12 February 2017

Out and about in Mumbles, Gower and Swansea

We need to invest our off duty time wisely; as everyone who owns their own business knows, demands are both mental and physical. Add to the mix a couple of sporty sons and a Chocolate Labrador and life can be full on.
This week, we unusually don’t have a Rugby match to go to; our younger son is in the “Ospreys Rugby Academy” and plays for Swansea RFC at the famous St Helens rugby ground. The same ground that has hosted some of the best all time cricketers in the summer months. Sir Ian Botham recently stayed with us and still remembers how many steps lead to the club house. Next time I must count them for myself.

This week we have decided to try the walk that Derek the weather man presented on BBC 1 Wales last week. It started at Parkmill up towards Parc le Breos, past the giants grave: an historical land mark where stone age skeletons were found measuring over 6 foot.  The walk took us through beautiful open land, up on to the top of Cefn Bryn, an area famously known for King Arthur’s stone. The view of the three cliffs bay is nothing less than breathtaking. We then follow the path down on to the sandy beach, one of many spectacular beaches on the Gower peninsular. Having negotiated the stream we make the stiff climb up to Pennard castle. This vantage point allows us to do a spot of bird watching as Kittiwake and birds of prey share the same overhead sky.

After a well earned stop off at the Three cliffs café and general store we head back down the sand dunes to walk back along the marsh land, through a wooded area, where the fresh shoots of the wild garlic are busting, back to the car. Chili, our 10 year old chocolate lab seem delighted to see the car.

On the second morning of our time off I took myself of for a cycle along the Mumbles promenade. It used to be the proud home of the “Mumbles Tram” long since gone. However, now in high days and holidays you can catch the “Mumbles land train” from the busy Lido at Black pill down to Verdi's ice cream parlor in Southend; a short walk from the beautiful Victorian Mumbles pier that also houses the Mumbles life boat station.

The promenade runs along the Mumbles bay some 10 miles into Swansea, past the Swansea National swimming pool, The main Swansea university site and the glorious Singleton park. The home of Proms in the Park in the summer.

I like to cycle along past Swansea city centre, to the Marina, one of the largest in the country. The Swansea docks are also on my path. On one of my next days off I am planning to go to the Docks to see the new mussel beds, a great use of unused dock area I think.

This is the area that will also be part of the new Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. A very exciting project, not only for Swansea, but to harness the natural power of the sea seems a no brainer to me in these times of energy deficit.

Once back home it’s time for a well earned spot of retail therapy in Mumbles local shops and maybe a visit to a couple of the local galleries. Our historical village is blessed with local and national shops, coffee houses and restaurants all overlooked by an Early 12th century Oystermouth Castle.

Back to work tomorrow but tonight I am going to dine in my own restaurant, and after all that exercise I think I will treat myself to the full wine and food matching menu.