Archive for the ‘devils bridge’ Tag

Silverdale Snippet   6 comments

Time to return the prodigal son to University and his new shared house. Time for a nice garden centre breakfast before dropping him off and returning later with all his stuff. All based around our own personal guest house better known a Mark and family! 🙂

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The rest of the day was filled with a nice walk around the usual haunts, the Cove, the Lots, and I think Jenny Browns Point (although this was so long ago I don’t really remember).

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It was warm and sunny, I remember that much.

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Just as well as the next day was truly grey and miserable. We headed up to Kirkby Lonsdale where DB Snr was playing rugby. While he got himself ready we took a stroll into town along the Lune.

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Past the church.

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And this very stylish house.

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Down to Devils Bridge.

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Easy to see why this spot is so popular with the tourists. Looks like nice spot for a swim or a picnic. Other than enjoying watching a couple of the rugby matches that was pretty much it for the weekend. Sweet and Sour. Great to spend time as always with the Silverdale Posse but sad to say goodbye to TJS for a while.

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A wander in the Rheidol Valley   8 comments

Back in October we followed our usual plan, staying at my parents caravan in mid-Wales, TBF and the kids for the week and me for the weekends. After a a day’s surf kayaking at Rest Bay we had the Sunday for a day out. TJF is not big on long walks so I scoured the local maps and found a decent route at the far end of the Rheidol valley.

Rheidol

Parking at the road end we first came across a rather splendid set of waterfalls with cascades and deep scoured pools. Perfect spot for a summer picnic and a swim and I was even disappointed that in the mild October weather I hadn’t brought my swimming stuff.

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The Rheidol has been heavily industrialised as a water and power source both recently and longer term. Overlooking the falls are ruins of mine workings for a range of metals and some rather unusual coloured waste heaps. In more recent times the river has been dammed in both the lower reaches and high in the mountains at Nant-y-Moch

Our stroll took us up steeply through the forest, with the river, unseen, tumbling noisily below us. The path eventually opened out onto a rather splendid  high traverse above the river with distant (and free!) glimpses of the waterfalls at Devils Bridge.

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Autumn colours were in abundance and we found grand open meadow for a spot of lunch and a cuppa

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We were following the route of another of those long distance paths that seem to spring up everywhere these days. This one is the Borth to Devils Bridge to (the wonderfully named) Pontrhydfendigaid trail. No idea why someone thought up linking these 3 places together or whether there is a good reason for it but who cares when it takes you through grand scenery like this

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This corner of Wales is well off the beaten track and we saw no other walkers during the day.

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The route took us on lanes through the equally wonderfully named hamlet of Ystumtuen. Very friendly it was too, several people working in, and driving through the village wishing us good day and hoping we were enjoying our walk.

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Just before a very steep descent back to the car (I was surprised how far we had climbed) we were treated to a fine view out over the Rheidol valley to the coast

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A last stretch back along the road ended a rather nice easy paced family day.

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Well worth further exploration is this part of or “second home” neighbourhood. It still amazes me that I spent several weeks every year in the area when my grandparents had a caravan in the same place yet still I’m discovering new places I never knew were there

Pottering in Mid Wales   4 comments

October half-term regulations state “a week/weekends at your parents caravan on the mid-Wales coast”. Rules are there to be broken. But not this one

TBF and the kids spend the whole week there while I get the weekends. The first weekend was spectacularly uneventful and dreary. Or at least I assume it was as I didn’t take a single photo. I have absolutely no recollection of what we did. A blank. Age related forgetfulness I’m sure I read somewhere. I can’t remember now.

The second weekend was much better. Despite the grey skies I convinced the kids a walk was in order. Consulting my trusty Jarrold Pathfinder guide I found a suitable i.e. flat – ish – walk from Devils Bridge. A very famous local attraction is Devils Bridge with some splendid waterfalls. They were splendid when I saw them as a kid but I’ve not seen them since on account of the fact you have to pay to see them. I don’t believe in paying good money to see waterfalls when I can see perfectly acceptable ones for free. No, it was the open, expansive (and free) valley of the Mynach river that feeds the falls that we were off to.

Devils Bridge is also the terminus for a rather nice narrow gauge railway. Before you ask, no I haven’t paid for a trip on that either for the kids but I did treat them to a view of steam engine from the car park

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

It’s a fine walk through fields, open hillside and a forested river valley. Pleasant if unspectacular

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

There was a threat of rain in the air all day but it managed to hold off and it was good just to be out. I didn’t get out much in September or October due to the dreary weather so this was a much enjoyed day out for me even if the kids weren’t terribly enthusiastic

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

The route out on the northern side was easy-going

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

The return on the opposite bank was, well, the opposite. Deep, very deep, bracken, bog, mud, more bracken and mud and knee-deep puddles of water. Fun.

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

Not a bad day and a valley well worth further exploration

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

We also had a nice morning stroll up Allt Wen a rather prominent and as it turns out brutally steep hill to the south of Aberystwyth.

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

Fine views made it worth the effort and once up on top it’s a very nice stroll high above the sea

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

Finally after a week of dreariness, the sun came out between the rain showers. We had a wild and windy walk on the beach before we packed to go home and prepare for winter.

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

Oh, and I found a couple of photos from a week or so later when me and TJS took a stroll in the Brecons. Weather forecast promised a fine and sunny day with a few showers. It was. For about the first hour then it started to rain. Then it rained some more and then it cleared up and was really wet. I’m not bitter

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

devils bridge, mynach valley, allt wen, aberystwyth, clarach bay

Family Time – Gower Beaches and Coastal Walking   7 comments

Sigh! Yes I know I’m still way behind with the blog posts but I’m getting there. This will take you back to May Spring Bank Holiday weekend and a little trip away down at the Gower peninsula in South Wales. Like last year we took advantage of the Premier Inn special offers and got a family room including breakfast for all of us for £50 a night. Llanelli is not exactly the Cote D’Azure but the hotel is handily placed and does the job for a short stay

The previous few days had been cold and windy but there was promise of a sunny couple of days so we headed down to the beach at Caswell Bay just outside Swansea.

Caswell Bay, Gower

Caswell Bay, Gower

It was cool but the sun shone for most of the day and we spent a leisurely day of family stuff, digging in the sand, playing in the shallows, tide-pooling and in my case snoozing on the rug and getting sunburnt legs for my trouble

Caswell Bay, Gower

TBF by name, TBF by nature

Caswell Bay, Gower

TJF by name, TJF by nature

Caswell Bay, Gower

Funsters and Sherpas

Entertainment was provided by a local rugby club who set up just in front of us for a game of touch rugby – they really were rather good and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them

Caswell Bay, Gower

View from the shoreline

Caswell Bay, Gower

Caswell Bay

Both my kids are now old enough to be left on their own for a short while so me and TBF took a short stroll west along the coast. The sky was clear and the gorse was in full flower making for a very colour-filled experience

Caswell Bay, Gower

East across the beach

Caswell Bay, Gower

TBF on a cosatal stroll

We went a mile or so down the coast to the view across Pwll Du Bay before heading back in case the kids had murdered each other – luckily they’d amused themselves without winding each other up

Pwlldu Bay

Pwlldu Bay

Caswell Bay, Gower

Solo

It was our first proper day on the beach for the year and a fine one it was

Caswell Bay, Gower

The tide comes in

The tide comes in very fast here and we shuffled our way up the beach as the waves advanced before late in the day it consumed most of the sand and we headed off for a slap up meal in the pub

We were all keen for another look at Worms Head. We’d visited last year on a thoroughly miserable day of low cloud and rain and our prayers were answered when we woke to clear blue sky, packed a picnic courtesy of Morrisons and headed off. Most of the UK had the same idea and the car park was occupying several fields. There had only been about 20 cars last year. I hadn’t realised this place was so well-known and there were visitors from all over the world. The views were simply spectacular

Rhossili, Rhossili Down, The Beacon

Rhossili Beach, Rhossili Down & The Beacon

Worms Head

Worms Head

The coastal walk and cliffs is just superb with sweeping views across Rhossili Bay and over to Worms head. The cliffs are sheer and precipitous with a bird’s eye view down to the numerous shipwrecks in the sands. You can make out a couple in the centre of the photo below

Worms Head

Shipwreck

I should warn you that spectacular though the views are you won’t have it to yourself but it’s a price worth paying to see this special place on such a clear day

Rhossili, Rhossili Down, The Beacon

Sherpas and Funsters enjoying the sun

Worms Head

Cliffs and Gorse

You can pick your way through the gorse and along the edge of the cliffs to miss the worst of the crowds

Rhossili, Rhossili Down, The Beacon

Across the cliffs to the beach

Worms Head itself is connected to the mainland by a natural causeway. The tide was in our favour so we headed off to see the worm. The causeway itself is great for tide-pooling with loads of stuff to see, fish crabs, sea urchins and star-fish

Worms Head, Inner Head

Worms Head, Inner Head

We took our time making our way over, poking about and getting wet feet in the process

Worms Head, Inner Head

Inner Head across the Causeway

We scrambled up to the top of the Inner Head and found a sheltered spot for a picnic overlooking the bay. We kept a watch for the seals we saw last year but no joy. Clearly they were just sheltering from the stormy weather last time

Worms Head, Inner Head

Causeway from the Inner Head

We were enjoying our spot until a group of noisy, irritating and self-absorbed teenagers plonked themselves down next to us – and I mean RIGHT NEXT TO US. There is an acre of space up there so why they chose to sit so close and regale us with a commentary on the usual crap reality TV shows is a mystery. One of them sat so close to TBF he was pretty much sitting on her face (no jokes please). Young people today 🙂

Worms Head, Inner Head

Lunch on the Inner Head

I was keen to walk right out to the Outer Head and cross the Devils Bridge (just visible in the centre right of this photo). However nobody else seemed keen so we returned to the mainland

Worms Head, Inner Head, Outer Head, Devils Bridge, Low Neck

Outer Head, Devils Bridge and Low Neck

It was still early so we wandered off to look at the next pair of beaches along the coast. As soon as we stepped away from the headland we lost the crowds and we had the path pretty much to ourselves. The coast was just as stunning and the views again just superb.

Worms Head

Heading east towards Mewslade Bay

Fall bay and Mewslade Bay looked amazing, backed by their own collection of cliffs and towers. We scrambled down onto the beach and realised what a gem this was.

Fall Bay, Mewslade Bay

Fall Bay & Mewslade Bay

The limestone cliffs resemble a castle and as we got nearer it was clear that it was plastered with rock climbers of all ages.

Fall Bay, Mewslade Bay

Cliffs on Fall Bay

Fall Bay, Mewslade Bay

Rock Climbing at Fall Bay

We spent a good while just watching the climbers, it looked a great place to practice in a quite superb setting on a wonderful day.

Fall Bay, Mewslade Bay

Rock Tower

We wanted to wander along to Mewslade Bay but the tide was heading in fast, cutting off the access over the rocks and time was pushing on. We wandered back across Fall Bay and had a picnic tea and a cuppa on the grass at the back of the beach before we reversed the route back along the coast. The views were still magnificent and the crowds a little lighter now that the tide had cut off access to Worms Head

Worms Head

Worms Head from the West

Rhossili, Rhossili Down, The Beacon

Heading back

Worms Head

Worms Head

The air was full of paragliders above The Beacon. Must be great on a day like this but leaping off a hill attached to a duvet cover is not something I’m ever likely to do 🙂

Rhossili, Rhossili Down, The Beacon

Rhossili Beach

Absolutely cracking day. Next time we’ll just head straight to the beaches at Fall and Mewslade Bays and spend the day there. If you can tolerate the crowds though Worms Head really is a must see when in the area

We had one day left before heading home but the weather had turned and was cold, cloudy and windy with a poor forecast. We headed over to Rest Bay where I hoped to find some waves to take out the kayak. I’d like to be able to tell you that the weather held off and that the waves were great but I’d be lying. We lasted on the beach about 30 minutes longer than most sensible people would have done, had our lunch in the car in the rain and drove home. If you want to see Rest Bay in much milder and more pleasant conditions – in January – then check out my post here.

A fine weekend nonetheless and great set up to more fun in the week to come….

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