2019 is Wales’ Year of Discovery, and what better place to make some incredible discoveries than the stunning Gower peninsula, in south Wales. This area became the first AONB in the UK, way back in 1956, and it’s so easy to see why it was recognised in this way. Its acres of unspoiled countryside are surrounded by mile upon mile of stunning beaches, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, birds and marine animals. Add to that the vibrant city of Swansea at the gateway to the Gower, and you have a holiday destination like no other. In today’s blog post, we thought we’d look at some of the amazing things to see and do on the Gower, and offer some suggestions for where to stay when you visit.
Beaches on the Gower
The beaches of the Gower and Swansea Bay are truly world-class, and they have to be seen to be believed. The coast path stretches for 38 miles, from Mumbles in Swansea around to Crofty. That’s perhaps a tad long to complete in a day, but serious walkers could cover the whole distance over a long weekend, for a real sense of achievement. As for the beaches, there are so many to choose from, each with their own unique character. Rhossili Bay is perhaps one of the most well-known beaches on the Gower, with a string of accolades under its belt, including Best Beach in Wales 2018. It was even placed in the top 10 best beaches in the world by Suitcase Magazine.
Oxwich Beach is another spectacular location, with almost three miles of golden sandy beach. Oxwich is dog-friendly all year round, so makes a great choice for visitors bringing their four-legged friends on holiday with them. Other big, sandy beaches include Broughton Bay, Caswell Bay and Port Eynon Bay. For those that like to seek out smaller, secluded bays and isolated coves, Bracelet Bay, Limeslade Bay and Brandy Cove are all superb choices. Fall Bay can only be accessed by footpath, but the stunning views and the charming cove are well worth the trek.
Adventure on the Gower
With so many miles of stunning beaches, along with some spectacular cliffs, it’s no surprise that the Gower has plenty to offer anyone who loves the great outdoors. Llangennith Beach has been voted as one the 10 best surfing beaches in the UK, and a surf school there means that beginners can learn how to ride the waves and more experienced surfers can hone their technique with lessons from the pros. Langland Bay is another top spot that is well-liked by experienced surfers.
If surfing isn’t your thing, why not try coasteering for a real thrill-a-minute experience, or stand-up paddleboarding for a gentler adventure? Walkers will love the challenge of the coast path, and there are more footpaths criss-crossing the peninsula for those who fancy heading inland to explore.
History on the Gower
For many, a holiday isn’t complete without taking in some of the area’s history, and the Gower certainly doesn’t disappoint on this front, with no less than six castles to choose from, as well as prehistoric standing stones, Iron Age forts and ancient caves steeped in history and mystery. Oystermouth Castle is perhaps the most atmospheric castle, and it sits imposingly above Mumbles, looking out to Swansea Bay.
With a more recent past, the lighthouse at Whiteford Sands is well worth a visit. Now an empty shell, it is striking in its appearance, being the only cast-iron lighthouse tower of this size to sit in the water, anywhere in the UK. For keen photographers, it’s definitely somewhere to head to, to catch that perfect shot as the sun goes down. Access to Whiteford Sands is limited, and visitors will need to walk from the nearby village of Llanmadoc.
Where to stay on the Gower
Having been recognised for so long as an AONB and a very special part of Wales, it’s no surprise that people love coming to this area on holiday, so there are plenty of places to stay. Why not check out our selection of self-catering cottages on the Gower, Just one example is the utterly charming Old School Cottage at Rhossili, a cosy cottage on a working farm that is within walking distance of all of Rhossili’s beaches, and just 10 minutes’ walk from the closest pub.