A weekend in Gower, Wales was the perfect way to recharge and unwind.
Last weekend, my husband and I drove to Wales to meet some of his old friends and to take a break from the city. We set off on a 7-hr roadtrip for the Gower Peninsula, known for being the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it was certainly deserving of the title. Its large and uninterrupted coastline with a backdrop of majestic cliffs and mountains can really take your breath away. Wales definitely is a must-see if you are planning a trip to the United Kingdom.
Wales is a Country
Yes. Wales is a country. It is not uncommon for people to mistake Wales as a part of England. When you type the word “Wales” into Google Search, you can scroll down and see the top google search results, among which you’d see the phrase “is wales a country”. Funny, but not surprising. I remember a Welsh friend of mine having to just say that he is from the UK as not a lot of people knew where in the world Wales is.
Despite being in the United Kingdom with England, Wales is largely bilingual due to their own language and holds a distinct cultural identity. Coming into Wales from the tolls at the end of Severn Bridge, the first thing you’d notice their road signs, with instructions written in English and in another word that kind of looks like a cat was left alone on top of a keyboard. The most famous and longest name for a place in Wales is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch, aka “The Church of St Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio near a red cave”. The Welsh language is definitely an interesting one. Unique, quirky, with a Celtic charm – just like their own people, from what I’ve observed and heard, at least.
I did not know what to expect on this trip, and so seeing the beaches and mountains of the Gower (Ga-wer) Peninsula really had me in awe. Its landscape was more than scenic. It felt mystical. Every moment felt incredibly dramatic. As you drive around, you enjoy green plains that stretched into the horizon, with small cottage homes and sheep wandering about. You step out and walk through a small alley way into a small gate that opened into a green trail on the side of a mountain, below it a large beach with moderate waves and a sky covered with majestic clouds. As you sink your toes into the wet sand that seem to go on for miles, you see magnificent limescale rocks and cliffs. It is an experience that is at least emotional, if not poetic.
There were many things to do in Gower. It is a great place, whether you are more keen on reading a book and relaxing to the sound of waves, or you’re the outdoorsy type who would prefer to surf or go for a hike (there are lots of ideas for hikes on hikideas.co.uk). I really enjoyed being near the water again. Despite not getting to swim, just sitting there and looking into the water was so relaxing. I’ve mentioned in this earlier post the beach is my natural element. It seems that this is true, where ever in the world I am.
Going in Summer
It was a lovely summer day, the type that the English live for throughout the gloomy rest of the year. The whole weekend was sunny with a cold breeze, and festivities were held everywhere in the UK. We were sad to miss two other important events that took place in London that weekend. On days like that, I wish I had more of me to go around! So far, my experience of the English summer has been amazing. It is glorious and eventful, and it has easily become my favourite time of the year! So much to do and so little time, the extrovert in me is in a frenzy.
That being said, like us, many people naturally flocked seaside with their families and friends. Gower, as a summer destination, attracted many tourists and locals. The most scenic, and understandably more crowded one, was Rhossili Bay. It must be said though, that the large expanse of beach luckily allowed for personal space for you and your group to enjoy, and I didn’t feel like the beach was over-crowded at all. The pubs and restaurants is another thing, however. Expect a 30-40 minute wait time for food during peak hours. There were many bnb’s and hostels to stay in where you can cook your own food (we brought a whole hog to roast!) and take with you on your adventures. Or you could take your own food and have a barbecue on the beach, you can get a portable BBQ so you aren’t lugging a full size one around!
All in all, it was a great experience. I definitely hope to come back to Wales to see more of its rich history and landscape, and next time maybe for a a little bit longer than just one weekend.
Have you been to Wales? What other places would you recommend to see? Tweet it to me or comment below! If you have a friend coming to the UK or ifyou fancy a trip with your loved ones to Wales share this article through the buttons below.