Langland Bay on the Gower Peninsula was new to me. In all the years that I have been travelling to Gower I had not previously paid it a visit – perhaps because it is one of those popular beaches close to Swansea where visitors tend to throng – and I like to have the beach to myself! On this particular dismal August day the visitors were few and far between but it was clear what a delight the beach must be on better days.
A wide expanse of sand is bordered by low cliffs and rocky outcrops of Carboniferous High Tor Limestone and Hunts Bay Oolite. The bay has been eroded into the seaward-dipping rock layers of the Mumbles anticline and there are many fault lines crossing the strata. Consequently, veins of red haematite and white calcite abound along with patches of brecciated rock. Langland is best known to geologists for the sequences of glacio-fluvial and later, mostly unconsolidated, deposits that lie above the limestone. However, for myself, it was the wonderful maze of small pebble-floored coves, arches, and caves that held the interest with their wide variety of patterns and textures in the rocks, and the natural fracture patterns dissecting weathered surfaces.