5 mins

5 of the best walks on Gower Peninsula

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Gower Peninsula has a lot to offer in spite of its small size: beaches, ruins, rugged coastline, charming coastal settlements, and miles of dramatic walks...

The Gower Peninsula was the first in the UK to be designated An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Shutterstock)

1. Langland Bay to Caswell Bay

Caswell Bay, Gower (Shutterstock)

Caswell Bay, Gower (Shutterstock)

This easy two-mile coastal route offers a surfaced path and plenty of pit stops along the way. You are never far from civilisation on this urban edge of Swansea and the Mumbles, yet can still experience the wild beauty of the Gower coast. It’s a great taster for what lies beyond.

Start with breakfast at the Surfside Café or Langland Brasserie, both with terraces overlooking the beach, then stride out south and west along the coastal path, past the golf course, and on to Snaple Point. Divert to the viewpoint and drink in the views of the Bristol Channel.

From here, the Wales Coast Path wriggles its way along the cliff tops to Caswell Bay, and another Surfside Café - just in time for morning coffee or lunch. Relax on the beach before retracing your steps to Langland Bay.

2. Three Cliffs

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower (Shutterstock)

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower (Shutterstock)

A trio of formidable peaks stands sentry over Three Cliffs Bay, the diagonal beds of limestone strata and small natural arch at the base of the rocks emphasising the plunging rock.

This two-and-a-half-mile walk not only takes in one of the Gower’s most photographed landmarks, but a rich and diverse landscape of woodland, sand marshes, dunes, estuary, and a deep-cut beach that changes shape with the tide.

Starting at the Heritage Centre, head down to the main road. Turn left and after a short distance, cross the road to take a path down the side of a house, between a hedge and fence that leads into woods. Cross the footbridge over the stream and veer right to drop down through woodland, sand marshes, and dunes alongside the meandering Pennard Pill. There are stepping stones across to the beach west of Pennard Pill, if you want to explore this stunning bay.

Otherwise, continue to the estuary mouth and drop down to Pobbles Beach. Having rounded the three cliffs and explored Pobbles Beach, take the path up to the remains of Pennard Castle. Pause to enjoy the views over the three cliffs, the estuary, and bay. It’s a good point to settle down with a picnic lunch.

From here, follow the pathway between the woodland and golf course. A narrow path leading past chalets will return you to your outward route, where you can retrace your steps back to the Heritage Centre.

3. Woodland & dunes on Oxwich Bay

Oxwich Bay, Gower (Shutterstock)

Oxwich Bay, Gower (Shutterstock)

This four-mile walk has much to offer: coastal woodland, a fairy tale church, clifftop views, country lanes, castle ruins, a stunning beach and the flora-rich dune system. 

From the car park, head along the coast past the elegant Oxwich Bay Hotel (in fine weather, the garden is a good place for morning coffee) and on through Oxwich Wood. You’ll pass St Illtyd’s, an attractive woodland church founded in the sixth century.

Be prepared for some steep ascents and descents through the trees as the path rises and falls with the coastline before emerging onto open land at Oxwich Point. Pause to take in the sweeping views of sea and coast before heading inland at The Sands to Slade, a hamlet at the head of a coastal valley.

Follow the country lane to a junction, turning right to walk the quiet road back to Oxwich Green, with views across meadows to the sea. Where the road divides, take the right hand path over to Oxwich Castle, a fortified manor house. Pause to admire the soaring walls of the crumbling ruin and drop into the visitor centre, where you can pick up another coffee (April to October).

Keep left of the ruins and manor house to follow the path back to the road. Then go downhill to your starting point at Oxwich Bay. Continue along the beach and through Oxwich National Nature Reserve, where 600 plants thrive, including bee and early marsh orchids. Treat yourself to a meal at the chic Beach House Restaurant - or grab a snack from the more modest Oxwich Beach Café.

4. Rhossili Beach and Down

Rhossili Beach, Gower (Shutterstock)

Rhossili Beach, Gower (Shutterstock)

The bones of a shipwreck, an ancient monument, a sweeping bay of golden sand, and skyline ridge walk, this circular ramble from Rhossili is a must if exploring the Gower Peninsula. The five-mile beach and hill walk has a steep climb up to Rhossili Down, but the rambler will be rewarded with stunning views of the bay and headland.

Follow the cul-de-sac road opposite the car park, then the beach path down to the strand. Head out along the three-mile-long beach so that you can experience the atmospheric wreck of the Helvetia. Only the sea-weathered ribs of the shipwreck poke out of the sand now. 

Look out for the path that cuts through the dunes to Hill End Car Park and continue along the road to Eddy’s Café-Bar at the edge of the Hillend Caravan and Camping Park. With spectacular views over the bay, the café-bar is a great place to stop for lunch in the summer season. 

From here, a path climbs up to Rhossili Down, a ridged hillside that sits over 600ft above the beach. Pause and catch your breath at the ancient burial mound of Sweyne’s Howes. The path then drops down to the road leading into the village. Make sure to reward yourself with a pint at Worm’s Head Hotel and take in the sweep of beach and down from the clifftop terrace.

5. A dramatic hike along Worm’s Head

Worm's Head, Gower (Shutterstock)

Worm's Head, Gower (Shutterstock)

The long ridged back of Worm’s Head rises straight from the sea, its head rearing up, a precipitous wall at the end of the promontory. Worm’s Head is a corruption of the old Norse word for dragon - an appropriate name for this sensational headland.

It’s one of the Gower’s most recognisable landmarks and a superb three-mile walk filled with drama. You’ll need to plan in advance so that you can access the causeway at low tide. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared to navigate uneven rocky ground.

Starting out from Rhossili Car Park, head along the lane southwest. Where the road veers left, continue straight on across the grassy headland. At the coastguard station, you can check the tide times. There’s a two-and-a-half-hour window of opportunity either side of low tide. Cross the causeway and continue along the south side of Inner Head.

Cross a second causeway, the Lower Neck, to the Devil’s Bridge, a narrow strip of land above a natural archway leading to the Outer Head. Prepare to be blown away by the sights along the way: spectacular rock formations, caves, and a blowhole; rock pools of crabs, shrimps, barnacles, and anemones, as well as colonies of seabirds.

If you're lucky, you might also see dolphins or seals. Don’t linger too long before retracing your steps to the village, though - the tide turns quickly.

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