Another sunny day sees us leaving the Redcliffe Apartments to head for Rhossili some 12.5 miles away. We have been to Rhossili many times but usually to head in the opposite direction towards Wormshead. This time our plan is to climb Rhossili Downs, the hill to Llangennith, passing through the camp and caravan site of Hillend, and drop down to the sands at Llangenith. Head for Burry Holms and return along the sands climbing the inevitable steep path from the beach to the car park.
We arrive in Rhossili at 12.30pm and are fortunate to find space in the church car on the right just before the main car park opposite Worm’s Head Hotel. Have to mention here that the hotel views across the bay are unrivalled and no better place to sit on “the outside benches” over looking the sweep of Rhossili Bay with a glass in hand.
But a walk is our plan, so once parked and having put money into the honesty box we follow the path directly opposite and proceed up the hill! It is steep but we are fresh and enthusiastic and are soon at the top. The views gets better and better the higher we climb!
Throughout our walk Wormshead always in sight either behind or in front of us! This I think is the best view point of the head, but there is a fantastic view from Burry Holms and also on the way back across the beach. Oh well, I’ll let you decide!
We meet few walkers but many can be seen on the lower path. Our climb may be harder but the views are just breathtaking from this height! It is the highest point on the Gower after all – 632 feet infact! Here we see some beautiful heathland plants – western gorse, bell heather and tormentil. The bell heather are just breaking into flower. In a month they will surely be quite spectacular! We don’t see any, but I’ve been told there are rare insects such as the southern damselfly and also the black bog ant. On route we see lots of freshly dug holes. Hugh says badgers – I say rabbits!
Walking on the top of the ridge, always to the left is the sea and to our right we see the glorious uninterrupted views of Gower’s open countryside. Could that coastline in the background be Oxwich Point? I’ve studied the Gower map and believe it to be!
Gosh, imagine our luck to come along just as this couple attached themselves to their hand gliders and fearlessly head into the open skies!
Ten minutes on, we see the prominent stone beacon ahead, marking the highest point on the site of a bronze Cairn built some four thousand years ago.
Further along the ridgeway we see the remains of a World War II radar station which served to provide early warning to the industrial city of Swansea against attack from German Bomber Planes.
Burry Holms in sight but a lot further than we think!
It is a long, steep slope to Hillend camping grounds and the caravan site. My knees start to complain! To our right Burrow Holms can be seen in the distance. As we reach the bottom and enter the campsite we see a cafe – gosh what a welcome sight! Eddy’s cafe/restaurant serves us well and we continue our walk …….
through the sand dunes and …..
onto the beach at Llangennith.
Our destination – Burry Holms way in the distance. Burry Holms is a small tidal island and it more by luck rather than good judgement that we have timed it right!
We made it to the island – and love the wild flowers growing there!
On the left side of Burry Holms we see a tiny bay which completely disappears when the tide comes in. Beyond the headland is Broughton Bay.
It is time to return so we take the beach route back but decide to scramble up the sand dunes just at the end of the caravan park and join the lower footpath.
Ah, a lonely figure perhaps I should sit next to him for a while!
I rested longer than Hugh as you can see from that dot in the distance!
We pass the famous National Trust Property called ” The Rectory” with sweeping views over Rhossili Bay
Then the wreck of the Helvetia, slowly diminishing in size with the ravages of the tides
We are on the last stretch of our walk. At the end of this path we take a left, up a steep concrete lane – gosh is it so steep and so long! A cruel incline at the end of our journey! The camera does not come out again, all my concentation is taken on getting to the top! We have been out for nearly six hours but we took our time and did stop off for lunch and spent some time on Burry Holms.
As we drove out of the car park to return back to the Redcliffe Apartments, I look up to the skies and can still see one of the gliders in the sky! He had been up for over five hours! We enjoyed our day, I’m sure he is still enjoying his too!