View of land slip at Rhossili Beach

I always stop at the top of the path leading down to Rhossili Beach to take a photograph looking north towards Llangennith and Burry Holms. Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of shots of this wonderful sandy shore at every time of day, every state of the tide, each season, and all kinds of weather. I love it’s many moods. Today, however, I immediately noticed a change – not entirely unexpected given the effects of this winter’s extreme weather on many of Great Britain’s coastlines. A large chunk of the “cliff”, that forms the leading edge of the long low terrace at the base of Rhossili Down, had slipped in the stormy wet weather and removed the lower stretch of the path to the beach.

View of land slip at Rhossili Beach

The patch of bare earth with isolated clumps of turf, where the the softer sediments of the solifluction terrace slipped a few months ago, destroying the concrete steps leading down to the beach, scars the ground.

Safety Barrier and diversion notice at Rhossili land slip

A safety barrier prevents access to the part of the path damaged by the land slide a few months ago in winter storms; and a notice has been posted of the diversion until the path is repaired.

An alternative path to the beach at Rhossili

One of the alternative routes to the beach.

Bluebells and new ferns on the terrace of Rhossili Down

It was very pleasant to walk among the bluebells and fresh growths of spring vegetation on the new way to the beach.

View through the bluebells towards Worms Head

New spring growth of ferns complemented the bluebells on the slopes above the land slip – seen here in a view looking towards the Worms Head.

Looking up at the land slip area from the beach at Rhossili

The nature and extent of the land slip become more apparent once you have scrambled down the steep slope to the beach itself. The whole area needs to stabilise before repairs can be made to the path which is normally used by visitors to the beach.

Looking up at the land slip area from the beach at Rhossili

Just a bit further along the beach from this recent land slide is an area of both old and new rock falls. The boulders include blocks of Carboniferous Limestone and also clumps of sharp angular fragments cemented together by crystalline calcite that has precipitated from groundwater. I think this material is probably peri-glacial shattered rock. See below a group of images showing the recent slip and this area of boulders on the beach that lie next to a cliff of solid massive limestone strata.

Land slide at Rhossili Beach

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014 – All Rights Reserved

5 Replies to “Landslip at Rhossili Beach”

  1. Thank you. Yes, Rhossili is a class act amongst beaches. The part which suffered the recent slip is only a very small part of a huge beach so it doesn’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of it. Change takes place here all the time but it is generally subtle, and no-one but a regular visor would notice it.


  2. Hi there,
    I am part of the Landslides Team at the British Geological Survey and we collect information about landslides that occur in Great Britain (for more information see I have come across your blog post about the one in Rhossili and am wondering if this is the same landslide reported by the BBC in January Or is there renewed activity here?
    Many thanks


  3. Hello, Catherine

    The land slip I photographed is the same one that was reported earlier but it was the first time I had seen it. There has been no further activity as far as I know – although it all looks a bit different because of settlement. Also, boulders on the beach a bit further along from the slide that destroyed the path, are mostly older with some possibly revealed for the first time because of covering sand being washed away. When I return home and have access to all my previous pictures of this location, I will be in a better position to determine what is new and what is old, and make comparisons.


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