Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A tour of Swansea parks

Or three of them at least.

Husband had never been to Cwmdonkin Park - though he's had much fun with the name over the years - so I decided it was time to remedy that situation. As I hadn't been there for many years, not since my children were very small, finding it was the first challenge.

Having successfully negotiated that we discovered a large sign at the entrance: Dogs must be on leads. We complied for a while but as there were several dogs running free and there were very few people in the park anyway, we eventually let him off. Just in time to investigate the Giant Pencil, or more correctly, Dylan's Pencil.
Dylan Thomas lived very close to the park, so close that "on summer evenings I could listen, in my bed, to the voices of other children playing ball", and some of his work, including The Hunchback in the Park is set in it. It's not a huge park but well kept and there's a short but pleasant woodland trail, on a path made up of cockleshells..  

We left Cwmdonkin to head for Brynmill, another new park for Husband. When I was a little girl I remember Brynmill Park for its animals. It housed a mini-zoo - very mini - probably mostly birds but I'm fairly sure I remember monkeys of some sort. Today the main attraction of this park is the large pond (or very small lake) that is carefully managed to encourage a wide range of life - except fish. They were all removed to allow the full development of other species of animal and plant life, including these lovely water lilies.
One small area of the park is given over to wild flowers. In an inspirational move Swansea Parks department has planted swathes of wild flowers along the roadside edge of the golf course, down the road from us. They're in full bloom at the moment and absolutely wonderful.


Across the road from Brynmill is the largest and most familiar to us of the parks we visited: Singleton. Thankfully in both Singleton and Brynmill dogs were allowed off leads.

It was still only late morning and the park was relatively empty so we felt - okay I felt - like the lady of the manor wandering her own private estate. (George always believes he's the lord of the manor.)

These standing stones - the Gorsedd Stone Circle - were first erected in 1925 and the circle enlarged in 1964. It is traditional for a stone circle to be built - if one does not already exist - when the National Eisteddfodd of Wales visits that place. The year before it happens the stone circle is the venue for the proclamation ceremony.

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