What sort of beach do you prefer? An endless stretch of sand and pebbles between the sea and the road? The sort where you park the car, get out and walk through a few feet of dunes to get to several metres of sand which is lapped gently by a constant tide, never advancing, never receding. No rocks, no cliffs, no feeling of being closed in by limits. Just the curve of the Golfe de Lion for miles and miles to the horizon.
Or smaller beaches, with rocks, a tide that pounds in with waves you can surf on, rock pools full of whatever the tide left on its way out. A feeling of space encadré - limited by cliffs; natural barriers to an infinite coast. Perhaps you have to walk for a while to get to the more hidden beaches, unserved by roads and protected to maintain their wild, natural beauty.
People travel by car, plane and train for hours to roast on a piece of dusty sand, bathe in oily waters and expose their delicate skin to future problems. Red under a Mediterranean sun. The only lure is the certainty of a constant sun. There is nothing else to do, however. No excitement of the tide, no hunting for creatures under mysterious rocks protected by wavering strands of seaweed. No diving off rocks that become submerged, no pride at making it to the top at low tide.
The beaches of the Gower coast are jewels of variety, interest and fun. Each has its character, each is contained. They are fresh, washed as they are daily by a cleansing tide and maintained with fervour as part of Welsh heritage. Their lure is beauty, with or without a fickle sun.
Which type of beach do you prefer?