Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Penarth

Last weekend I visited Penarth which is a town in South Wales, lying on the Bristol Channel and Cardiff Bay. As ever the weather had been mostly grey last weekend, I had spent most of Saturday in a tutorial for my MBA and I was coming down with a cold. All in all, when I spotted some blue sky I decided I needed some fresh air. I love being by the sea. There is something about looking out at the wide blue expanse of ocean that gives me such a feeling of space. I lived next to the sea for many years and I love all the sounds and smells that go with it so I am always eager to get to the sea when I can.

Penarth has a sea front with a shingle (pebble) beach with a pier and a newly developed marina further around the cliffs. The marina village consists of some 300 yacht berths, surrounded by waterside homes and the photo above is of some of the boats in the marina. The photo below is a wider shot and shows more of the boats and the apartments.

I looked into the history of Penarth and the town owes its development to the massive expansion of the local coal industry in the 19th century. Its proximity to Cardiff, which was the natural outlet for the industrial valleys of Glamorgan, and its waterfront meant that it was ideally situated to meet the world demand for Welsh coal.

The development of the town was rapid through the late 19th century to early 20th century and Penarth soon became self-sufficient with its own local government, thriving shopping centre and community facilities. Many of the town's features owe their origin to the landowners of the time and many fine buildings and parks are still evident. Thanks to the generosity of these landowners, Penarth earned the reputation of "The Garden by the Sea" because of its beautiful parks and open spaces and many of the buildings and features of the town have led to a substantial part being designated as a Conservation Area today because of its Victorian and Edwardian architecture including Penarth Pier which is over 100 years old and is in the photo above.


The pier is in the process of being redeveloped as it fell into disrepair like the Esplanade on the sea front. Above is a photo of the end of the pier wher people were fishing and below is a shot showing the beautiful railing that runs the length of the pier. There were many people about enjoying the brief spells of sunshine on a chilly wintery afternoon. Many had stopped by the pier as there were cafes selling hot drinks which were welcome to warm the hands. I found that the wind cut through my fleece jacket and that my ears became numb. Still the fresh air blew away the cobwebs.


22 comments:

kenju said...

I love getting to the ocean shore as often as possible, but we are minimum 3 hrs. from it - so we don't go often. That railing is gorgeous.

diyadear said...

I wonder how u have so many fascinating places near ur home.;) just kidding.. do go out to more places n keep us posted as i love seeing ur pictures :)

Shephard said...

Stunning photos. Makes me want to visit. Visiting from Naomi's.
~S

Sarch said...

Very nice Bobkat.

The railing is pleasant to the eyes and I love ANY picture of sea going vessels...much the same with aircraft and motorcycles.

I hope you don't end up getting that cold you mentioned.

Sarch said...

By the way, I meant to mention that I caught your comment about reccomending the Rocky movie. So it was worth seeing? If you think it's worth the time maybe I'll see if Tammy wants to go on a movie date one of these weekends.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely and beautiful place---particularly that pier...It is very very beautiful...I know you hope that they treat this place with loving care, as it has so much history and I get that Britain cares so much for their great treasures....Thank you dear B-K for sharing another fadcinating beautiful place...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Michele sent me back here just now, my dear B-K...! I love looking at the beautiful color of those roofs, and that gorgeous fence/railing along the walkway there....

kross-eyed kitty said...

I am thouroughly enjoying your travelogues of Wales!
I had a work friend who was from Wales, and I loved his accent. It was kind of sing-song. I spent quite a bit of time with him, and couldn't help but pick up some of his accent.
When I read your blog, I'm imagining the sing-song voice to go along with the beautiful photos :)

Chelle A. said...

Stunning! We are from Utah, then moved to Colorado. Everyone always tells us how beautiful our area is, but I'd take an ocean over mountains any day. I guess I'm just so used to our scenery that it's just not that spectacular to me :) .

Here via Michele!

Chelle

Katherine said...

What a beautiful, quaint town. I would love to visit it!

PI said...

Great photos again. I could be wrong but I think if you look across the Bristol Channel from Penarth you would be looking towards us and we could wave. Yes?

PI said...

You know what I forgot? Michele sent me!

mf said...

Lovely pics!!! we have a marina near our home. We used to have a sailing boat...Mr Mar is now a catameran fan, we'll see what the future brings.

mar said...

OOOps , that was me before, don't know what happened...

utenzi said...

That's a very nice history you gave, Bob-kat, though I suspect it's been sanitized a little. History usually gets cleaner and more polite as time goes by. It's kinda funny that way. Here in NC there's a scenic road that was formed in the 1930s and it's got a very polite history too which goes well with the scenery and the image the Park Service wants to convey. Not a word of it is true--but it does sound nice. ;-)

I do love the ocean too, B-K. There's just something about being near the sounds and sights of the water that grips the soul--there's one or two smells that I could live without tho. LOL

Michele sent me over. I have to add you to my link page so I'd come over every day.

Shephard said...

Bobkat, by all means, add me to your blogroll. :)
~S

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

For the first 28 years of my life I had always lived near enough to the Sea to hear it. One place I lived was just south of San Francisco. On clear days and night I could see 26 miles to the islands on the horizon. I can understand your love of the ocean. Glad you had a nice visit.

Hello from Michele

TrueJerseyGirl said...

I just love looking at your photos!

Terri said...

What a beautiful area. It reminds me a lot of the village in Kilve in North Devon, on the Bristol coast where I stayed.
I'm sure that area helped you to chill out a bit.
Visiting here from Michele's.....

PI said...

Lovely(Calpe in Jan) Thank you.

Carmi said...

I have been fascinated with the sea since my early childhood. My aunt and uncle lived in a house along a back channel in Long Island, New York, and I always looked forward to visiting them. I'd often go out onto their dock and sit there for hours, enjoying the feel of the tide going in and out, drinking in the sights and smells of this place.

This entry takes me back to this magical time. I wish I could have been there with you, but in the absence of that, your words and pictures - all stunning, of course - were enough to paint the picture for me and convince me that I need to go back. And soon.

Looks like we've crossed paths from Michele's. I'm always thrilled to visit your site.

Melody said...

Wonderful photographs Bobkat. Thank you...