was too good an offer to refuse as my legs were tired and, unusually, I hadn’t got a plan for my accommodation that evening. It seemed like it was meant to be so I gratefully accepted the offer. Pippa advised that I walk up to Southgate, stop at Pennard Stores cafe, and then walk on to her house as a nice end to my walk. I took her advice and climbed the steep cliff off the beach. 

Threecliff Bay
…and again

There is some serious money in Southgate and some very large houses. I only had eyes for the homemade cake in the cafe and spent a happy couple of hours reading the paper and relaxing. I bought Pippa some cake and a bottle of wine and headed across the golf course to Sandy Lane. 

Sandy Lane grew up as prefabs during the War and is still made up mostly of wooden chalets. It had quite a hippy feel to it. Pippa’s chalet was amazing; she is an artist and, along with her friend who is a builder, had recently done it up, complete with lots of quirky features (like bent tea strainers as kitchen cupboard handles). She will be renting it out in the summer as a holiday let (Gower getaways – Windyhill) and will live in the cabin in the garden (my bed for the night). 

Windyhill
Pippa and one of her neighbour’s were going to the gym this evening so I went with them and had an evening relaxing in the pool, sauna and steam room. After that Pippa and I went to the pub for dinner and I didn’t get to bed until after midnight. I meet some wonderful people on this trip!

more amazing cliff formations near Southgate

5 thoughts on “Day 262 Oxwich and a Chalet at Threecliff Bay

  1. Val K April 24, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Pool, sauna and steam room, and a bed for the night, my goodness Luc the “gods” we’re certainly looking out for you. You do seem like to be meeting the nicest people, long may it last. Keep on trucking! Val x

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  2. Chris Frazer April 24, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Three Cliffs is possibly my most favourite part of the Welsh coast and you can see why. The more stories you tell about the people you meet, the story of poor Natalia and the kindness of Pippa and dozens of others you have met the more I think about the book and the film ‘The Way’ This adventure ‘appears’ to be your pilgrimage Juice. On on Marshal of the Air (Retd), tired legs or not, I can hardly wait for your next post.

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  3. Zephyrine April 24, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    I’m on “home territory” with you now, because I lived in Swansea on & off for 5 yrs, when I was at Uni there… Skinny-dipping in Three Cliffs Bay was a thing… I almost killed myself there on graduation night, wandering out to sea (somewhat inebriated) to play in the phosphorescence – & lost my footing on a slippery rock (in the dark)… Rescued by a friend’s mother, praise be! – Oh, & the time I was stranded on The Worm’s Head, because I didn’t check the tides… Onward! So glad you are enjoying serendipitous Welsh kindness and hospitality.

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  4. Andy Clark April 24, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Three Cliffs Bay – one of my favourite beaches. Took Anna to see it when we went to Swansea Uni for an open day. I have happy memories of spending time there when I was a teenager. Very jealous you’ve been there X

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  5. Rohan April 26, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I Hope you told Natalia of some of your stopping places. I have recently had my own wee journey of how good people are (but all from my own home!) plus some very random friendships made by people coming down the road to see the lighthouse. Here’s to all the people you have yet to discover on your journey.

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