A hidden Swansea Gem. Penllergare Valley Woods. Spring 2014

Penllergare Waterfall

I always thought that the woods in Penllergaer were an untapped asset, we used to use them as a ‘Walking the Way 2 Health’ walk for City & County of Swansea employees based in the adjoining offices.  Now those woods have taken on a life of their own. Reverting to the traditional spelling Penllergare Valley Woods is a ‘One Historic Garden’ project managed by volunteers.  You can read their blog here.

Waterfall Molly

I visited the woods just after New Year and i was very impressed with the improvements that had been done in the valley and how the paths had been opened up.  This is a great all weather walking venue (if you have your boots on).

Molly River

The volunteers are doing a great job restoring the Victorian features of the wood and there are some great paths to explore along rivers and lakes.  Molly brought her friend Eddie along to jump in the river.

Molly & Eddie

In the center of the park are some spectacular waterfalls which really caught Molly’s eye! A hydro-generation energy project has also been installed to produce renewable energy as part of the scheme.

Molly's Waterfall

It is a paradise for dogs. It is a great walking venue for a short walk to take in some quality green space. The restoration comes with a new car park for a small pay & display charge, and the paths are very accessible from there.

Waterfall

Molly hadn’t seen a waterfall before, it was a lot different from the waves she is used to at the beach.

Top of the waterfall

It didn’t take her long to get stranded on a rock in the river (#AdventuresOFMolly).

Molly Island

The Penllergare Valley Woods are so near us and so easy to get to we will definitely be coming back regularly, and I look forward to seeing how the project develops.

Molly DimExcuses

It is very easy to drive to being just off Junction 47 of the M4 by the Council Offices. And most importantly they have a great new Cafe staffed by volunteers and full of cake!

Penllergare Valley Woods Cafe

So you now have no excuse not to visit for a walk, DimExcuses.

Gower Spring (Bulldog) Walks – Rhossili March 2014

Misty Worms Head

It is official, spring is here, and last weekend was a glorious Gower classic.  With forgotten clear skies and crisp double figure degrees C to look forward to, we had to grab Molly the Frenchie and head to Gower’s most awe inspiring beach, Rhossili Bay. Seeing as our van is getting pimped up for summer, we scrounged a lift with Ade and Nancy in their VW T4, tidy like. Ade let Molly ride shotgun in the van, so it was only polite that she show him the view of the bay.

Rhossili Molly & Ade

The great thing with Rhossili is you can drive down, take in the view, get an ice cream, and go home…

Rhossili Spring Mist

…or you can climb down into the bay. But remember what goes down has to climb back up! At the moment the climb down is complicated by the winter storms and record storm surges not only eroding the sand but actually washing away the steps to the beach. National Trust have put in a diversion that involves walking across the grass to almost where the white cottage is. On a serious note the climb up and down to Rhossili is challenging and this diversion has added to that, there is no shame in just sticking to that ice cream / view combination.

Molly the shipwreck hunter

The storm sand erosion has led to one bonus, the shipwreck in the bay is very exposed at the moment. Molly really took it upon herself to be a wreck hunter. Several posts have also been exposed across the bay, I would love to know what these are? Are they left over sea defenses from World War II?

Rhossili Wreck

Shipwrecks aside, as well as the sun there was a gentle offshore wind which was making the most of a moderate swell. I was jealous of two lads walking down to make the most of the empty sets, until I saw them gloving up and pulling their hoods on.

Rhossili Spring Surfer

Molly was straight in with them…

Rhossili Molly & Surfer

…and straight back out! Brrr Molly and I will leave it unitl April (#AprilCool).

Run away Molly!

Then we took that long climb back to the cliff top. In the spring sun it would have been rude not to grab a pint of ‘Gower Gold’ in the Rhossili Hotel beer garden. Molly couldn’t believe we had been all the way down there.

Rhossili Hotel Beer Garden

Unfortunately with a busy day, long walk and a few beers in the beer garden, there is always one who gets grumpy and starts kicking off.

Beer Garden Monster

So we got Molly back in the van before she started trouble. But spring is here, summer is to follow and Gower didn’t get totally washed away in the winter storms. So get out there and get exploring, DimExcuses.

Photo of the day. Storm erosion exposes the wreck in Rhossili Bay.

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The sand at Rhossili Bay, Gower hides many a secret, myth and legend. Sometimes changes in time and tide reveal them to us.

I took this photo of Rhossili Bay shipwreck with Worm’s head in the background today. The first real glorious day of spring, full blog entry to follow, DimExcuses.

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It was a great Monday for the self-employed and Job Seekers Allowance surf teams. While we were back in work, some lucky surfers caught a (at times overhead) powerful swell perfectly shaped in a light offshore wind.

Luckily I was asked to take some website photos in the area and caught these lucky guys post session as another perfect peak started peeling in. Don’t the perspective fool you, those guys are on the cliff and that wave a good way in the distance.

What I want to know is what shots that other photographer got.

The last of winter 2013/14.

Spot the surfer

So spring is here and yesterday we had a hint of better times to come. But today showed us winter may not quite finished with us yet! It has been the wettest winter, unseasonably mild, with massive tides and matching swells, all tied to bad weather that has brought storm surge conditions.

Langland after the storm

Well just as we try and wrestle free from winters grip, here are the pictures that somehow didn’t get posted over the last couple of months.

Swansea Bay

From a windswept Swansea Bay.

Molly Swansea Bay

To a Langland Bay robbed of sand by the winter storms.

Molly Langland

Molly the DimExcuses dog was definitely making the most of it, and making some friends.

Bulldog friends

Mind you so of those winter waves looked very tempting!

Winter Surf

Hinting at evening surf sessions to come.

Evening swells

And sunsets to follow.

Molly Sunset

So here is to spring! From Molly and me, DimExcuses.

Molly and Me