📍 At the tip of the Gower Peninsula in Wales, through the quaint beachside village of Llangennith lies a hidden coastal treasure.
🚙 Approximately two hours drive from Bristol we headed to Broughton Farm Caravan Park (SA3 1JP) where, just outside its entrance, we parked and set off. Following limited instructions and a single large sign signalling 'BLUE POOL' 👉we meandered through the now sleepy caravan park, making sure to head left on to the coastal trail. The path was well worn, a reminder of busier summer days now replaced by a calmer rhythm.
🌊 I love visiting the coast in winter. Without the hum of people, you can really enjoy the landscape, empty of the busy distraction summer brings. As we walked I could hear the shrill chirps of small birds in the tall untamed grass, catching fleeting glimpses as they fluttered between the coppering bracken.
🚶🏼 Having walked for roughly 15 minutes from the caravan park we made it to a bench overlooking an empty beach named Broughton Bay, the sand untouched by a single footprint. With no sign to tell us whether this was it, except for a small ankle-high post with an arrow pointing towards a loose sandy path down to the beach, we took a gamble and followed it. About half-way down we spotted what we were here for - the Blue Pool Corner, a cauldron in a landscape of steep cliffs, one of the best plunge pools in Britain.
🗺 Getting down to it is not easy. The sandy path ends half-way down and from there it's a scramble across rocks. Be careful not to head towards the pool at this point. The best route to follow is off to the right towards the sea. Here you'll find there's a relatively easy way down. Going the other way leads you to a metal stake which marks a ledge with a sharp fall.
💦 Once safely down we climbed the pool's edge and peered into its depths. Nothing stirred apart from a shoal of tiny fish puckering at the surface leaving small ripples like soft raindrops. This was the first time I had seen anything like this in the UK. Carved out by wind-driven eddies swirling rocks at its bottom, the pool is an alien feature amongst the steep cliffs which surround it. The colour of the water was unusual too. Unlike the sea, it glowed a deep aquamarine colour, something I later read is caused by a build-up of minerals and lack of seawater input. A mark of its isolation from the sea until the next high tide that will replenish it.
💦 With as much grace as anyone can have putting on a wetsuit with cold fingers, we quickly wrestled into them. Holding my breath I lowered myself in, not having the guts to jump and risk a phenomenal brain freeze, unlike George who decided no half measures was the best approach. When the cold water hits you it's a pretty intense feeling. Your whole body tenses in response. But after a couple of minutes swimming, a warmth takes over your body and it begins to relax. There's something incredibly refreshing about it.
💦 After my first dip, it didn't take long before I worked up the confidence to jump in. On its highest edge, it's a good 3 metres drop but the pool's depth varies depending on the tide so always make sure you test it. When we visited we couldn't see the bottom and after inspection found it was not even two meters deep. Just about OK for jumping! We stayed at the pool for a good hour, enjoying the therapeutic effect of a day spent by the sea. Utterly distracted, it amazed me how quickly I forgot about the cold. As someone who shivers in the freezer section at Tesco, I would be lying if I said I hadn't been nervous about getting in a pool in a chilly 5 degrees. But what the day taught me is that our bodies are capable of incredible things and stepping outside of your comfort zone can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.
🌅 Sadly, the day was over all too soon and as the autumnal sun began to fade we decided it was time to leave and get on the road to a hot shower and cosy pyjamas. Putting on dry clothes at this point was the dreamiest feeling ever. I felt completely refreshed and my mind washed of any stress caused by the working week before. As we climbed the sandy path back to the top of the cliff, I had one little last look at the cauldron that had captured my heart and vowed I'd be back for another chilly dip soon.
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🌊Happy Roaming 🌊
Post dip happiness👇