As a Wales travel photographer, there’s often a sense of renewal when the clocks ‘Spring forward’ into British Summertime.
While the mornings might initially feel a touch darker, the evenings feel generous in length thanks to the additional sunlight. This gives more time to drink in the new growth, the flowers and the budding tree branches, birdsong and dawn choruses somehow sound that bit louder and stronger, the summery scent of cut grass returns.
It seems like the world has slipped the chains of wintry darkness. Taking an evening stroll you will see more people than a few weeks earlier at the same time: runners, walkers, photographers, cyclists, dogs. There’s life outside the office and home once again.
It can be easy to forget what a bounty of natural beauty we have around us in South Wales. There’s an incredible coastline, mountains and rolling hillsides. There are popular hotspots which frequently attract flocks of people on sunny Sunday afternoons. These include Pen Y Fan mountain in the Brecon Beacons, Barry Island, Ogmore Beach and Southerndown.
But with a little care and a bit of luck, it’s relatively straightforward to find more tranquil places away from the crowds.
[Read the Composed piece: Visiting Llandudno]
A long held favourite of mine is Kenfig Nature Reserve. Sitting between Bridgend and Port Talbot, two South Wales towns which may not immediately spring to mind if you’re thinking of picturesque locations, this place has a unique charm in abundance.
A favourite with dog-walkers, its hilly sand dune topography has delighted out young hound at regular intervals.
For those seeking a quieter solitude there’s a peaceful bird hide from which the local birds and wildlife can be easily spotted.
And if you follow one of the many trails, or even if you don’t, you can easily reach a large beach.
[Read the Composed piece: North Of Skye]
One beautiful evening last week, shortly before the clocks sprung forward, it was almost entirely deserted. Just the occasional runner flecking across the sand while the sun plopped down beyond. The near backdrop to the west of Port Talbot’s churning chimneys adds to the unique sense of place. And from atop the tallest sand dune peaks, you can see the hillsides to the north, carving into the land to create the Swansea and Neath valleys.
Kenfig Nature Reserve is just one of many spots across South Wales which are only a little off the regular beaten track of locals and tourists, but it is well worth exploring. Welcome back British Summertime.
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