View of the Worm's Head from the Rhossili cliffs
1. Looking at the tidal island of Worm’s Head from the cliff top of the Rhossili Headland on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales.

I had often enjoyed exploring the rocks, gullies, and pools of the wave cut platform which forms a causeway between the Rhossili Headland and the tidal island of Worm’s Head. It was not until last year, on a glorious April day with a particularly low spring tide, that I actually ventured onto the island itself for the first time. The Worm’s Head is divided into several sections. The largest and probably the highest of which is the Inner Head. A section known as The Long Neck connects this to the Middle Head with its famous Devil’s Bridge on the way to the Outer Head.

The island is composed of Carboniferous Limestone but the rock layers become younger from east to west, passing from Black Rock Limestone Group, to Gully Oolite, and then High Tor Limestone. I decided to walk along the shore on the westerly side of the island. To see what I saw, look at the pictures in the gallery below. If you click on any picture in the gallery you can view the photographs in slideshow format with their captions.

I walked along the beach as far as the Long Neck, which is a narrow stretch of jagged rocks formed by steeply sloping strata that connects the Inner Head to the Middle Head.  It looked quite difficult to negotiate the crossing although many people were having fun trying to do it. However, fearing that I might not have enough time to reach the Outer Head before the tide returned and covered the causeway again, I then turned round and followed the footpath at the base of Inner Head. The west flank of the hill was covered with bright yellow gorse flowers and patches of wild violets. It was a beautiful walk and I hope it won’t be long before I visit again to explore the rest of the island.

 

12 Replies to “The West Side of Worm’s Head”

  1. Thank you, Central Ohio Nature. It is a great place that has always attracted many visitors. The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas famously got stuck on Worms Head when the sea rapidly covered the causeway and cut off the way back to the mainland.

  2. We would like to go back and properly explore the Gower this coming Summer. I’m not sure if its my laptop but I cant see these as a slideshow, but if I click on one photo they do enlarge as singles then there is the option to click next or previous. Either way, lovely inspiring photos Jessica.

  3. Thank you, Julie. Gower is a rewarding place to visit however many times you go there. I hope you get the chance to explore it some more this summer. (There are two slideshow formats on WordPress, one automatically loads the images to view in sequence but in the other, as in this case, they are loaded manually by clicking the forward and backward arrows).

  4. Looks like an incredibly rich source of interesting things to see – must be difficult not to get caught out by the tide! The Devil’s Bridge looks amazing.

  5. It is a huge draw for visitors but most of them are are intent on making the walk to the Outer Head before the tide turns. I don’t think the majority have time to appreciate just how special a place it is. Coastguards watch the causeway through binoculars at all times during low tide so that they can rapidly respond if anyone gets into difficulties on the rocks or looks as if they are leaving the return journey too late. I guess it must happen quite frequently to warrant two volunteers monitoring the situation each time the causeway is exposed in daylight hours.

  6. The ring-shaped fossil is part of a crinoid or sea-lily which is related to the starfish and sea urchins. The stalk by which the animal attaches to the seabed is made up of a series of articulated ossicles, a bit like vertebrae in a spine. In this piece of rock there are thousands of small and sometimes broken ossicles from crinoid stalks or other parts such as cirri and the crown. The ring is one of the larger ossicles viewed from its articulating surface.

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