Surf and camp
SWANSEA BAY, GLAMORGAN Stuck in the office on a sunny day? Chuck a surfboard in the car and head to the glorious Gower after work for some ocean therapy, says Sian Lewis
Swansea Bay, Glamorgan
write this sitting at my desk at BBC Countryfile Magazine Towers. The sun is streaming in through the window and it’s hard not to wish myself outdoors.
Working 9-5 can be tough on the soul, especially in summer, but I’ve got a failsafe survival strategy – hightailing it to the coast for a dip in the ocean as soon as the last bell goes.
For me, surfing is the most satisfying of microadventures.
IAll you need is a board and a wetsuit and you can go from office to sea swell in no time. Surfing clears your head, takes you to incredible open spaces and it’s fantastic fun, too. I can leave work in Bristol at five and be in the sea at seven, with hours of sunshine left and nothing to do but catch a wave or two.
And there’s nowhere more glorious to head to than Swansea Bay for an evening surf and then a sleep under canvas next to the Celtic Sea.
Arriving in Swansea Bay always feels like escaping from real life – cross the Severn and fly past the belching steel works at Port Talbot and suddenly you’re in chilled-out Mumbles, where cosy cottages and ice-cream shops sit gazing out at the sea.
I love to surf at Caswell Bay – it’s a friendly, safe beach for beginners and it’s incredibly beautiful, too, sheltered between cliffs that glow gold with gorse flowers in late spring.
The first step on to the soft, silvery sand makes me instantly forget the working day. There’s no better sight than watching the sun turn the sand a rich umber and other surfers become silhouettes as they make their way towards the water with boards tucked under their arms.