WALKING IN THE GOWER
Walking in Gower is a fabulous experience- ranging from a casual evening stroll to a 10 mile hike - it will suit all levels of fitness.
Both the coastline and inland walks display the most breathtaking scenery. The flora and fauna grows in such an abundance it attracts an amazing array of wildlife and birds. As much of the Gower is owned by the National Trust, the preservation of the natural landscapes continues to remain outstanding.
Some of the best dramatic coastal walking in Wales is here on the Gower, particularly around the Rhossili and Worm's Head area. Starting just south of the Mumbles you can walk the three delightful small bays of Langland, Caswell and pretty Pwlldu, then on to Three Cliffs Bay, noting striking rock formations here. Walking just the one mile stretch of Three Cliffs is definitely recommended as the cliffs are particularly striking here.
Another popular area on the Gower Peninsula for coastal walking is the Rhossili stretch with its local National Trust visitor centre packed with leaflets, maps and guides on local wildlife, particularly birds. Rhossili Bay itself stretches for 3 miles, looked on by off shore Worm's Head. If you're planning to take the walk across the causeway to Worm's Head make sure you check the tidal times and take advice from the nearby National Trust Visitor Centre. Many a walker has been stranded and rescued, including Dylan Thomas, so beware. This spot is a favourite with numerous seabirds including razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, puffins and oystercatchers so it's a great area for Gower Birdwatching Holidays!
Broughton Bay is a superb long stretch of golden sand with Little Broughton in the foreground.
The evening sunsets are not to be missed.
At low tide there is a huge expanse of beach. It is possible to walk across the bay to Llangennith or even cross onto the Worms Head. There is always some sand, even at high tide.
It is very popular with surfers. Many different birds nest on the cliffs, so don't forget your binoculars!
N.B. There is a very steep walk down to the beach from Rhossili but you can access the beach from Hillend.
From Rhossili Bay, you can walk East to Fall Bay or back across the beach to Llangennith Burrows, Blue Pool Bay and Broughton Bay
Burry Holms becomes an island when the tide is in, but is accessible for approximately 2 hours either side of low tide. There are ruins of a medieval monastic settlement on the island and each year there are special religious ceremonies held there.
The beach itself lies at the Western end of Rhossili Bay and is a sandy, sprawling beach backing onto sand dunes. Very popular with surfers. The footpath leads North East to Bluepool Bay
Whitford Burrows is a dune and pine plantation, just North of Llanmadoc. Owned by the National Trust, it is classified as one of the many National Nature Reserves that we have on Gower.
To the West is Whitford Sands, a vast two mile expanse of beach at the edge of the Loughor Estuary.
Off the end of Whitford Point stands an old lighthouse which is now the only cast iron lighthouse, surrounded by sea in the UK. The approach to the lighthouse takes quite a while and it appears never to get any closer!
Don't forget to check the tides before you set off.
THREE CLIFFS BAY
Three Cliffs is breathtaking. Frequented by horses and their riders who enjoy a good gallop on the beach. Three Cliff itself is a common feature that many climbers head for too.
Spectacular views but not for the feint hearted. Walks up and down steep sand dunes from Pennard and Penmaen, or through the valley bottom from Parkmill.
When the tide is in, it becomes impossible to cross the river heading towards Parkmill, so if you can't climb the sand dunes, take care not to get cut off as the tide sometimes comes in around the sides of the beach and leaves a sandy island in the middle - but not for long.
Oxwich Bay is accessible by car, and holiday shops run along the beach. Smuggling was rather popular along this stretch of the Gower coast, note Culver Hole behind Port Eynon, which is basically gashes and smuggling storage areas carved into the cliffs.
From Port Eynon up towards Rhossili is some of the best, and wild, coastal walking on the Gower.
Archaeologically speaking there's a rather important Welsh cave along this stretch - Paviland Cave, where in 1823 the Rev. William Buckland discovered a human skeleton. Buckland meshed religion, myth and science, however modern archaeologists set the record straight; the remains were a young man who lived around 29,000 years ago, thought to be a tribal chief.
A mammoth's skull was also discovered here.
Photos courtesy of The-Gower.com