Tiptoeing thru the bluebells in Gower

Neil, the walk organiser, wanted to share the fine annual bluebell display in his local wood in the Gower Peninsula. Having had several days of showery weather, the day started cloudy as people gathered on the little lane in the heart of rural Gower where Stephen and Neil call home. Following a welcome to members old and new from Neil, who also congratulated member Gail on a recent milestone birthday, and Jim Cornwall on becoming National Chair of GOC, sixteen members, including three first timers, set out. The route followed a series of lesser-known paths, passing an ancient standing stone before climbing up to Cefn Bryn, a ridge that runs across the spine of the Peninsula. Landmarks near and far were pointed out as we enjoyed a 360-degree panorama overlooking the Severn and Loughor estuaries, and seeing the Bannau Brecheiniog, Presili Hills and closer to home settlements in Carmarthensihre and Pembrokeshire. We next briefly entered Millwood, where an ancient fishpond and mill were pointed out, before a sharp climb to the 12th Century Penrice Church for our packed lunch in the sunshine admiring Oxwich Bay and the rolling landscape of South Gower. Energised, we returned to Millwood and followed secret pathways through carpets of bluebells, also inhaling the rich aroma of wild garlic. The sun had come out so the dappled shade created a lovely light. We crossed a gurgling stream and continued through the woods before emerging into a field with lots of sheep and lambs. The final stretch of the walk was along a level green lane and over some ancient stone stiles across fields to return to the start. There Stephen and Neil welcomed everyone to their garden, where much needed refreshments were served. Lots of laughter and reminiscing of the walk took place. Although it was one of the groups more challenging walks of recent times, everyone said how much they enjoyed the day and appreciated seeing the bluebells at their peak. Reluctantly, people bade their farewells, making arrangements to meet up again soon at another event. A special thank you to Lee who acted as back marker.

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