The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 20 March 2015

WCP: Gowerton to Pembrey

Friday 20 March 2015

Distance: 15.5 miles

Weather: Wall-to-wall sunshine (although the sun did almost disappear briefly at about 9.25am)

The original plan had been that I was only walking as far as Gowerton on this trip, following which we would spend a few days visiting some of the coastal(ish) Marilyns which lie between the Gower and Newport. That plan changed yesterday, based on the weather forecast; with yet more sunshine forecast I couldn’t resist squeezing in just one more day walking along the coast.

The sunny days are leading to cold nights, and last night was the coldest yet, but even at 7.15, as I strode off down a nastily-busy little lane, there was promise that it would soon warm up.

There’s not much to be said about the first bit of the route, which saw me approach and cross the River Loughor, but once over the river (via the road bridge), off I veered to the salt marshes, which has been designated as the Millennium Coastal Park. For the most part that was quite pleasant, although unspectacular.

At Machynys, Mick strode towards me and performed his usual about-turn, which saw us walking together towards the west side of Llanelli. It was fortuitous that we met when we did, as Mick was well equipped with solar eclipse viewing gear, whereas I had none. Thus, at 9.27 (when everyone within sight was stopped and viewing through one means or another) we got to witness the eclipse:


Mick’s solar eclipse viewing gear: a light coloured Tilley hat and a pair of reading glasses

The day, which had been warming up nicely, cooled back down noticeably as the moon got in the way, and it was quite a while later when it felt warm again. By then, I had paused for coffee in the comfort of Colin, before joining hoards of people out on this section of the Millennium Park (I think the ease of access together with there being a seafront promenade cause the popularity of this particular area).

In terms of prettiness, the highlight of the day was probably the lighthouse and beach at Burry Port, where the lighthouse we passed first thing yesterday at Whiteford Burrows appeared to be just a stone’s throw away across the water.


Hard surfaces prevailed today as the WCP followed cycle paths, and even the last section through the sand dunes to Pembrey was no exception, although here the surface was formed by that plastic grid stuff, through which grass can grow (although on this occasion it had been filled with grit).

Finding Mick parked up at Pembrey I decided to call it a day rather than continuing on to Cydweli, and so that’s it for this section of the Welsh Coast. It has been most enjoyable, made more so by the weather (if we overlook the Barry day). There’s some surprisingly nice coast down here, and I’m already looking forward to the final section (235 miles to go), which will take me through Pembrokeshire.

For now, though, I need to spend some time looking at a map, deciding which hills we’re going to visit this weekend and how we’re going to approach them.


  1. Well, typical me, join you right at the end. Love the 'eclipse viewing equipment', such a resourceful chap!

    1. Good job I snuck an extra day in or you wouldn't have got here until I'd finished!

  2. with that quality of kit, one can assume that the walking poles have now been painted white!
    lucky you - thick cloud only became even more sullen for a few minutes up here -
    but as Conrad and I had our 'day' in the penumbra years ago, cannot complain !
    all these panegyrics about the Welsh coast from you and many others are making me wonder if I should . . .

    1. There are certainly many spectacular miles on the Welsh coast, although apparently I haven't got to the best bit yet. The Gower, Ceredigion and Anglesey particularly stand out as being worth seeing.