Swansea & Gower

What it's like

The south-west tip of Wales is dominated by the stunning beaches and lofty downs of the Gower Peninsula: Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and deservedly so. Surprisingly, the action starts almost in the heart of the second city: Swansea; where Dylan Thomas’s ‘lovely ugly town’ points a crooked finger, known as Mumbles Head, out into the Bristol Channel surf. But the true wild and windswept beauty of the Gower doesn’t show itself until the blunt bluff of Pwlldu Head has been hurdled, revealing the arcing sands of the magnificent Three Cliff Bay and Oxwich Burrows.

From here, there’s barely a dull moment all the way around to Burry Holms, with a succession of tiny coves and white sand beaches, broken up only by towering limestone cliffs that provide some wonderful climbing. Oxwich Point leads round to Port Eynon and another remote rocky headland; and Overton follows, then Foxhole Slade, and its famous Paviland Cave.


The Worm’s Head calls now – what a spectacular zenith it makes: a dagger of small islets and arêtes jutting out towards the sunset. A scramble along its spine will remain in the memory a lifetime, but tide times need to be checked and adhered to as a mistake would be costly. The best beach is saved until last and the peninsula is tipped with the surf-swept golden sands of Rhosili Bay – a quite stunning spot, popular with surfers, walkers and holiday makers alike and backed up by secluded dunes and a towering sandy down.

Recommended routes

  • Mumbles to Rhosili It’s a big walk to do in a day, but it gets better with every step and concludes with sunset over the Worm’s Head
  • Oxwich Point A shapely headland that affords maximum time on the coast for minimal inland cutting back.
  • Rhosili Down Link the beach with the down and perhaps even dive down to the coast at Mewslade for a Coast Path finale.

Must see and do

  • Sunset from the Worm’s Head Careful timing is required but the rewards are unforgettable.
  • Climb on the Great Tor Try the classic multi-pitch V.Diff – East Ridge, great rock and wonderful positions.
  • Mountain Bike Rhosili Down Sumptuous sandy singletrack traverses the steep hillside with amazing views down over the coast.

Destination County : Swansea & Gower