Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula, Wales.

We've just returned from the fantastic Oxwich Bay. Where? I hear you say! It's one of the lesser known beaches on the Gower Coast and we absolutely loved it! We stayed in a fabulous motor home (http://motorhomeitnow.co.uk) which allowed us to cruise around the Gower Coast at our leisure, and finding this little gem of a beach was so exciting! With glorious sunrises over the Bristol Channel you get to watch the sun move across the beach throughout the day and then it sets over the nature reserve, which you'll find directly behind the sand dunes. All kinds of birds are found here and so if bird watching is something you enjoy you won't be disappointed.

Watch this video to see more:

Oxwich Bay at sunset

Oxwich Bay at sunset

Capturing the sunset over Oxwich Bay

Capturing the sunset over Oxwich Bay

We parked our motorhome on the beach front and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of this stunning beach from sunrise to sunset where the soft evening sun washed over the golden sands of the bay. We can't recommend this beach and location highly enough, and with a fab campsite in the quaint village of Oxwich it's only a few minutes walk or drive, where you still have views of the cliffs and sea.

Enjoying a cuppa on the beach...

Enjoying a cuppa on the beach...

Sunrise from our campsite, looking towards the coastline at Oxwich Bay.

Sunrise from our campsite, looking towards the coastline at Oxwich Bay.

349A6682.jpg

Oxwich Bay - to the right is a beautiful nature reserve which overlooks the beach.

For those who enjoy walking, the coastal footpaths are excellent and connect the scattered bays along the Gower Peninsula to make up a stunning outdoor adventure along the coastline, and there’s even a bus service to get you home again if you walk too far!

For a small village, Oxwich is well catered for with a hotel, a small beach front restaurant, a general store and a fantastic, family run campsite which made us very welcome! We highly recommend Oxwich to you as a little gem of a beach for families in search of some sand and walkers of all abilities - it really is that good!

 

Lundy Island

One of my favourite things about Lundy Island is the adventure you have getting there. Getting to an island 12 miles out to sea on the choppy Bristol Channel when you’re travelling from London is quite a distance. We drove to North Devon and stayed overnight in a B’n’B then caught a boat from Bideford. Two hours sailing across the Atlantic brought us to Lundy, where we then had a full view of the boat crew anchoring in on arrival, then a steep uphill climb to get to the visitors centre! (note-to-self- don't bring a wheely suitcase next time!) 

Jenny’s Cove

We went to the island in May so were lucky enough to have three days of sun which made the island easy to be on. The Island population is estimated at 28 and that's mostly made up of people who work on Lundy. It has a Marine Conservation Zone and is home to seabird colonies including Puffins and Manx Shearwaters (the latter species I had no idea of before this trip, but now know them as the birds that 'look' like puffins, but in fact aren't). We struggled to find puffins, despite the Island being named ‘Puffin Island’. We sat in one particular spot on a cliff edge waiting for a sighting of the darn things for many an hour, but they were having none of it. On the upside, this lead me to spending a lot of time in an incredibly beautiful spot, Jenny’s Cove.

Jenny's Cove, Lundy Island

Jenny's Cove, Lundy Island

The history of the Cove is one involving pirate ships, hiding places and gold at the bottom of the ocean. I know, brilliant!

Jenny's Cove, Ink On Paper

Jenny's Cove, Ink On Paper

I used oils on canvas to slowly build up the textures over time to try and recreate the rough edges of the cliffs and the waves crashing against them.

Jenny's Cove, Oil On Canvas

Jenny's Cove, Oil On Canvas

Island Sunsets

Sunsets on Lundy in May are incredible to watch, we had three perfect ones! They were explosions in the sky that suddenly left us in total darkness to find our way back to our house. The colours in Paintbox Sunset On Lundy (below) arn’t embellished, it really looked like that! Lundy Lighthouse is painted from the same side of the island, half an hour later moments before the sun is about to sink.

Paintbox Sunset On Lundy, Oil On Canvas

Paintbox Sunset On Lundy, Oil On Canvas

Lundy Lighthouse, Oil On Canvas

Lundy Lighthouse, Oil On Canvas

Leaving the Island was another adventure on the boat! In almost Cast Away style, we watched the island get smaller in the distance as the sun broke through the clouds and shone over it. And then, we got completely soaked in rain. Ah Britain, never a dull moment.

 

Sunset in Hartland

When it comes to unspoilt places to watch the sun setting, the rugged coastline of Hartland Peninsula in North Devon is definitely one of our favourite spots in the UK.  From high up on the cliff above Hartland Quay we witnessed a glorious display of colour today.

3926ACFF-A335-43F5-B6E9-DDCB0099DB6D.JPG

The last golden rays of sunlight reflected on the sea below, contrasting with the dark rocks jutting out and the bright yellow of the gorse bushes that grow all along this coastline seemed to glow around us as the light hit them - a breathtaking sight! 

31CF98F2-3D3F-453A-8DC6-46CB915A0C5F.JPG

 This magical place keeps drawing us back...

Waiting for the perfect sunrise

Capturing a perfect sunrise can present its challenges, from using the correct lens to the right composition to tell the story of the scene you've chosen to photograph. But one of the greatest challenges can be the clouds! So many times I've found myself standing in the darkness waiting for the sun to rise with real anticipation and excitement as the sky looked ready for the sun to burst through over the horizon, and then a low blanket of cloud would appear and prevent the sun from breaking through for another 15 minutes, meaning that by the time I was able to photograph the sun it was too bright and had lost its soft orange glow.

This happened on our recent trip to North Devon - Ellie and I were standing in the freezing cold wind above Hartland Quay waiting for the sun to rise and hopefully burst through the arch on the cliff top that looks over the village of Stoke and Hartland Quay, but just as the sun rose the clouds prevented us from seeing anything of it for 15/20 minutes! However, the wonderful thing about photographing the weather is that it's always changing and displaying wonderful colours and patterns - so I'm still happy with the shot it gave me.

Hartland, North Devon.

Hartland, North Devon.

North Devon

North Devon is a really special place! We had a Remote Britain visit this week and we're treated to some stunning sunsets. We tried to get the drone up to photograph the coastline as the rock formations are beautiful along the Hartland Quay area, but the wind velocity was too high for the Mavic Pro. Next time...

 

Sunset from Hartland. 

Sunset from Hartland. 

The view towards Lundy Island, over Hartland Quay. 

The view towards Lundy Island, over Hartland Quay. 

Beautiful rock formations along the North Devon coastline.  

Beautiful rock formations along the North Devon coastline.  

The coastline has some really breathtaking walks with well marked footpaths. It's quite steep in places so you really earn your cream tea!

The coastline has some really breathtaking walks with well marked footpaths. It's quite steep in places so you really earn your cream tea!

Northumberland AONB

My photo of a Puffin taken on Staple Island on one of our Remote Britain trips in 2016 was chosen by the Northumberland AONB to be their cover photo for the 2017-18 visitor guide. It's now in circulation and it's a real privilege to be part of their work.

Here's some press about the award: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/award-winning-picture-grace-cover-12219147

The 2017-18 visitor guide is now hot off the press in Northumberland, see here for details.