StormWatch. The Pebbles only Winter sees. Pobbles Bay, January 2016.

StormWatch Pobbles

January maybe a bit of a cold wash out, but that doesn’t stop me and Molly the French Bulldog from getting down the Gower beaches. We are maintaining our StormWatch and observing how climate change is effecting the Welsh Coast.

StormWatch Three Clffs

Last time we were checking out the big surf at Langland Bay, today we were further down the Gower coast at Pobbles Bay. Pobbles is the small bay before the famous Three Cliffs Bay, and you can see Three Cliffs in the picture above. From this angle it doesn’t look too unusual at Pobbles Bay, but if you walk down there today you have a striking view in front of you as you reach the entrance to the beach. See if you can spot Molly among the pebbles.

Storm Erosion Pobbles Bay

The pebble storm beach at the top of the beach is at least twice the size it should be with many pebbles exposed by storm erosion. These are pebbles that are never seen in the summer buried by several feet of sand.  This large section of exposed rocks is making it difficult to get on to Pobbles beach itself. I saw two horse riders really struggling to get their horses across this hazardous stretch of pebbles.

Storm exposed cave Pobbles

In the coves and caves the sand lost is very clear and the pebble beds that only winter sees are clearly on display.

Find the Ball

Note the metre of bare rock with no barnacles at the bottom these cave sides showing where the sand level would normally be. Molly was having a proper investigation, and the pebble caves make for a challenging of game fetch the ball. Especially as there are now some sizable rock pools in those caves.

StormWatch Rock Pooling

But Molly always gets her ball.

Rock Pool French Bulldog

Always keep your eye on the ball…

Eye on the Ball, DimExcuses

…unless you can touch your nose with your tongue.

Touch your Tongue with your Nose

We explored all the caves in Pobbles Bay, seeing a lot of bare rock you wouldn’t normally see at other times of the year.

StormWatch Pobbles Bay January 2016

This is the furthest east in Pobbles Bay.

Pobbles Bay

And here is looking back at Three Cliffs.

StormWatch Three Cliffs

And finally another look at those impressive caves exposed by winter storm erosion.

Storm Erosion Caves

It is really impressive seeing how much sand is moved around by storms and the seasons, and with it only being January there is still plenty of winter left for Molly and I to continue with our StormWatch observations, DimExcuses.


StormWatch Gower January 2015.

StormWatch Molly

So, we have had a few storms here in Gower, South Wales, but luckily we haven’t had the tides.  The storm surge conditions of big storms on very large tides that devastated the UK coast last year fortunately haven’t occurred.  yet I am still seeing a lot of sand movement and some quite substantial erosion at the top of the beaches.

Pobbles Winter Sand Levels

Molly and I now have a regular 5 km loop of Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles Bay.  I have mentioned the route before in this link. It is my default exercise route for the little Frenchton (French Bulldog / Boston Terrier) on a Sunday when we are racing to make the most of the short Winter light.

DimExcuses Bulldog Molly

It always starts with a stunning view over the UK’s most photographed and painted view, Three Cliffs Bay.

Three Cliffs Valley

This time we were able to drop into the valley(it is tide dependent), and make our wave down to the cave through Three Cliffs itself to get to Pobbles Bay. The tide cuts the two bays off from each other so it is important to keep an eye on the tide,

Three Cliffs Valley

There has been quite a bit of high tide erosion as you enter Three Cliffs Bay, I can’t see the footpath above this collapse lasting another few storms.

Three Cliffs Erosion

Some quite big chunks of Gower hillside have come away.

Gower Erosion

There is definitely some retreat here in the face of Winter storms.

Storm Erosion

After getting our Storm Watch photos Molly and got through the cave and entered Pobbles Bay. Molly concentrated on her new obsession, playing stick…

Molly & Her Stick

…Before going on the lead so she couldn’t bother her other obsession, horses.


We did a longer than usual walk climbing up to the Pennard Cliffs rather than our usual walk up to Pennard Golf Club. This allowed me to get some shots of Three Cliffs from an angle I don’t often photograph from.

Moody Three Cliffs

The sweeping beach was almost untouched.

Sweeping South Gower Bays

Three Cliffs are fantastic from any angle, especially in the light of a bruised Winter’s sky.

Rugged Three Cliffs

The view from Pennard Cliffs is of pure rugged beauty.

Pennard Cliffs View of Three Cliffs

All in all January hasn’t been too bad, the storms we have had haven’t coincided with high tides that caused so much damage last year. Molly and I have got out on the beach most weekends, you can see more photos on my @DimExcuses twitter, or you can get down there and see those views for yourself, DimExcuses.