England has been well and truly blessed with some beautiful spring weather over the last week. This weekend just gone has been the warmest of the year so far and I’m looking forward to sharing what I got up to soon. Today though is all about my first trip to the ‘seaside’.
Last week Adam and I jumped in the car and drove down to the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Adam described the region to me as the ‘Riviera of the U.K.’, a place where there were beautiful beaches and charming villages.
It was cloudy and drizzly during our drive down and we got stuck in roadworks for a good half an hour or so I was a little apprehensive, thinking the day may be a complete write off. However within about 10 minutes or so of us arriving in the village of Rhossili (which turned out to be a National Trust site, so we got free parking!) the clouds cleared and the sun came out.
The village is built atop a cliff, which drops dramatically down to Rhossili Beach – which has been voted as Britain’s best beach before.
We started our visit by doing the walk down to the headland, where you can spot the ‘Wormshead’ – a rocky outcrop at the very end of the Gower Peninsula that you can walk out to at low tide.
It was incredibly windy and the waves crashing into the land were an amazing site and sound. We happily sat and watched the water in the sun but unfortunately didn’t spot any of the seals that can occasionally be seen in the area.
After making our way back through Rhossili, we walked down onto the beach. The sand was fine and golden – no different really to the beaches of Queensland. When I was a child growing up in Mackay going to the beach, even in the middle of winter, generally meant an outfit consisting of shorts and thongs (flip flops). At Rhossili I was glad for my waterproof walking boots and waterproof jacket!
The beach is wide and flat and stretches out for miles. In summer Adam tells me it gets absolutely packed (and I can understand why), but for our visit there were just a handful of tourists and it felt pretty special to have this amazing place almost all for our selves.
We had a lovely time walking along the water’s edge, picking up interesting shells and spotting the smooth, bleached pieces of twisted driftwood.
There is a bank of rocks where the beach meets the cliff and we found a pair of smooth flat stones and sat ourselves down to take in the view. Adam had a great time turning rocks over, looking for interesting patterns, shapes and colours and I loved smelling the sweet salty air.
The peninsula is just spectacular and I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the region. We passed dozens of cute B&Bs in white stone cottages on our drive and there are heaps of beaches to explore. You could easily spend a few days exploring. During my first visit to the U.K. in 2010 I was amazed at the beach at St Ives in Cornwall. I always thought beaches in England were stony with grey-blue water. My visit to Rhossili has confirmed there are beautiful beaches in Great Britain. Sure there aren’t palm trees and perhaps it’s never as warm as it is in Australia, but I’ll happily take a few more days at the ‘seaside’ over this summer!