Today Olive of Parc le Breos took me trekking to King Arthur’s Stone, located on a large hill that had panoramic views of the surrounding Gower Peninsula. There are lots of fables and stories surrounding this stone, which has been a popular pilgrimage site for quite some time. On the way to see the stone, we rode up along a high ridge overlooking several vast beaches, backed by 200-foot tall moss covered cliffs. I grew up in a beach area and have seen lots of beaches, but these beaches are the widest that I have ever seen. Olive told me that there are huge shifts in the tides here on the Gower Peninsula. As we rode along a route lined with heather and gorse, I could see Three Cliff Beach down below.
We were trekking on common land, meaning anyone could come and hike or ride here. Some people also had rights to graze their cattle and sheep and horses there. There was a band of Welsh Mountain Ponies ahead of us with three foals. They were adorable. Olive knew the owner, who leaves the ponies out all year. These hardy ponies are able to live off of the land, even in winter.
We trotted and cantered and walked along the top of a ridge with views of both coasts of the peninsula before reaching the King Arthur’s Stone. Some claim that this is a Neolithic tomb, but other purport that it is not. Whatever its origins, for quite some time people have made pilgrimages here. Olive told me that there is a legend that if a single woman crawls three times around the stone on her hands and knees that she will find her true love shortly thereafter. It’s pretty rocky around the stone, so I don’t know if I would try that, but you never know.
Olive and I trotted and cantered on the way back, so that we could make it to the actual tomb right by Parc le Breos before my afternoon hike.
Learn more about Equitrekking on PBS and the Equitrekking episodes on DVD and learn about exceptional equestrian vacations, including the Welsh Countryside Ride, at EquitrekkingTravel.com.