Thursday, 2 March 2017

Beach Huts

The line of about 80 beach huts along the sweep of Langland Bay dates back to the 1920s.  All tastefully decorated in white and green art décor style, they’re a feature of the bay.  Owned by the city, they are leased to local residents and much sought after.  Set a couple of meters above the curving coastal path, and fronted by occasional mature palm trees, they give a real English Riviera feel to the bay; I could be south Devon, or even the Mediterranean.  There’s a long established programme of restoration and maintenance, and in lovely early spring sunshine, a small team of painters are hard at work touching up these lovely wooden structures.

I head westward past the golf course to Snapple Point.  A constant stream of walkers along the path has made robins very tame here, and they’ll sometimes take crumbs from an outstretched hand.  Sheltered from the weather, celandines are in flower by the path, my first for the year, and garlic leaves a good six inches high are beginning to colour the ground with a new rich green.  At the Point, ten empty ‘In Loving Memory’ benches look out over a hazy sea.  I pause for a while on one facing due west towards Oxwich Point; there’s no horizon, just bright grey-blue light over a glistening sea.  Onshore a yellow carpet of gorse flowers not yet fully out, stretches to Whiteshell Point and beyond.  It promises a good gorse spring, and the cliffs could be a riot of yellow a month or so from now, but I never seem to predict this accurately.

The tide’s up, there’s just a gentle swell lapping against the rocks, and on the sea just a few gulls.  Many black-headed gulls, such a feature of this coast in winter, have donned summer plumage now and departed for their breeding grounds.  The walk to Whiteshell Point is sheltered and in some places windless, and I pick up the soft coconut-like scent of gorse; spring is just around the corner.

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