Southerndown, our golden delight

Bubble Toes – Jack Johnson

Bonjour, bonjour,

I hope you’re okay. I am back today with one of my “escape” post, I am taking you to the Welsh coast. I really wanted to bring you there because it is one of my favourite places, we go there during summer for a cold bath (cold for Southern French people), and during winter for a deep breathe of fresh air. What I like the most is the landscape beauty; there is more than the beach, there are the castle’s ruins, fields with sheep, cliffs; a wild place even if sometimes crowded – everything I like!

There is a car park, down the cliff, near to the beach which will cost you £4 and another one up the cliff around the same price. People tend to go to the one down the cliff because it’s nearer to the beach and the slope can be tough but we prefer the up one because of the view, the fan-tas-tic view. You are facing the cliffs, the sea and sometimes sheep, behind you are the fields and sometimes sheep (sheep, always sheep).

When you go down the beach (do I need to mention the beautifulness of the view?) you can stop here and enjoy the view but you can also walk a little bit further and you’ll arrive to the Dunraven castle’s ruins.

It is hard to imagine the castle before but it was very spectacular. The first stones were installed in the middle of the 12th century by Arnold le Boteler, so it is a quite old castle and was since owned by numerous persons; the Vaughan family, Wyndham family, then by mariage by the 2nd Earl of Dunraven, the 3rd and their descendants. It has been fashioned by its owners according to their tastes and the periods, it has also been used as a military hospital during World War II and in 1963 the tragedy stroke: the house is demolished. The ruins are now part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and are protected. When you enter the ruins, you find a luxuriant garden in summer and an all green one in winter.

On the right picture, you can see the Ice Tower. I can not guaranty 100% its former use because I don’t remember exactly but I think it was the colder room in the castle so I assume it was used as a freezer or a place to store the salt. I really need to remember these things. Anyway, you can go inside and when you go inside you do realize why the castle has been loved by so much people: the view. Look at this view, it is always about the view.

At Southerndown there is the beach where everyone goes, quite crowded in summer because small and near to the car park, but if you want to visit the place, here’s a little piece of advice: continue toward the castle, then walk 3/4 minutes and then there is another cliff. There are some paths, you can choose one and go down the cliff; there is a huge beach where only few people go and it is very nice. Just remember that you go there at your own risks, be very careful not to slip.

Here is our little private golden beach… Of course it is not ours and hopefully it belongs to everyone! But only a few people go there so you’ll have the feeling of being alone.

As you can see, when we went there, the sun was quite low (it was in January) and the sunset was about to start. Because of that, we started to go back to the main beach and the car.

I truly think that I could never get enough of this place, even if we have to drive 40 minutes (from Cardiff) to get there, the peace that reigns worths it. There are places, like this one, where you know that you can empty your mind, find a refuge, breathe fresh air. I’ll admit that there are a lot of breathtaking places in Wales, Snowdonia is one of them and Southerndown too. One is breathtaking by the mountains, while the second one is breathtaking by the sea. I love both of them, so much.

We went down to the main beach, made golden by the sunset…

I have always loved sunsets, they are magical. The gold effet on the sand, the cliffs all of a sudden brighten, the sea and the sky are pure gold and the sound of the waves. What else?

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay there forever and not only the sun was down but it was very, very cold with a little -8 degrees that stings your nose. We watched the sunset from the car, up on the cliff and left, on this Sunday evening, ready to face the Monday.

I hope you enjoyed you walk, the pictures only give a third of the beauty of this place but I hope that I succeed in taking you to a sweet golden place for some minutes and I wish you a lovely week.

Des bisous

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