Autumn walks are a great way of getting outside, experiencing nature and being active. Recently, I took part in the last walk at Worms Head event of the season at Rhossilli beach on the Gower. As I’ve been asked to create a video as part of my internship here at Heelis, I thought it would be a great opportunity to practise my camera skills. However, I soon learnt that rocky coastal paths make for a steep learning curve for an amateur camerawoman like me.The weather was looking considerably brighter than forecast when I arrived at the National Trust information point at Rhossilli. The few clouds in the sky cast dancing shadows across the beach and my nerves about finding something engaging to film vanished. This was also helped by meeting NT Ranger Kathryn Thomas and her Archaeology Intern Charlie, leaders of the walk and experts on all things Gower.
The view was so lovely, that I soon encountered the first filming pitfall I had been warned about: wanting to film absolutely everything! However, as the man made path descended into the natural causeway, I soon realised that this was not an option. To keep up with the steady pace of the walk and protect my camera whilst clambering over rocks, I was going to have to be selective.
The exposed nature of the Worms Head meant that even using a camera stand, the gusts of wind pushed at the camera, creating the filming faux pas I had been dreading the most – shaky footage. Just as we reached the most challenging part of the walk, a hail storm hit. The camera had to be swiftly packed away. Standing on the peninsula and watching the downpour roll over us was an experience I won’t quickly forget. We waited for it to pass but the camera had to stay safely packed away as we tackled the climb across.
The hail was followed by bright sunshine, meaning spectacular ‘calm after the storm’ views. If anyone’s spirits had been dampened, we were then treated to the discovery of around seven seals, including pups, lounging on the rocks below. Seeing the seals from above this way was a privilege. We had really good views, but did not feel as though we were intruding on their environment. The seal pups were extremely photogenic and I managed to capture some great still shots. However, holding the camera over the edge of the cliff long enough to gather video footage was definitely a skill to be mastered.
This walk may not have been the nursery slope that I needed to trial my filming skills but it definitely taught me a lot about the struggles one can face behind the camera, and ways to overcome them. The walk was beautiful and definitely one I would recommend. I came away with a sense of achievement for completing it and for capturing the experience on film. The unpredictable nature of the wildlife and weather on the coast made the walk continually exciting. Furthermore I found a renewed love for the spectacular scenery in one of the UKs most beautiful coastal spots.
Experience your own walk at Worms Head but be sure to check the tide times.
Autumn walks are the perfect way to get outside and enjoy nature. You can search 1165 NT Trails, events and the nation’s favourite walks for a walk near you here.