Walk the Worm

On Saturday morning I led a guided walk of Worm’s head in Rhosilli, Gower (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rhossili-and-south-gower-coast/)



The group assembled on a grey Saturday morning outside the National Trust shop in Rhossili Village for the start of our walk. During the course of the day we walked about 4 miles in which we covered 700,000 years of history from the Palaeolithic period to the 21st century.

 We talked about the landscape and how it has changed as a result of the Ice Ages and how our early ancestors would have adapted and survived here.

 En route to the worm we walked past Prehistoric caves, Iron Age Hill Forts, Deserted Medieval Villages, Shipwrecks and relics of World War II.

 The worm is a tidal island and the causeway can only be crossed at low tide. The walk across the causeway can be quite demanding but everybody made it across without getting wet feet.


ImageWorms Head: The causeway is completely covered at high tide and island can only be accessed at low tide.


The island itself has apparently been inhabited since 800BC, with the remains of an Iron Age Fort and a Medieval Farm still visible.

 We stopped for lunch at the tip of the island before making our way back. However, on our way back across the Causeway the heavens opened and we were caught in a torrential rain shower with no shelter. Luckily this didn’t last too long and the clouds began to break up exposing the blue sky beneath. Within about ten minutes you could have easily mistaken the day of an early Summers day and not the middle of October.

 It is quite common to see seals bathing on the rocks of the island and just when it looked like we weren’t going to see any we stumbled across this chap  on the final leg of the causeway.



At the end of the tour, because it was such a nice day I couldn’t help myself and had to go for a walk on Rhossili beach and get a closer look at some of the shipwrecks.


ImageRhossili Beach, you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a summers day and not the middle of October.




Remains of the Helvetia, wrecked on the beach of Rhossili in 1887. Worms head in the background.


Archaeology, Dragons and Hillforts

Last week I got to take in the views of the most dramatic and beautiful valleys in Wales. I went on a two day field trip to the National Trust offices at Craflwyn, a foothill of Snowdonia (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/craflwyn-and-beddgelert/).

 After a very early start on Thursday morning we arrived at Craflwyn to meet with some other members of the National Trust archaeological team. After a brief catch up and team meeting we set off to explore some of the local archaeology.


The team keeping an eye out for dragons.

First up on our sites to visit we went to check out the home of the Red Welsh Dragon. After a brisk walk up the hill side we arrived at Dinas Emrys, the site of the ancient hill fort. Dinas Emrys was first occupied in the Iron Age and then again in the 12th century, but the site is also shrouded in mythical tales of King Arthur and Merlin and is supposedly home of the legendary Welsh Red Dragon.

The site is currently part of an EDRF funded heritage program to bring to life the history of the site (you can find out more about this here http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1355772161484/).

Day 2 of our field trip and another walk around the foothills of Snowdonia, this time to Hafod y Llan to view construction of the new hydro electric power scheme. The walk took us a short distance along the course of the river whilst taking in dramatic views of Mt Snowdonia, unfortunately not enough time on this trip to make it to the top though.

After a hearty lunch we set off on our long drive back to Swansea in South Wales but I will be back soon to conquer Snowdonia!!!

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