Thursday, 2 February 2017


There’s always some gorse in flower on Gower, and of course spring and summer are the best seasons, but in mild winters, we sometimes get a good show, even in January and February. The south-facing limestone cliffs along the coast are the places to go, and in some years can be truly spectacular, with a blaze of bright yellow lasting for months. After the cold weather, there’s not much this winter, but enough to lift my spirit on a cold and sunny day on the cliff-path between Limeslade and Langland Bay.

A strong southerly wind sends great brilliant-white rollers crashing onto the rocky shore, and with the tide rising, the Mixon sands offshore create a line of huge white horses racing along the surface of the sea towards the lighthouse. There’s far too much surf to hear the bell from the buoy marking the edge of the sand bank, and I wonder how many ships have come to grief here over the centuries. The steep climb midway between the two bays is always worth the view from the bench at the top of the path, which today is spectacular.  I can see for miles; Pwll Du Head, Oxwich Point and beyond, and out to sea, the clear outline of Lundy Island on the distant horizon.

 I look for Rock Pipits on the shore below, but in this weather suspect they’ll be feeding amongst the flotsam in the shelter of the bays. Heading back to the beach at Limeslade Bay, I find protection from the wind, a bench to sit on, and drink my coffee, whilst watching the predicted rock pipits, a confiding Turnstone, and best of all enjoy the solitude. I’m the only one here again.

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