Walking Holidays

Walking Holidays

Ideas for Short Weekend Trips away from London, and Walking holidays in Europe

Gower (South Wales)

The Gower is an area of outstanding natural beauty in South West Wales. Its a peninsular, are is most famous for its beaches, particulaly Rhosilli and Three Cliffs bays, which often gets in to "top 10 beaches in the world" lists. Its an easy weekend trip from London, and it doesn't get too crowded even in summer. Outside the summer holidays its possible to have a beach to yourself, and even during them, on weekdays, or further into Gower.

Besides beaches, there is The Mumbles (Swansea's latin quarter) and several rolling downs (about 150m/450 feet). Besides walking, Gower is great for mountain bikes, but you'll need to be quite fit. All the downs are suitable for cycling, they are hard with short grass under-wheel - a bit like the South Downs.

There is a coastal path around the entire peninsula. Its possible to walk a section, and then get the bus back. More than any other place, these walks are to enjoy, explore and take photographs, linger and take side-tracks, especially around Three Cliffs and Rhossili - don't just hurry round.

Maps : The OS 1:25,000 Explorer is a good idea.

Following the coast around from Swansea :

Swansea : B&B's and Hotels, train and bus station, shops and banks. If you're there at the weekend, try Wind Street (pronounced Wine) for bars and clubs.

Swansea Bay : Can cycle or walk along the sea front from Swansea. Half way along at Black Pill, there is a old railway line turned cycle track that heads inland, through a wooded valley, to a nice pub.

Mumbles (Oystermouth) : Pretty fishing village, castle, pier, lighthouse, B&Bs. Although the Mumbles mile (pub crawl) is not what it was - the pubs have been turned into appartments. The Village Inn is the pick, the Rose has got pretty rundown. Mumbles Head is a nice walk. Can walk around the coast to the next 2 bays.

Langland and Caswell Bay. Sandy beaches. Bus from Mummbles. Can follow the cliff path from Mumbles to get here. These 2 are 1 at low tide. Just along the coastal path is Brandy Cove, and then on to...

Pwildu Bay : Stoney beach. No road access. But a nice cliff walk to the next bay. Then on to ...

Three Cliffs Bay : World class beach. This is when it starts getting good. Can park at Parkmill or Southgate (better, NT Pay carpark). Over the headland, or around the cliffs at low tide to ...

NB There is no connection from these places by bus to Mummbles - you'll need to go back into Swansea to change. The South Gower bus route stops at all the following.

Great Tor and Oxwich Burrows : A very long and wide beach with sand dunes behind. Great place for a beach party. Park on the A road behind it, and walk down. Inland is Cevyn Bryn (188m) which is well worth the climb.

Oxwich : Expensive car park and hotel, bus service, but the far end of Oxwich bay. Nice walk aroud the headland.. Less intersting stretch to the next bay

Port Eynon : YHA, chip shop, Bus Service. Cliff Walk : A long cliff walk to Rhosilli, but there's a bus service back. Pass Mewslade bay (small) almost at the end. Mewslade would make a nice walk from Rhosilli, Out around the cliff path, back inland.

Rhossili : World class beach. Pub, Hotel, B&B, car park, bus service. Long Beach, with downs behind it and the Worms Head at 1 end

Worms Head Walk : Only do this walk at low tide. See notices. If you get it wrong, do not try and beat the tide on the way back, ring the bell for the coastguard to rescue you. If the tide is in, is still a nice walk around the headland

Rhossili Downs Walks : Follow the downs above the beach. Great views. Walk back along the beach

Lanngennith : North Gower Bus service. Pub. Great Camp site. The other end of Rhossili Bay. Llanmadoc Hill, above the top is a nice walk. Also can follow the coast out to Spaniard rock, then round to Broughton Bay

Whiteford Sands : . A real hidden treasure. No bus, can walk over the hill from Llangennith. Park in Llanmadoc (£1, honesty box). Walk down the road, through the pine forest, then cut through the dunes to the wide beach, walk out along the beach backed by sand-dunes, and back through the pine forest behind it

Walk : A all day great walk would be to start at Llanngennith, follow the coast round to Whiteford burrows, then return over Llanmadoc hill.

North Coast : Just mud flats

Inland : Reynoldstone has a great pub, follow the road to where it meets the Cevyn Bryn ridge for a nice easy walk to the trig point.

Cyclists : A good day long route would be : Mummbles - over headland via Newton and inland to - 3 Cliffs bay - Up to Cevyn Bryn hill, along ridge to Reynolstone (traffic free) - Rhossili - back along the North Gower Road to Upper Killay, and pick up the old railway cycle track down to the coast, and follow the seafront (car free) back to Mummbles.

Getting There : Hourly train from London, National Express or Megabus. Its about 3 hours drive from London. The train is about £70 return on Fridays, much cheaper if booked in advance.

Getting Around : There are hourly buses to each of the bays, but its much better to have your own car, besides its cheaper than the train.

When to go : Its nicer in summer, but as the hills are low, you can go year round.

1 comment:

  1. Great list of Gower walks. Well done!