My step-dad turned to me the other day and said “It’s crazy, we hardly know what’s on our own doorstep.” as we stood on-top of a hill overlooking the coast of Wales. My step-dad knows so much about the world and about the small facts you’d hardly think twice about, but that’s exactly why I’ve decided to rediscover local treasures over the summer. Here in Wales we have so much history, so much beauty, tradition and folklore surrounding us on a day-to-day basis, how do we end up missing what’s literally on our door steps? We are so consumed by getting things done as quickly as possible and moving onto the next big thing, stressing out over stress, keeping up appearances, having the latest technology, and so on, that we hardly take the time to breathe and take in the beauty that’s around us.
I’m going to start this summer series with a place that sometimes gets overlooked in my home town. The Knap, or known to others as The Cold Knap, is a pebble beach near Barry Island Beach. On glorious days full of sunshine and a cool breeze, The Knap is one of the most beautiful places to be. Most people take sun chairs, barbecues, dogs, basic beach essentials and set up camp for the day. It’s usually less busy than Barry Island, but it’s equally as beautiful. As it was a nice day, my step-dad and I decided to have a picnic of sorts where we originally decided on going down the Island, but of course we realised how busy it would be and how little parking spaces there would be. So my step-dad, the genius that he is, decided to take us down to The Knap. We didn’t sit directly on the pebble beach, we found a nice spot on the stone wall to settle down on and eat. The views we had were amazing. The beach itself looked pristine and so incredible. You couldn’t help but take a deep breath in, listen to the sound of the crashing waves below, relax and breathe out. Even on days when the sun isn’t shining, The Knap is still such a gorgeous place to visit. Sitting there eating, laughing, relaxing – that’s something we can access every single day. How much better can life get?
We wandered away from the pebble filled beach and the sound of crashing waves until we were in a grassy haven. The best thing about The Knap is that there are several elements to it. There’s a park and a pond/ lake where you can relax in the shade and feed the ducks and swans. I found watching the swans so peaceful. They were just bobbing along, enjoying the sunshine and all the food people were giving them. Sometimes I forget that animals such as perfectly white swans exist in my home town. That they live just a few minutes away from where I live. Wildlife doesn’t just exist somewhere in the country, it exists everywhere. Which I think, is rad. Even the bees pollinating the flowers, dogs having their walks, birds flying around, butterflies floating around – Everything felt at peace there. No screaming or shouting. No loud noises. Just people and animals enjoying life.
After meeting the swans and having a rather peaceful moments reflecting on life, we carried on walking. We overlooked Barry Island and the other beaches that tail from it, we wandered up hill towards a rather peaceful tuft where you could overlook the coast, sit down, read, embrace the wildlife, and go for a rather enjoyable walk and take in the surroundings that are literally on your doorstep. We saw people fishing, climbing the rocks, hunting for tadpoles and just lounging around and enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the birds twittering from above.
Even if you wanted to get out of the house for an hour or two, or if you wanted to spend the day finding a peaceful spot to sit and enjoy a day with your friends/ family, The Knap is definitely a place to go. For the most part of the year it gets overlooked and forgotten, but you never know what you might find when you go there.
I’m going to set you guys a challenge! I challenge you to rediscover local gems this summer! Tag me in your adventures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and on here! I’ll be sure to check them all out. You can even email me your stories and adventures here at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cannot wait to see where you guys find yourselves this summer! Until next time, have an awfully big adventure!