This morning we set off for the Gower Peninsula. We decided to head right out to the end of the peninsula and then work or way back around towards Swansea. The SatNav was duly programmed for Rhossili and off we went.
This destination had us setting out over the top of the hill from Bailea towards the A4067, rather than down the hill to the A40. I was keenly following the route on our AA road atlas - partly because it helps me to stay awake, but mainly because I am interested to see what roads the SatNav takes us on compared with what I think looks like the best route??!!
We started out exactly how I would have expected - straight down the A4067 until we reached the M4. After following the M4 (towards Carmarthen) for just a couple of miles we started to head SW out onto the Gower Peninsula. I thought that we would stay on the A roads nearly all of the way but, no, the SatNav took us to Gowertown and then onto the B4296 before guiding us along unnumbered roads through Three Crosses, Illston and Reynoldston where we turned onto the A4118. After
only a couple of miles on the A4118 we made our final turn onto the B4247, which delivered us to the small village of Rhossili at the tip of the Gower Peninsula.
From the village, we walked out towards Worms Head which is an outcrop at the westernmost tip of the Gower Peninsula that is joined to the mainland by a rocky causeway that can be crossed at low tide. Although the tide was right, and we could cross over Worms Head, we decided not to - there was lots more to see yet!!
After pies for lunch, we re-programmed the SatNav to take us to Port Einon Point. Well, we tried to. She wouldn't accept Port Einon or Overton so we settled for Oxwich (on the next bay) and figured that when we saw the sign post for Port Einon we'd be right to get there without the aid of SatNav. Well, we made it to Port Einon Point on Port Einon Bay and it was UGLY! So glad we made the effort - not really!!
We reinstated the Oxwich directions and drove along single track roads to Oxwich Bay which was only marginally less ugly
than Port Einon Point. Hmmn, the Gower Peninsula is supposed to be 'An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'?! It seems we may have peaked too early, starting with the best spot and the rest of the south coast of the peninsula suffering from the comparison?! Even after we worked our way around to The Mumbles, supposedly one of the best seaside villages in the UK, we were disappointed ... or just hard to please?? At least the sun was shining!
From The Mumbles we drove along the A4067 all the way around Swansea Bay. It is a very pretty bay, but starting to suffer a bit from over development as almost the whole sea front has now been built up with thousands of seaside apartment blocks. We drove into the marina and admired the boats before actually finding our way to the beach - near where the ferry to Cork operates from. Actually, what we saw was a boat called the Julia in port. It was only a later internet search that confirmed that the Julia operates the Swansea to Cork ferry service!! What did we ever do without the internet? So many questions that were never answered!
From the waterfront, we drove along the A483 until we reached the M4. We drove briefly along the M4 (further south than we were this morning) to the exit for Neath. We had decided to head back towards Brecon via the Vale of Neath. It was beautiful as we drove out of Swansea and pouring with rain in the valley!! Fortunately, by the time we reached Brecon it was dry again. And when we returned to Bailea, Marjorie told us that there hadn't been a drop of rain there all day. With so many hills and vales the weather patterns seem to be very localised here in the south of Wales.
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