Situated on the extreme southwestern tip of the Gower if you make it this far you will be rewarded with mile upon mile of unspoiled white sands - almost as far as you can see!
Rhossili also takes a battering from the Atlantic as waves are funnelled up the Bristol Channel on the second highest tidal range in the world, making for the best surfing beach on Gower, with the biggest waves at the north end at Llangennith.
Such is the ferocity of the winds that in november 1887 the Helvetia ran aground here and you can still see the remains of her wooden hull on the beach...
This huge expanse of beach extends fully three miles and is often almost empty due to its remote location with the cliffs of the Rhossili Downs towering high above it.
There is a small village here with a hotel and bar, several shops setting ice creams (locally made Joe's) and snacks and a National Trust visitors centre.
There is also a large car park which costs £2 for a whole day's visit - it is a testament to the sheer size of the beach that even when this car park seems full (it is very big!), the beach below can seem almost deserted!
As well as going down to the beach (beware the steep climb back!), why not climb the downs for spectacular vies over the bay or walk to nearby Worm's Head which you can reach when the tide is out...
Clyne Gardens is a wonderful place just outside the City Centre on the way to Mumbles on the coast road. It is a great place to go for a peaceful stroll, a serious ramble or just somewhere to let the Children run free to burn off some energy. You will find many beautiful species of plants and trees growing here in many different habitat types, some are very common and others, quite unusual. The Gardens are home to giant Elephant Rhubarb and American skunk cabbage, the bluebell wood and the wild flower meadow, not to mention the National Collections of Pieris, Enkianthus and Rhododendrons.
William Graham Vivian - the millionaire of Clyne - purchased 'Clyne Castle' in 1860 and lavished time and money on it to reflect his wealth. You will find the Castle at the back of the gardens, you cannot go in because it is privately owned but is a great building to look at albeit from the outside. Near the Castle you will find the Italian Bridge, a one time water feature of the Castle grounds it survives in isolation with the plinths that originally supported marble statues.
Three important trees planted by the millionaire can be found in front of the Castle; one Wellingtonia 'Sequiodendron giganteum' and two Monterey Cypress 'Cupressus macrocarpa', one a fastigiate form which is also one of the tallest recorded in Britain. The estate passed to his nephew Algernon, 'The Admiral' in 1921 who owned it until his death in 1952. He had the greatest influence on the gardens as we see them today.
He sponsored plant collecting expeditions overseas, and many of Clyne's rhododendrons still bear their original collector's numbers. The Admiral's influence can also be seen in the landscaping, which includes a Japanese Bridge, the Admiral's Tower and the Gazebo.
The Admiral received many famous visitors at the Castle, including the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), Neville Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin and Adelina Patti.
The oak woodland is a remnant of Clyne Forest, an important 11th Century Norman landmark.
The tallest recorded Magnolia in Britain 'Magnolia campbellii var. alba' can be found here.
Many of the Admiral's hybrids can be seen growing in the gardens. He named some of them after his family; Rh,Graham Vivian, Rh, Dulcie Vivian, Singleton Blue and Clyne Castle.
The Gazebo in the Gardens was built as a lookout for the Admiral to view the incoming ships as they entered Swansea Bay. It is protected by a fine stand of Monterey Pine trees.
The Japanese Bridge is a great feature, this was painted red on the Admiral's whim. The water which rises in Clyne Common, travels under the Japanese Bridge and through the Gardens to join the sea at Blackpill. Alongside the Bridge is a fine specimen of the Handkerchief Tree.
If you walk to the top of the hill you will be rewarded with stunning views of Swansea Bay with Port Talbot in the distance. On our way out of the Gardens we came across a tower which was originally built as a viewing tower for the Admiral to overlook his collection of Rhododendrons, and out towards the sea.
This is a wonderful place to get away from it all & enjoy the beauty of nature.
The Gardens are open all year round from dawn to dusk.
Gaze at the Stars
As you walk along Swansea sea front you will come across a very odd looking structure built literally on the beach. Is it a bird, is it a plane?? No... it's Swansea's very own Observatory - known as Marine towers. In fact is is the largest interstellar observatory in Wales, utilising the second largest Shafer-Maksutov telescope of its type in the world. Splendid stained glass feature at the head of the tower's spiral staircase with excellent views of the bay and promenade below, in addition to the skies above! Sadly this facility is due to close in October 2009 as Swansea Council have had to withdraw their financial support which has paid for the upkeep of the facility over the years. It will be interesting to see what happens to this lovely unusual building.
"Rain, wind, sleet, sun all in one day"
Swansea has to be one of the wettest, greyest places in the British Isles.
On my 4th visit I was surprised to see sun, but when I thought it would be a chance to see something of the place, I had a shock when battered by an icy blast of wind, and then hailstones.
However I did see the beach, and the view of the sea was very nice. We even went as far as Mumbles to where Catherine Zeta Jones comes from. And the love spoons.
"the sea side"
Swansea is surrounded by hills and the town seems to be climbing upwards from the sea. The tide goes out a long way, but there are patches of golden sand for kids to play on, boats, and shops selling gifts for tourists, as well as the necessities.
I think if the weather was better I'd have a better impression .
parts of Swansea are very dull and dreary, partly because of the weather , but also because of the materials from which they are built and the slate roofs.