Glorious Gower. If ever you are in need of some rest and recuperation, then this is your spot. It’s one of the most naturally beautiful coastal regions in Britain. No wonder it was the first place in Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Part of the Gower’s beauty is how unspoilt and unchanged it is. Couple that with how incredibly quiet it feels, and you can see why it’s magical. There’s so much to do, see and explore. The Gower is also one of those locations that seems to ooze atmosphere. Catch sunset on a sunny summer’s day and it’s stunning. It’s equally wonderful to be wrapped in a scarf and hat, walking on a windy Rhossili beach in Winter.
For me, the beaches are the star attraction of the Gower.
Super Star Beaches
Rhossili beach has been voted one of the world’s best beaches time after time. For good reason too! There’s 3 miles of sweeping golden sands, sand dunes, frequent surf and you can often have most of the beach to yourself. Three Cliffs Bay has its own special magic. The Pennard Pill River cuts through the woodland hillside and down across the bay. Ruined Pennard Castle sits high above Three Cliffs waiting to be explored. With no beach car park – it’s tricky to get down to – but that makes it even more special. The 2 mile long Whiteford Sands beach is backed by sand dunes and the pine forest of Whiteford Burrows. The National Trust nature reserve has paths that cross the varied terrains of dunes, beach forest and edge the salt marsh making it a fantastic for nature lovers.
If you want easy access beaches or don’t want to travel far from Swansea or Mumbles, then check out Caswell, Langland or Port Eynon. All have parking, cafes, toilets and are Blue Flag Award beaches making them perfect family day out beaches.
Wonderful Welsh walks
Did you know that the Wales Coast Path was the first footpath in the world to stretch the full length of a country’s coastline? The Gower and Swansea Bay section of this epic footpath offers you 111km of beach hut, sand dune and limestone cliff lined pathways. Download the useful and free Wales Coast Path App to help you discover more about the path and track your journey.
Surf and SUP adventures
Llangennith offers the most reliable surf in the Gower and is popular with both beginners and professional surfers. There are three spots to surf from – Rhosilli is at the Southern end and Peaks is at the Northern. The main area for surfing is from the Hillend Campsite which is an easy 50m walk through the dunes to the beach. Hire equipment from Llangennith Surf School based on the beach. If you are a beginner, they offer surf lessons too. PJ’s is a well known and loved surf shop that you’ll pass as you head to Llangennith – so stop in to feel like a local.
When there’s no surf, or if you’d like to explore more of the Gower coastline from the water, then how about a stand-up paddleboard? Hire them from SUP Gower, and you can take them away to set sail from your favourite Gower beach. They also offer 2-hour taster sessions based from Mumbles.
I love a hidden gem and the Gower has some amazing secrets for you to discover. First up – the steppingstones when you reach the Three Cliffs Bay from the car park and campsite above. We once crossed these lovely steppingstones and enjoyed a gentle amble on Three Cliffs Bay. But when we began to head back, we couldn’t find the steps. Realisation hit that they were now a foot under water as the tide was coming in fast. There was nothing for it but to whip off the hiking boots and wade across the now shin deep water – it all adds to the adventure!
Then there’s the secret shipwreck. It’s not often you can wander around a shipwreck without getting wet. The Helvetia washed up on Llangennith Beach back in 1887 on its voyage from Canada to Swansea. Only visible when the tide is out, it makes for some amazing photos.
Another tidal gem is Worm’s Head. Make sure you wear sensible footwear for this epic but challenging walk over volcanic rock to Worm’s Head. Please check the tides – as it’s only accessible for 2 hours either side of low tide.
You can also feel quite smug when you find a secret beach! Broughton is one of those beaches as it takes a bit of a hike to reach it. Pobbles Bay is also a hidden gem of a beach just out of sight from Three Cliffs Bay.
Where to stay when visiting the Gower?
The Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park has to have one of the best campsite views in the world! The Times claimed it was one of Britain’s 20 Best Campsites and I’d agree. If you have a campervan or can hire one, choose one of their Sea View Campervan Pitches.
The 18th Century King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston offers B&B hotel rooms or a 4 person cottage. It’s got a popular pub and restaurant and the Sunday Telegraph said it was ‘Exactly what country pubs should be…comfortable, well run and difficult to leave.’ Need I say more.