We had a 'holiday-at-home' yesterday, when we packed a picnic lunch and headed for Gower. My heart lifts when we cross the cattlegrid at the start of Fairwood Common: I always feel at that point that the town is truly behind us. Our first port of call was the new Wildflower Centre. If you are in the area, do drop in for a cup of coffee. The Italian bread looked amazing. I have rarely seen such a splendid display of deep blue cornflowers.
We had our picnic on the edge of Cefn Bryn, before heading on to the south coast of the peninsula at Oxwich Bay.
Sadly the beach was full of wasps and looking very 'grey', but we were about to head off in a different direction. Oxwich is a pretty village, known for its wide stretch of sand and for the wildlife habitat of its extensive dunes. It is not widely known that the preacher and founder of Methodism, John Wesley, came to the village and stayed in one of the beautiful cottages in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Oxwich was once a haven for smugglers. Oxwich Castle, a ruined manor house, was built in 1541 and the delightful 12th century church of St Illtyd nestles in the trees on a rocky ledge above the sea.
Margam claimed it from the sea in the 18th century.
Sadly, it was not a bright sunny afternoon, so it is not very surprising that we failed to find any lizards, grass snakes or adders on the dunes. We had a good time all the same: I hope you enjoy these photos of some of our sightings...
The waymarked paths over the nature reserve are marked with white cockle shells. Cockles are a key part of the Gower scene.