Dr Mike J Smith
1st year field trip to Swansea
I've just got back from our first year geography field trip to the Gower Peninsula. Designated the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1949, development is limited and so it is relatively unspoilt and quite wild. A perfect place for viewing the physical geography/geology (some good geology and coastal/glacial geomorphology), as well as some very interesting human geography with Swansea, the South Wales coalfield and rural Carmarthenshire right on its doorstep. The weather at Easte can be quite "changeable", however for the last 3 years it has been simply stunning. Look at the 2006 photos to see how beautiful the place is.
Conveniently we stayed at Swansea University which, when you have 50-odd students, is much easier than going elsewhere. The Swansea campus at Singleton Park was predominantly built in the 1960's, although there is currently a big building progamme. However, if you go into any of the original buildings (including some of the halls of residence) then the only word to describe then is, well.... a dump. If I was a parent visiting the campus I would definitely think twice. That said the Geography Department has got a glorious building, although it is starting to look a little worn and dated inside. The piece de resistance is definitely the mens toilets on the second floor. It was like stepping into Victorian England; great!!!