After a showery wet day, an omen greeted us as we met for the first of our summer evening walks near Mumbles, a beautifully radiant and brightly coloured rainbow.
This was a sign from the GOC gods, confirming the rain was over for the day and a sunny, mostly blue skied evening was to follow for our wander around some lovely hidden gems in the Mumbles area.
5 of us assembled near Ripples cafe and after greeting new member Ali, we set off towards Mumbles on the cycle track.
Ali lives locally and it turned out that some of this route is her regular constitiutional so she was able to add some interesting bits of history and local information.
Quite soon we veered off to a lovely green wooded area at Norton which led up to Oystermouth Castle where we had fantastic views over to Mumbles, including The Lighthouse, the many bars and retaurants and indeed Ali pointed out her house to us!!
Ali and I recommended that a tour inside Oystermouth Castle is definitely worth a visit in the near future.
We proceeded through a few streets of Norton and on a lane through houses up to and into Oysermouth Cemetery.The sun shone on the gravestones giving it an eerie but also somehow an unexplainably lovely feel.
Onwards and upwards we went through the Cemetery to see the Woodland burial section, a very peaceful spot.
At other times, for example in the winter, the views from here out over the bay are stunning but at the moment the trees are full of lovely lush green leaves blocking most of the views over to Mumbles though we did manage a glimpse through to some parts of The Marina.
We followed the driveway down, out of the Cemetery, and across the road to Underhill Park.We were going to go into Peel Wood on route but the entrance seems to have mysteriously disappeared and I am still trying to find out where you can now enter the wood.
The Woodland trail in the park took us to a memorial sculpture to Billy Johns a remarkable local young man who had founded Mumbles Rangers football team that still play on this ground.
He must have been an inspirational person, as, from a very young age he was confined to a wheelchair and then soon became paralysed and indeed died at the young age of 33.
He was recognised for his "work" and exceptional commitment to the local community and was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1961.
Sadly he died the following year.
We proceeded onto Overland Road a very long road stretching from Langland corner where we joined it, right down to the main road through Mumbles.
We stopped at another memorial, a plaque this time, set in the wall where Sir Arthur Whitten Brown lived, of Alcock and Brown fame, and I gave the group some details of their heroic achievements in the skies.
Taking a right turn we meandered through some houses and found ourselves on a muddy path through lots of greenery.
Neil H, decided to leave us at this point having had quite a long and interesting day exploring nearby areas and Ali then led us on to Mumbles Hill itself.
We stopped where the guns had once defended Swansea in the Second World War and there were information boards giving us a detailed history.
We made our way to a viewpoint where we could see the whole sweep of Swansea Bay and played "I spy an ice cream parlour below", which was our next important stop off point.
Ali decided to double back for a quicker route home leaving Gela, Robert and myself to walk via Mumbles Pier to the aforementioned refreshment stop.
Robert then took his leave--how could he refuse the scrummy ice creams on offer??!!perhaps the huge choice of flavours was just too much for him??!!
This left Gela and myself to volunteer as major taste testers, with a toffee chip crunch for her and a turkish delight being very delightful indeed, for me.
Many thanks to everyone who came and supported this event and didn't let the Welsh weather change their plans, trusting in the sun to shine on our parade.
I love little wanders like this that show you all the interesting bits and pieces and hidden gems you just wouldn't see on a drive through Mumbles.
The good company and lots of chit chat --and the scrummy ice cream of course!!--added immensely to a very enjoyable summer evening jaunt.
I'm still on the case of the disappearing entrance to Peel Wood. . . . . . . wasn't that the title of an Agatha Christie whodunnit??!!