147. Rhossili – Horton

147. Rhossili – Horton

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Distance: 7.89 miles

Max Altitude: 80 m

Min Altitude: 6 m

Height Gain: 184 m

Height Loss: 249 m

 

The weather was not as kind to me as it had been during the previous days. It was a damp and claggy morning on the Wales Coast Path. But I couldn’t complain. I had had the most incredible few days of sunshine and blue skies.

With my jacket zipped up I began walking in high winds above Rhossili Bay.

To my right a blue sky was attempting to pop out from beneath the clouds, but to my left it was a different story.

Ahead of me was Worm’s Head. I had always thought it had been named thus for obvious reasons. However, following further investigation, it seems that I was wrong. It was named ‘wurm’ which meant ‘dragon’ by Viking invaders. You can see why. It’s actually a tidal island. I considered walking closer to it but thought it better to return in finer weather.

The National Coastwatch Institution occupies a former Coastguard station at the tip.

I continued. Unlike yesterday, today’s terrain was far more challenging. It amazes me that people I talk to often assume that I am walking on an actual path, sculpted, smooth and made of tarmac! The reality looks more like this most days –

There were quite a few people at Rhossili and many had walked down to Worm’s Head too. But by the time I rounded the headland I was alone once more. 

Mewslade Bay and Fall Bay were deserted.

Rays of sunshine were attempting to break through but without much luck.

The stunning sight of Overton Mere lay ahead, together with a treacherous descent to reach it. 

I wasn’t far from Port Eynon and would just have to round the headland (after another ascent!) to get there. 

Overton Mere was like a lunar landscape. This bay has a reputation for having caves which are perfect for hiding caches and contraband. I didn’t go hunting but maybe I should have. 

I left Overton Mere behind and headed up towards Port Eynon Point, all the time looking back in wonderment. By now the blue sky was beginning to win through.

A monument stands at the tip of Port Eynon Point. It stands as a testament to the founding of the Gower Society who helped preserve these cliffs for the nation. 

What a wonderful and fitting tribute.

And with that, I was almost in Port Eynon itself. 

A lifeboat station was established here in 1884, after the locals of the village watched helplessly as a steamship called the ‘Agnes Jack’ was stricken on nearby rocks and all its crew drowned. The lifeboat station looked after this stretch of the Gower coast for years until a tragedy in 1916. During a rescue attempt in gale force winds at nearby Oxwich, the lifeboat was capsized twice by enormous waves and three lifeboat crew members drowned. The RNLI decided that it was therefore too dangerous for villagers to attempt rescues in such treacherous conditions and the lifeboat station was closed.

There is now a lifeboat station in Horton due to the increase in tourists, some of whom get into danger in the water.

I had an ice cream in Port Eynon and continued on through the dunes towards Horton where I finished my walk for the day. 

My ankle was huge. Tramping across uneven surfaces all day had taken their toll. Ice and elevation was how I spent the rest of my evening.

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