Here is the third gallery from Darth Mannion X. The Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2019.
Click on a thumbnail to open the images.
It is the tenth anniversary of the DimExcuses End of Summer Walk. An epic tradition that includes over 15 miles of the South Gower Coast. Starting on the first bus out of Swansea, we commence the walk at the breathtaking Rhossili Bay.
It is then a straight line forced march up and down the limestone slades and cliffs of the South Gower Coast.
The aim of this first part is to get to Port Eynon by 11am for a full breakfast in the Captain’s Table Cafe. The weather this year was perfect, unlike last year when we nearly drowned.
Not only did we have perfect weather this year, we also had a perfect low tide that made our walk on the beach to Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles a breeze.
Our next stop was in the Southgate Club, for another Gower Gold. We always get a great welcome from the Landlady, amazed at our epic ten year tradition. We changed the route this year to make the walk more accessible. Instead of heading on to Pwll Du Bay and then finishing in the Joiners Arms, we this year headed out to Pennard Castle.
The reason for the route change was that we could then finish in the Gower Inn. This would then enable everyone to get the bus back to where we started. This worked out much better for everyone. So a perfect end to a perfect summer. A full gallery of the walk can be seen below (just click on a thumbnail). You should join us next year, DimExcuses.
This is the forth gallery from the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2018. You can find an index of all four galleries here. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open and view the gallery, DimExcuses.
This is the third gallery from the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2018. You can find an index of all four galleries here. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open and view the gallery, DimExcuses.
We often have visitors down over the summer. It is amazing that those from further afield tend to embrace the must see sites, while family and friends often neglect the little gems on their doorstep. So this summer we have been sharing our favorite beaches with all our visitors. At the start of the summer we took some family members on our legendary Three Cliffs Pobbles Loop, and last week we introduced some more family to the fantastic Pwll Du Bay.
Our guided trips must be popular, because this week we had more visitors wanting to see the best of South Gower in one day. So we had to start with that legendary Three Cliffs Bay, Pobbles Bay loop that goes past Pennard Castle. You can read all about the route here, or you can see our strava route here. I am also using the Relive app so here is a 3D aerial video of our route too.
The view from Pennard Castle of Three Cliffs Bay is fantastic, as you can see above. You can then walk around the golf course to the headland, or if the tide is out you can take the steep walk down into the valley. You may need a hand…
If you think that looks tricky you should checkout how the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge runners descend it at speed. Once down in Three Cliffs Valley it is a much more of a gentle stroll, that then opens up into an incredible view of Three Cliffs itself. You can read my DimExcuses Three Cliffs Beach Guide here.
With the tide out you can climb through the cave in Three Cliffs and get through to Pobbles Bay. It is a massive beach at low tide.
You can read my DimExcuses Pobbles Beach Guide here. Right out on its furthest east corner is the headland of Shirecombe. You can find some serious rock gullies here full of seaweed and rock pool residents. If you know what you are doing you can look for edible crabs here too, but please respect the tide, it can come in behind you fast!
Once we had taken in both Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles Bay we took the path out of Pobbles up to Pennard Golf Club and back to our van. We took our guests to the dog friendly Beaufort Pub in Kittle (other Gower Pubs are available) for some light bites and a pint of Gower Gold.
A standard Three Cliffs adventure that you can see many times on this website, but today was all about getting the best of South Gower in one day. So we got back in the van and headed to the furthest West point in Gower, the world famous Rhossili Bay. You can read my DimExcuses Rhossili Beach Guide here.
The National Trust have taken over the car park at Rhossili it is really well run with fantastic friendly staff. With loads of parking you have loads that you can see and do. If you are a really hardy walker you can walk down to the beach itself, or if you really want to find your epic you can surf Rhossili Bay! Both activities will require a tough climb back up the path to the headland.
For the less energetic, I would recommend staying on the headland and taking the short walk out to the Coastguard Hut by Worms Head causeway. It is here that you can take the walk to Worms Head itself, but that is a serious adventure that you will have to plan in advance taking into account the tide times. The causeway is only open at certain times of the tide. You wouldn’t want to get stuck out there!
We just stayed on the headland and took in the panoramic views.
All the best of South Gower in one day! Maybe you can take your visitors on the same adventure. DimExcuses.
Sometimes you have to change your perspective on things. Usually a quick straight walk down Pobbles Bay, Gower is my go to quick walk for taking my dog Molly to the beach. But I fancied a change and a different view of Pobbles for once.
Pobbles is my favourite beach. You can read my DimExcuses Pobbles Beach Guide here. It is also a beach visited on my classic 5km Pennard Castle, Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles circular walk. Sometimes it even gets surf!
This was one of those days when it had a surf-able swell. It has been a hit and miss summer, so we decided to make the most of this Sunny Saturday.
We did our usual walk down from Pennard, past Pennard Golf Club, but then climbed out of the bay up to the plateau of Pennard Cliffs to get a different view of the famous Three Cliffs.
Molly is as happy on the limestone rocks of Pobbles as she is on the beach.
Looking back you get a great view of the west side of Three Cliffs and Pobbles Bay in front of it. Just as to get to the top and onto Pennard Cliffs you can also see across to the greens of Pennard Golf Course. Molly stopped for a pose with course behind her…
..before a quick drop and roll.
Molly is always happiest on the Gower Coast. Total adventure french bulldog.
Once the cliffs were climbed we headed back through Southgate village to complete our Pobbles, Pennard Cliffs loop, and as we were passing the Southgate Club, it would be rude not to stop for a pint of Gower Power!
We are definitely making the most of this Gower summer, no matter what the weather, DimExcuses.
It has been a while since I posted on here and brought you some pictures of Gower beaches. It is amazing how any new activity you do steals time away from your other activities. This summer I have been really concentrating on my running, at the
expense of my walking. Molly has really missed out on our beach walks too.
I ran the INVNCBL Obstacle Course Race (OCR) at the start of July in Pembrey
Country Park. It was awesome, hard but I would recommend it. I over trained and
have picked up Planar Fasciitis which has also impacted my walking. Add to that I
fell running and have hurt one of my ribs, so no surfing. But I have now healed to the
point Molly and I can get out down Pobbles Bay, Gower between the summer
I am also using a partner app to Strava, called Relive which plots my Strava activity
on 3D aerial maps. You can see a video of this walk here.
This was a quick 3km walk Molly and I do when we are pressed for time or the
weather is not looking too good. It is straight down and back up from Pobbles Bay
past Pennard Golf Club. Here is Molly checking out the new golf club sign.
This year managed grazing has been introduced in Three Cliffs Valley which is
adjacent to Pobbles Bay.
There is a herd of cows munching the vegetation around the bay. Hopefully avoiding the ragwort as it is poisonous to grazing stock.
Recently the cows have taken to grazing on the actual Three Cliffs
themselves. It is quite a strange sight to see these hill climbing cows, especially
when the tide is in.
It also means I need to keep Molly on a lead. It is best practice to always keep your
dog on a lead around livestock. The last thing I would want is to worry the herd and
them running off the cliff edge.
Mind you she still manages to stalk them even when she is still safely on the lead.
The cows stay off the beach, so it is ok for Molly to run free in the sand there.
Pobbles is a great little beach when the tide is in.
It is a really fun beach for learning bodyboarding when it gets a bit of a swell.
It is best surfed on the rising tide, but can get a little boxed in on the higher tide.
It is great for swimming too and much safer than Three Cliffs which has a very hazardous current from the river.
You can learn more about Pobbles Bay in the DimExcuses Pobbles Beach Guide here. Pobbles is Molly and my favorite beach, we need to get down there a little more this summer, DimExcuses.
Finally summer is nearly upon us, leap frogging over a cool but dry start to spring in South Wales. So as we head into the second bank holiday in May 2017 there was no where else to go but Three Cliffs Bay, Gower.
This time Molly, Sharon and I brought along some family and friends.
We took our regular Pennard Castle, Three Cliffs and Pobbles Bay loop. Pennard Golf Club have done some path work over spring that has improved the walk past the water tower. Molly knows the way like the back of her paw, so she was soon at Pennard Castle.
Suns out, tongues out!
Everyone else wasn’t far behind. The view at Pennard Castle is one of the highlights of Gower.
We were there on a massive low tide, so we could drop into the valley and walk into Three Cliffs Bay. It was one of those low tides where you could have walked all the way from Oxwich on the sand if you wanted.
Perfect conditions for the DimExcuses end of summer walk. But seeing as summer is almost upon us it is not even near the time of year for that walk. Not that Molly was bothered she loves our Three Cliffs Walks.
So spring has almost gone and it is almost summer, plenty of time to get down the beach, DimExcuses.
Spring has sprung. After a relatively cold snap to end winter in Gower, we have bounced into a cracking spring at the end of March 2017.
So it was back to business for Sharon, Molly and me as we headed out in the sun on our classic Pennard Castle, Three Cliffs loop in South Gower. We were joined by Molly’s newest friend Max and his family.
Max is a Jack Russell puppy. He seemed totally un-phased by the walk and was soon tearing it up with Molly.
Three Cliffs Valley was looking fantastic in the spring sun as we approached Three Cliffs Bay itself.
The key thing with Three Cliffs is to watch the tide, and we demonstrated that by getting through the famous cave that separates the bay from Pobbles just in time. Max left it to the very last second before the tide cut us off.
Molly was soon showing Max the fun that can be had on a trip to the beach.
We finished of the wak with a stop in Onboard Surf & Coffee Shop on the way home. It is a great place for a coffee and a cake, and totally dog friendly. Alas we missed the fresh Gower doughnuts again. One day I shall have one, it is a mission now.
Molly was totally shattered, it is hard work keeping up with a puppy!
A cracking day and a great start to Spring. Hopefully we will have a lot more of these walks this year, DimExcuses.
“Let’s make one thing clear” Darren Green informed our small group in a windy Rhossili car park, “it is the DimExcuses end of summer walk, always has been and always will be” referring to our traditional September walk now in its seventh year. “A big Gower walk it maybe, but that is note its name”. I stand corrected.
The DimExcuses end of summer walk is a nine hour, 17 to 19 mile walk (dependent on the tide) from Rhossili Bay along the South Gower Coast to the village of Bishopston. It takes in the South Gower bays of Rhossili, Fall Bay, Mewslade, Port Eynon, Horton, Slade, Oxwich, Tor Bay, Three Cliffs, Pobbles, Heatherslade, Hunts Bay and Pwll Du. You get to see it all, you will definitely find your epic as the hours and miles mount up.
You can see pictures from previous years by clicking the dates below.
This year we were a small contingent, made up of founding members Darren Green and Paul Jones, regular walker Ade Price, myself and the new feet of Chris Bidder and Rachel Bidder. As always we start off on the first bus out of Swansea into Gower.
Arriving in a windy and cloudy Rhossili it is a obligatory group selfie before going cross country to get a full fry up in Port Eynon.
It was certainly a windy one.
There is always something new every year on the end of summer walk and this year it was the breakfast. We have always loved the Captains Table cafe in Port Eynon, trying to stop there each year for a fine breakfast. This year it is in new hands and the breakfast was outstanding. The Captains Table (facebook page here) does a range of breakfasts, small, large, veggie small, veggie large and the almighty Captain’s Breakfast. We all had a Captain’s Breakfast, setting a record for the most Captain’s Breakfast ordered in one go, DimExcuses.
Now powered by a Captain’s Breakfast we head off under the clouds along the Wales Coast Path to Oxwich. Sometimes it was a straight and narrow path, a very narrow path.
We passed another group using a map. No maps for us, just keep the sea to your right. That seemed to work as we successfully got to Oxwich. A quick pint of Gower Gold to wash away the remains of that breakfast and then we were off across the beach.
The beach was quickly followed by a climb over Great Tor to Three Cliffs.
The tide was in so we had to climb over Three Cliffs too.
From Three Cliffs it was a walk to the South Gate Club for some more Gower Gold before the final leg through Pwll Du Bay and finishing in The Joiners Arms in Bishopston for several pints of Three Cliffs Gold.
With weary feet and big smiles we finished the epic walk and narrowly avoided the heavy rain. You can see all the photos from our adventure in the gallery below. We are all looking forward to the DimExcuses end of summer walk next year. You should come, DimExcuses.