It was a bit of a last-minute plan. We have been saying for a while that there is nothing stopping us from going away for the weekend to explore more of the country and have a bit of a break from regular routine, but so far we have never actually followed through with it. There was always an excuse; Jason wasn’t feeling up to it, we had done something the previous weekend, or the weather wasn’t going to be that great. But last month I worked up quite a few extra hours at work and needed to take a day off to use them up and we decided to take advantage of it and go to the seaside! We found a room on Airbnb which was available at late notice, I booked a Friday off work and we checked the weather forecast for Swansea, Wales. I was thrilled to see it was supposed to be sunny and hot all weekend, but didn’t put too much faith in it seeing as it was still two weeks ahead of time. But the forecast held, turning out to be the hottest week of the year (so far!).
Friday morning we got up at six, shared a watermelon for breakfast and started packing. I had fully intended on getting everything ready to go Thursday evening, but I completely lost my motivation once I got home from work and all I managed to do was make sure the laundry was washed and hung out to dry. By 10 o’clock we were on the road and the sat nav said we should arrive around 12:30. But that didn’t quite happen… We had a few stops for construction on the way, but nothing major until we reached Swansea and realized that the main route through the city was closed. It turned out they had an air show for the weekend, so we were diverted around the downtown area. I suppose the diversion itself didn’t add too much distance to the journey, but all the extra cars coming for the air show combined with normal Friday afternoon traffic made it a bit of a nightmare.
It was hot and sweaty and slow, and we didn’t get to the beach until 2 PM. But eventually we made it! We broke free of the city traffic and on to the little country lanes, and finally got a proper glimpse of the sea. I may or may not have been bouncing in my seat saying “ooh look, look, look LOOK!” I’ve always loved the ocean, so this being my first time going to spend a few days at the seaside where it was sunny and warm enough to swim made me more than a little excited. I think Jason may have thought I was a bit OTT, but hey – I was happy. 🙂
We arrived at Caswell Bay car park extremely hungry (despite eating most of a head of celery between us while sitting in traffic). We ate lunch in the car, spilled tumeric all over the seat, cleaned it up, grabbed our towels and walked across the beach where the tide was starting to come in. The water was so cold, but it felt amazing after sitting in a hot car for 4 hours! We did do a rather daft thing though; turns out if you lie on your towel on the compact (therefore damp) sand it will get absolutely soaked in about 10 minutes… That would be why everyone was lounging much farther up the beach and we were the only ones that close to the water!
We headed back into Swansea to find our Airbnb and it turned out to be amazing, if a little hot! We had our own separate entrance and bathroom, with a spiral staircase up to a loft bedroom with windows overlooking the sea. It was so cute, and just what we were looking for.
Next morning (after a rather rough night’s sleep due to the heat and the double bed not being big enough for my rather sprawling sleeping positions) we woke up at six and slowly got our day started. We ate fruit and drank tea, then drove into Mumbles to have a wander around the village. We found a parking spot, a castle and a FatFace store with a 50% off sale (but I didn’t buy anything). Then we checked out the grocery stores and produce stalls and bought a punnet of doughnut peaches. The peaches were perfectly ripe, so we walked along the seawall until we found a bench and ate them all… then walked back to buy another punnet for breakfast the next day!
A little before lunch time we decided it had gotten warm enough to head to one of the many beaches for a swim. We drove over to Oxwich Bay, paid £5.00 (!!) for parking and made our way to the beach. There were so many people clustered around the path to the car park, but thankfully we just had to walk a bit farther down the beach to find our own space. We ate our picnic lunch, then laid our towels out on the dry sand to relax. I read a book for a while, then got way too hot and needed to cool down. That is when I realized that coming out a low tide probably wasn’t the best idea, since the water was a good 10 minute’s walk away from where we were sitting. But I persevered, and finally made it down to the sea, avoiding a few stranded jellyfish and tiny hermit crabs. I waded through the sea for another 10 minutes until the water was just above my waist, and decided that I would just have to duck under if I wanted to get wet, seeing as it wasn’t getting any deeper!
Eventually I made it back to Jason who had stayed back to guard our phones and keys. After I told him that the upside of the bay being so shallow was that the water was much warmer than the day before he decided to go for a swim after all and started the long trek across the beach. I slowly dried off in the sun, but by the time he came back I starting to feel a bit of a burn coming on. We headed back to our Airbnb to wash the salt off, then realized that we were both burnt bright red. There was absolutely no way I was going back out in the sun that day, so I took a long cold shower and we just hung out in our room for a few hours. By seven that evening we were feeling like we really shouldn’t stay inside for any longer while we were on holiday, so we drove down to a little cove just on the other side of Mumbles. It was rocky and shaded, which was absolutely perfect for my poor crisped skin.
Sunday morning we woke up at six again after another rougher night, this time due to the sensitive skin. I think I was a bit better at staying on my side of the bed, but I’m not sure. We had an amazing breakfast of melon, bananas, peaches and apples, then slowly packed up. By 10 we were in the car, heading over to Mumbles for meeting. The weather’s timing was perfect; by the time the service was over it had started to rain, which it proceeded to do most of the way home!
It really was a perfect weekend break; simple, relaxing and sunny (and inexpensive!). It made me happy. 🙂
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you and I am impressed! I know I rambled on a wee bit…