When I think of it, I associate it with mountains, with rain, with Type II fun and long car journeys.
This weekend all that changed, when I headed to Swansea Bay for a weekend of beachy fun!
Throwing everything in the car after work on Friday, I swung by the station to pick up Seanna, my adventure buddy for the weekend, and we hit the road. Just over 4 hours later (Friday traffic is the worst) we arrived at our hotel for the weekend, The King’s Head Inn, in Llangenith. The King’s Head is a 4* Pub and Hotel and our room was plenty big enough for two (though I took it over somewhat with all my outdoor kit). We were planning on a walk before dinner, but due to traffic and, arriving later than planned, we had decided to switch to a post dinner stroll to catch the sunset. We ate our dinner, which was absolutely beautiful, in the restaurant at the inn, which was high beamed and filled with historic photo’s of Llangennith, before deciding to brave the first rain we’d seen in weeks and head outside.
Rhossili Bay was recently voted the 3rd Best Beach in Britain and even in the rain and cloud it was spectacular. We headed out towards Worm’s Head, before deciding to get back to the hotel as it was becoming gloomier and also pretty late.
On our way back we came across a couple in shorts and light jackets and asked if they needed a lift anywhere. It turned out they were on holiday from the Netherlands and had headed out for a 6km walk earlier in the day, but currently were on 36… With another 6 miles back to Llangennith, they were grateful of the lift!
The next day we had a lovely breakfast in the hotel, before setting off for Oxwich Bay for a morning of fun on the water with Oxwich Watersports.
We headed out on jet skis for about an hour to Three Cliffs Bay and had a blast… I’d only done this once before, in Cyprus, so it was fun to do it closer to home, and the views of the cliffs were incredible… I have to say that 31mph feels a lot faster on one of these than in a car, though! Our next activity was being pulled along behind a speedboat on inflatable rings. Something I’d always wanted to have a go at but hadn’t gotten around to.
After our morning on the water, we went for a lovely lunch at the Oxwich Bay Hotel. I had a half pint of prawns salad, and Seanna had ‘heart of palm’ calamari from their pretty extensive vegan menu. Also great to see they’re using paper straws and being plastic aware. You can book rooms at this hotel too, but we just popped in for lunch before heading out on another walk.
We initially planned to drive to Llanrhidian and walk along the coast path, but Llanrhidian is a very small little village, and our planned car parking spot was filled because of a wedding in the local church. We couldn’t see anywhere else safe to drop the car near there, so decided to head back to Rhossili Bay in the sunshine, and perhaps walk over to the Worm’s Head if the tide allowed. As it transpired, the tide did not allow, but it was a beautiful walk nonetheless, with some breathtaking cliff faces and views both along the coast and even across to North Devon.
The forecast was for cloud, but it couldn’t have been more wrong…
We walked out towards Worm’s Head, hoping the tide would be out and we could head over there, but we didn’t time it quite right and couldn’t have headed over until gone 1730. As we had a dinner reservation, we had to bail on that plan, unfortunately. So we wandered, chatted adventure and took in the views along the coast.
We could even see across the Bristol Channel to Devon.
In the evening, we headed to the King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston for dinner, where I had lobster mac and cheese. What a revelation?! It was absolutely beautiful. The hotel had a large wedding on, but the staff were so helpful and we were served very quickly.
They had a good range of real ales and ciders available, as well as beautiful views to Cefn Bryn. Of course, I had to walk off the lobster mac and cheese after dinner, and so headed up to find the King Arthur Stone and admire the views and beautiful sunset.
Legend has it that while travelling in Carmarthenshire, King Arthur removed a stone from his shoe and threw it across the Loughor Estuary. By the time it reached its final resting point at Cefn Bryn, the stone had become an enormous boulder.
On Sunday morning we visited Mumbles, to see the Pier and Oystermouth Castle. Unfortunately, the pier is currently closed for refurbishment, but we had a lovely walk to the end or the promenade to admire the views before heading for the castle.
I am a sucker for a castle, and have been since I was young, when I would run around with a wooden sword and shield, battering my brother before he could hit me back! I grew up visiting castles, and my family have always been interested in history, so I’ve seen a lot of castles in my time. First founded around 1106, after Gower was captured by the Normans, it was in use throughout the Middle Ages, before falling into disrepair. Now, it stands atop the hill overlooking the sea and the town of Mumbles.
We left the castle and grabbed lunch at Verdi’s, down on the promenade before driving home. They focus on Italian foods and had a great menu of pasta’s, pizza’s and sandwiches. They also make their own ice cream, which comes highly recommended from this blogger!
I had a lovely time in Swansea Bay, Gower and The Mumbles and know I’ll definitely be heading back when I have more time to explore. In terms of visiting yourself, if you drive you won’t have too many problems, but the places we visited were all pretty spread out and you may struggle with regular public transport. If you’re looking for beaches, history and beautiful outdoor adventure locations, you’ll not be disappointed.
* This weekend was organised by Visit Swansea Bay, in order to help promote the area. I had a fantastic weekend with them and have been asked to follow up on my visit with a blog post or two, but as ever I’m writing from experience and all opinions are entirely my own!