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  • Writer's pictureGareth Partington

Discovering and photographing the Gower – Rhossili

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

Back in September 2016 I went with Emma to the Gower peninsula in South Wales. This is a part of the country I had never been to before and was very excited. It was somewhere Emma and her family visited each year and thirteen people and two dogs this year would cram into two caravans. It was very cosy!

The surfing was amazing on Rhossili beach but the waves were breaking quite early so getting out beyond the breakers was very difficult. I use to be quite good at surfing but five/six years of not doing it proved to me I was very much a beginner again. My surfboard gave me a swift telling off for not having surfed her for years by giving me a nasty slice across my finger. Luckily no hospital trip but I have a great surfing scar to show off now.

I didn’t do a lot of photography when I was down as I just wanted to switch off for the week, but the few images I created can be seen on this post.

Rhossili is a beautiful location and feels very wild. The beach stretches out for miles in either direction and going after the school holidays (something I’ve not been able to do before, having spent eight years teaching) meant it was almost deserted.


There is an incredible ship wreck. Well I say incredible, there isn’t much left of it but in my mind it sparked off all sorts of images of what it use to be, a pirate ship, a slave ship, some elaborate cruiser.

Unfortunately the sands of time have covered most of the ship, but you can find out about it here The wrecking of the Helvetia I kept wondering how I could make what was left interesting to photograph and I thought exploring long exposures would be the approach to take, but the tides were never in my favour when the light was right.

Something I need to return to and try again.


Paris, Emma’s moms guide dog, loved to eat the barnacles off the wreck, I had never seen anything like it, a dog taking huge bites out of the poor sea creatures, we had to pull her off, I guess it’s like oysters to her (yuk)

The worms head which protrudes out into the ocean is also a an amazing location, It is definitely somewhere I want to return explore in more detail, I might take a sleeping bag incase I get cut off by the tide covering the causeway.

My favourite photos I took were of the drift wood, as we were walking back to the caravan on one evening the wind was blowing across the beach, whipping the sand up.

As you looked down it was like ghosts were dancing around your feet and streams of spirits stretched out before you. I noticed how the sand was circling around the wood so grabbed my camera. I had no tripod so quite sillily, I placed the camera on a few pebbles to do a long exposure. The camera got covered in sand but I thought if I could get this right it might look good.

In hindsight I’m sure I would have been quite angry with myself if it did get broken and I wished I had my tripod with me, live and learn!



Luckily I managed to clean the camera and remove any stray bits of sand, I am sure there is one tiny bit in my lens focus ring but its just a reminder of my amazing time in the Gower.

So here are the rest of the photos, I was by sea side so there has to be the obligatory sunset shot doesn’t there?

If you get chance make sure you visit this amazing part of the country, you won’t regret it. I do love Wales!


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