A Sunny Bank Holiday Weekend In Wales.
Last weekend marked 8 years since me and Joss got together and we always try and mark it with something fun. Being skint, working hard and not having the time for a fortnight's holiday in the sun we booked a last minute hotel room in a Premier Inn on the outskirts of Llanelli and headed West for a few days.
With the weather forecast what it was last weekend I wouldn't have traded Wales for anywhere else in the world. It was my ideal kinda heat, no breeze to make you chilly (yes I am one of those people in summer) but not too hot to pass out. I think it was about 20 degrees on the Monday and a bit higher on the Sunday and it was bloody blissful to spend a whole weekend outdoors, in the sunshine without the need for a jacket.
We only went away for one night because the bank holiday means everyone heads to the seaside and we were going the same way. Joss was out on the Saturday night with the lads and we'd had very little sleep as I'd been to pick them up and Joss worked the weekend too. We moseyed on down the M4 mid afternoon with half of the rest of the population and practically melted because lol guess who's car doesn't have air con? Mine doesn't.
We spent Sunday evening cooling off (our Premier Inn was one of the older designed and had windows that actually opened which was a blessing) and then went for an evening meal and a drink or two. The night was spent absolutely baking because hotel rooms are hotter than the surface of the sun and watching episodes of Eurovision disaster moments and the like and binging on Carpool Karaoke on our phones.
Monday morning we were up bright and early to celebrate 8 years together and had a proper full English with all the trimmings. There was bacon, sausages, beans, allllll the eggs, pancakes, croissants, millions of rounds of toast and that classic hotel buffet thing where you pick up about 10 drinks because of course you have tea and coffee and apple juice AND orange juice at home. A quick pack up of our things and we checked out and headed off for the day.
Our first port of call was the local supermarket for a picnic for the day. I had my little rucksack with the suncream and my portable charger and all my camera equipment and Joss had a bigger rucksack with all the drinks (we ended up with 4 and drank every one but lawd it must've been heavy for him) and the snacks.
We picked up a feast of rolls, wraps, crisps, pork pies, strawberries, salad tomatoes, chocolate and bananas, packed the bags and then set off for the Gower. And yes the chocolate did melt.
The Gower is the patch of coast between Swansea Bay and Llanelli and we headed for it's most famous beach and clifftop walks - Rhosilli. I haven't been in about 10 years and Joss had never been so I knew on a sunny day like we had it'd be the perfect location, also knowing much of West Wales would have had the same thought. Luckily for us I was navigating whilst Joss drove my car and we ended up taking a really backwards ass way to get there which meant not only did we miss all of the other traffic, we also drove through the sweetest little villages, tiny little lanes and over the moors via the wild ponies and it was dreamy AF.
The nice thing about Rhosilli is even when it's busy there's plenty of escapism which is what I really wanted from the day out. The carpark was heaving sure, the cafes were booming and the ladies toilets had a queue of about half a mile but once you're on the clifftops or down on the beach, it's such a vast strip of coastline you can get as far away from anyone else as you want and for that reason we decided to opt out of lounging on the beach and went for a clifftop walk instead.
Worm's Head is right at the end of the coastline and is a rocky patch of land that extends out into the sea which can only be accessed by a causeway that appears in low tide every day. You only have a window in which you can get over and explore and there's literally nothing over there other than sheep and a bell to alert the coastguard if you get cut off. I haven't done the walk over to Worm's Head before so we were pretty keen to make it over but the tide was on it's way out. Handily at the coastguard's cabin at the edge of the cliffs they have a tide timing board which tells you when the causeway will start to appear and when you'll need to be back by and we were about an hour and a half ahead of it.
To kill time we did what any well respected 25 year olds would do and went rock pooling. We spent a good hour clambering over the rocks and looking at what the tide had washed up including the sweetest little flowers and a million and one shrimps. Joss was on the hunt for crabs and managed to see one just when I'd gone wandering off to take photos of the waves right on the edge of the rocks.
The rocks in Rhosilli are all jagged and at angles and make climbing over them very very difficult so when we needed a break we went back to the bottom of the cliffs and sat on the grass to eat our picnic in the sunshine.
The causeway only appears in low tide and is, yep you guessed it, another pile of jagged rocks you have to get on your hands and knees to climb some of it. Whilst having our picnic we watched a few families tackle the causeway when some of it was still underwater and decided that if children could make it over without being swept out to sea we would probably be ok.
We climbed over the rocks and dragged ourselves up to Worm's Head where we spent a good hour exploring. It's not huge by any means but yet again, it's full of jagged rocks and takes a long time to get across safely. We had a breather in the sunshine, watched the lambs playing on the cliff edges and watched the seals bobbing about in the water. 10 bonus points if you can see one of them.
You have about 2 and a half hours outside low tide to get back over to Rhosilli so we made our way back slowly and popped our heads over a few rockpools again. Joss was determined to find me a crab as I'd missed the first one but in his haste and excitement he fell in not one but two rockpools and I nearly passed out from laughing. Luckily for him, the weather was so good his socks and shoes dried out by the time we got back to the car. On the other hand, without falling in a single pool I found a hermit crab so that was fun.
The walk back to the clifftops is not easy, especially when the day only seemed to be getting hotter as we went into the evening. We huffed and puffed our way back up to the coastguard's cabin and had a quick breather and look back at the view before making our way back to the car and visitor's centre. We had initially thought about staying till sunset so I could get some pics but we would have had to have sat about for a good three hours and were hungry so we decided to have an ice cream before heading home instead.
Of course, on a Bank Holiday Monday with twenty something degrees the queue for ice cream was out the door and it was only when we got to the counter we found out they had about two flavours yet. In the end Joss went for a bubblegum bright blue ice cream which he enjoyed and I stayed classic with a Feast lolly. We ate them on our wander back to the car, said goodbye to the lambs as we left and popped back down the motorway home with a cheeky McDonalds pit stop on the way. The perfect end to a glorious few days.