Take in sweeping views from cliff-top paths, explore castle ruins and ancient churchyards or spend days lazing on expansive, amber sands when you visit the stunning Gower Peninsula.
The edge of Gower is located just a short drive from Swansea city centre, but this 15-mile peninsula might as well be another world. Locals often feel as though they are guarding one of Britain’s best kept secrets, as despite being designated Britain’s first ever area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956, the secluded bays, narrow country lanes and welcoming country pubs rarely feel overcrowded with visitors.
Drive along the south coast road and take your pick from the numerous beautiful beaches. Three Cliffs, with its dramatic river and splendid castle ruins is a highlight, while Oxwich Bay and Rhossilli at the end of the peninsula both feature frequently in ‘UK's best beach’ surveys.
Surfers are spoilt for choice around the coastline, with reefs, beaches and points offering quality waves in almost all conditions. Climbers can tackle the precipitous cliffs around Fall Bay, while mountain bikers will find some great trails around Gower’s highest point, Cefn Bryn.
The scenery changes again on Gower’s northern coast, with the expansive mudflats of the Loughor Estuary providing home to a large number of migratory birds. This area is also famous for its cockles; stop in at a local store and try a fresh pot for yourself.
An expansive network of pathways means it is possible to hike across almost all of Gower, and keen walkers can easily spend a week here and visit somewhere new everyday. Energy levels can be maintained by stopping for lunch at any of the excellent pubs. The Britannia Inn at Reynoldston, the King’s Head at Llangennith and the Beaufort Arms in Bishopston are three of the best.
If you fall in love with Gower (and most who visit do) choose to stay in one of the hotels located on the peninsula. Fairy Hill offers a touch of luxury while you will also find rooms at the Gower Hotel. Several holiday rentals offer self-catering options, while nearby Mumbles has a number of smaller B&Bs and guesthouses.