Oxwich Bay – Gower Peninsula

Pop by 'n say hi!Oxwich Bay Oxwich Bay is one of Gower’s most popular beaches and is hidden away on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. With two-and-a-half miles of golden sand, backed by sand dunes, salt marshes and woodland, it’s no wonder why! The beach at Oxwich Bay is a haven for water sports (including including, diving, sailing, water-skiing and windsurfing). Oxwich Watersports, at Oxwich Bay is a centre of excellence offering a full range of water sports activities. Oxwich Bay is a short drive from Rhossili and Three Cliffs Bay. Oxwich Bay lies in the community of Penrice. Penrice is also home to the Tudor Oxwich Castle, in the wooded headland above Oxwich Bay. From the beach you can explore Penrice; there is a footpath which leads on to the woods and the 13th century St. Illtyd’s Church. Finding Oxwich Bay The Oxwich Bay postcode is SA3 1ND. There is a private car park reached from a steep lane off the A4118. Just follow the sign for ‘Oxwich Slade’ off the A4118 and down the lane you will come to the car park. The post image is a capture made on a walk along the beach at Oxwich […]

Oystermouth Castle, Gower Peninsula

Pop by 'n say hi!Oystermouth Castle Oystermouth Castle (Castell Ystumllwynarth) is one of 600 castles in Wales, though of those 600, there are few Welsh castles with a better view than Oystermouth Castle. The castle, high on the hill in the charming fishing village of Mumbles, looks out onto Swansea Bay. Mumbles quaint streets with colourful cottages as well as two gorgeous beaches. The beaches at Langland and Caswell are connected by the Wales Coast Path, along which you will find stunning views. Oystermouth Castle is on a forty-foot high (12-metre), limestone ridge. The Norman, castle’s keep and lock at the castle date back to the 12th century. Like Pennard Castle, Oystermouth Castle was owned by the first Earl of Warwick. The post picture shows a capture made at Oystermouth Castle earlier this year. The castle is in the centre of Mumbles and is just a short, 15-minute drive from Swansea along the A4067. See the City and County of Swansea website for up-to-date information on Oystermouth opening times and upcoming events at the castle. We post regularly on London Photography Exhibitions and a wide range of topics from travel to healthy living, each post featuring jfFrank photos. Have a […]

Worm’s Head, Rhossili Bay

Pop by 'n say hi!Worm’s Head Rhossili Bay Worm’s Head is a tiny tidal island at the southern tip of the three mile long sandy beach at Rhossili Bay. Rhossili Bay itself is the UK’s best beach and ranks as one of the top ten beaches in the world, ranking higher than Greek and Thai beaches and in the same class as Anse Lazio in the Seychelles and, Brazilian beach, Baia do Sancho on the Atlantic island of Fernando de Noronha. Historically the head was named ‘Wurm’ by Viking invaders, meaning dragon. Worm’s Head is a short detour from the Wales Coast Path and can be explored, when safe to do so, at low tide. The headland is one mile (1,600 m) long, and the highest point is 150 feet (around 45 metres). It is possible to cross during a two and an half hour window around low tide, so it is worth checking tide timetables or speaking with volunteers at the National Coastwatch Lookout at the station by Worm’s Head. You might also consider using the TidesPlanner App if you have an iPhone or other iOS device. Location of Worm’s Head is Latitude: 51° 33.89′ N, Longitude: 4° 18.28′ […]

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula

Pop by 'n say hi!Three Cliffs Bay Three Cliffs Bay in Swansea Bay is great destination for any walker on the Gower Peninsula. The Gower Peninsula measures just twenty by five miles (roughly 32 by eight kilometres). They do say that good things come in small packages, and the Gower Peninsula certainly is one. In fact it was Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Other AONBs include the Cotswolds AONB and West Penwith AONB in Cornwall where Pedn Vounder beach and the Logan Rock are found. For Katherine Jenkins, Welsh mezzo-soprano, Three Cliffs Bay is Britain’s best view: “Three Cliffs is so intimate and cosy. It gives me the feeling of being hugged. This view has everything – it has the sea, it has the cliffs and the marshes.” Three Cliffs Bay is one of Britain’s best beaches and offers a wilder experience. Great for walking, stopping for a picnic or dusting the camera off with potential for some fantastic seascape shots. Three Cliffs Bay can be reached on a lovely coastal circular walk from Southgate, which takes in some of the finest limestone grassland in Wales and the ruins of Pennard Castle. Pennard Castle sits high […]

Total Lunar Eclipse meets Supermoon

Pop by 'n say hi!Total Lunar Eclipse meets Supermoon Early on the 28th September, the 2015 Harvest Moon was a very special one. A Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox (which occurred on 23rd September, and is marked by Druids at Stonehenge). This was not just any Harvest Moon though, it was a Super Harvest Moon. That was because the moon reached its perigee to coincide with the Harvest Moon. The perigee is the closest point the moon gets to the Earth on its 28 day orbit. As the name might suggest, the shorter distance, between the moon and planet Earth, makes the moon appears larger and brighter in the sky on a Supermoon. The Supermoon also brings spring tides, meaning high tide will be higher and low tide will be lower in teh days following a Supermoon. What added even more magic to the Super Harvest Moon was that it coincided with the second total lunar eclipse of 2015. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are perfectly aligned, so that the Earth casts a shadow over the moon. During a total lunar eclipse the moon appears red – hence […]

Imber Village Salisbury Plain

Pop by 'n say hi!Imber Village Imber Village sits on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire. Imber was a small farming village with several hundred residents. Today, however, Imber village is a village with a difference; since 1943, the village has not had a single permanent resident. Imber village was requisitioned by the War Ministry in 1943. It was the Second World War and the Western Allies were preparing for the largest naval, air and sea operation in history: Operation ‘Overlord’. Operation ‘Overlord’ which started on D-Day, opened a second front against Germany. The Normandy Invasion was an important turning point in the Second World War. The invasion of Normandy, launched from the south of England (principally Portsmouth in South Devon), put Hitler’s forces on the back foot. With D-Day, on the 6th of June in 1944, the process which lead to end of the World War II began. The German surrender came on the 7th of May in 1945. Imber village residents sacrificed their homes to allow US troops to train for the Normandy Invasion. They were summoned to the Imber village local school on 1 November 1943 to learn that the village had been requisitioned under Crown prerogative. The evacuation […]

Old Sarum – English Heritage

Pop by 'n say hi!Old Sarum Old Sarum is located on a hilltop, two miles north of ‘new’ Sarum, today known as Salisbury. Over 4,000 years ago, the hilltop site served as site for neolithic burial henges (much smaller in magnitude than the Durrington Walls ‘superhenge‘, Stonehenge or Avebury). Later, an Iron Age hilltop fort was built at Old Sarum. The fort was subsequently occupied by the Romans (called Sorbiodunum or Sorviodunum in Roman times). The Saxons used Old Sarum as a stronghold against marauding Vikings. Even later, the Normans built a castle onthe site, three years after the Norman Conquest. The city appears as Sarisburia in the Domesday Book and it is probable that the Domesday book itself was written at Old Sarum. In the early 12th century, Old Sarum was the most important town in South West England, often used a residence of Kings: King Henry I built a royal palace at the ancient city, which was late used by Plantagenet monarchs. The historic castle stood at Old Sarum until 1514 Henry VII ordered the castle to be demolished and the materials reused. Old Sarum Castle had fallen out of favour by Tudor monarch’s reign. Today, there is […]

Stonehenge – English Heritage

Pop by 'n say hi!Stonehenge Stonehenge, one of the wonders of the world, is the best known pre-historic monument in Europe. Today on the autumnal equinox, it is an important site for druids, who gather to see the sun rise over the stones. Stonehenge might not even be in here today, on the Salisbury Plain site it has occupied since neolithic times, if it wasn’t for an act of love on the part of a single man one hundred years ago. Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge on a whim in an auction for £6,000 (around £680,000 or one million dollars in today’s money). Chubb had gone to the auction to buy a set of curtains for his dear wife. Instead she was gifted the 5,000 year old monument, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stonehenge’s inner ring is made of volcanic blue stone originated in Carn Goedog in modern day South Wales, some 160 miles (257 kilometres) away from the Amesbury site where the monument were erected. The outer ring, the Sarsen stones, were likely sourced a little closer, within England. Much mystery surrounds the reason why the monument was erected. Theories include a Druid Temple, an ancient calculator, and elite […]

Silbury Hill – Largest Prehistoric Monument

Pop by 'n say hi!Silbury Hill – Largest Prehistoric Monument Silbury Hill, just a short walk from the Avebury Stone Circles is the largest prehistoric monument in Europe. The mound was the tallest structure in Europe until the Middle Ages and is 130 feet (40 metres) high. Even today, it is still the largest man-made mound in Europe. Silbury Hill would have been created over several generations around 2660 BC, before even the first stones at Stonehenge would have been raised. The construction was no walk in the park: it likely took some 700 men ten years’ work to build, modern archaeologists have been puzzled for some time as to why Silbury Hill was created. The post picture, at Silbury Hill was captured last summer on the same day as the Avebury Stone Circles image on a previous post. There is free access to the sites so you can arrive and have a quiet moment of reflection at the site before it starts to get busier. A great neolithic day out might include getting to the Avebury Stone Circles for sunrise, before embarking on the National Trust’s Averbury Archaeology Walk. The route takes you from neolithic Avebury, into West Kennet, […]

Avebury Stone Circles – World’s Largest

Pop by 'n say hi!Avebury Stone Circles Avebury Stone Circles are a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site. Like Stonehenge, they date back to the neolithic period – erected some 4,500 years ago. The Avebury Stone Circles stand on the Marlborough Downs, just 40 minute’s drive from Stonehenge. The stone circle at Avebury is the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle (427 metre diameter), the circles are dotted around the village, which means there is no admission charge. Also you can get even closer to the stones than at Stonehenge. Seeing the stones from so close, you get a real appreciation of the monumental feat of erecting the henge. Avebury Stone Circles provide a genuinely inspiring experience which you will never forget. Though the Avebury Stone Circles were built from around 2850 BC onwards, some stones were deliberately and systematically destroyed, broken or buried in Medieval times. In the 14th century, a hapless barber was likely buried alive while attempting to demolish one of the stones. If the stones were broken and buried, who restored the Avebury Stone Circles to their present form? That task fell to Alexander Keiller. During the 1930s, he uncovered and re-erected the buried stones. The site is currently […]