Gower Accommodation and Holiday Guide
Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is almost a 20 mile peninsula of glorious beaches, dramatic cliffs and tiny pretty villages. The Gower produces some of the best surfing in Wales, as well as being an excellent spot for windsurfing and cycling. Due to the fantastic scenery and wildlife, the area is also popular with walkers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Ruined castles, churches such as St Cadoc’s in Cheriton – known as the cathedral of The Gower and mysterious prehistoric remains add interest to an area rich in things to do and see.
Swansea Bay encompasses the Gower Peninsula which is the UK`s first
ever designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the
Victorian resort of Mumbles which is a major attraction in itself
with its own amusement arcade, indoor ice rink and bowling area. The
LC Leisure Complex and Waterpark in Swansea provides year round safe
indoor water magic complete with waterfalls, jets, fountains and
rides. Dry activities include a children`s adventure play area, a 30
foot climbing wall and a health spa for the adults! Swing from the
trees on a high wire forest adventure in the Margam Country Park,
Port Talbot. Visit Swansea`s Chocolate factory or Butterfly Park. Get
interactive at the National Waterfront Museum or visit a real Egyptian
Mummy at Swansea Museum!
Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is almost a 20 mile peninsula of glorious beaches, dramatic cliffs and tiny pretty villages. The Gower produces some of the best surfing in Wales, as well as being an excellent spot for windsurfing and cycling. Due to the fantastic scenery and wildlife, the area is also popular with walkers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Ruined castles, churches such as St Cadoc’s in Cheriton – known as the cathedral of The Gower and mysterious prehistoric remains add interest to an area rich in things to do and see. For further information on restaurants, delicatessens and local produce markets, see http://www.food-passion.co.uk
There are literally thousands of accommodation options available .
Cavort in a castle or curl up in a caravan. South West Wales offers 5
star luxury to basic hostels, as well as everything in between. The
choice is yours.. budget dependent of course.
Traditionally the best time to visit is from May to October but this
is changing with tourists being catered for year round with a string
of events and festivals being organized from January to December.
Some of these include the Porthcawl Elvis Festival, the world renowned
Brecon Jazz festival. The award winning Pembrokeshire Fish Week,
Cardiff`s own Mardi Gras in November/December and The Dylan Thomas
festival in Swansea in October/November. Rounding off the year with
The Wales Rally in December.
The North Gower
Penclawdd on the North Gower coast boasts a restaurant owned by a chef who used to work at a 5 star hotel in Shanghai. The Sea Garden http://www.seagarden.food-passion.co.uk is tastefully decorated with authentic Chinese furniture imported. The menu is extensive has something for everyone! As well as an excellent Chinese restaurant, Penclawdd has two pubs: The Railway Inn and The Royal Oak, and The Belle Vue Fish Bar – a takeaway.
Once a thriving seaport exporting goods from the copper works and coal mines, Penclawdd today is a tranquil place situated alongside the Lougher Estuary and famous for its seafood, particularly Penclawdd cockles.
Llanmorlais is the home of the Tirzah Baptist church.
Llanrhidian is a small estuarine village which takes it’s name from the church of StRhidian – Llan – being Welsh for Church. A curious addition to the church is The Leper Stone. Discovered during the last century, the stone has carvings that resemble humans and animals, such as bears. It is thought that the stone dates back to the Vikings and is the only one of its kind in Wales. For refreshments try the Welcome to town Inn 01792 390015 http://www.thewelcometotowninn.co.uk an award winning bistro featuring Welsh produce.
The town is situated on a steep slope overlooking wild tidal salt marshes and sandbanks which make for a fantastic view. Ponies and sheep graze on common land with Tamarisk as well as Sea Lavender and Marsh Mallow.
Reynoldston is a quiet village towards the middle of the peninsula with a village green where sheep graze and a good pub, the King Arthur Hotel http://www.kingarthurhotel.co.uk that serves excellent food as well as drinks. Just outside Reynoldston on a windy ridge of Sandstone known as Cefn Bryn sits King Arthur’s Stone a dolmen or burial chamber capstone. Isolated, the stone once sat atop six smaller stones, before it split. From King Arthur’s Stone a path leads across the road to the Lady’s Well a holy spring which is now enclosed in a hut. From Lady’s Well, the path continues to a ruined chapel at Penmaen and Neolithic burial chamber. The area has a mystical feel about it; expect to pass many stones and ruins along the way.
Cheriton is a small village that is home to the Cathedral of the Gower, St Cadoc’s church, and the most beautiful church on the Gower. It is dedicated to St Cadoc and was built around the 13th or 14th centuries, to replace the one at Landimore which suffered due to the advancing sea on low lying land. The village of Cheriton nestles into the undulating countryside, which is also home to mature woodlands, sand dunes and salt marshes. The whole area is a haven for ornithologists and walkers alike.
Llanmadoc perches over 600ft above sea level, affording it superb views over the Gower. There is an iron age hill fort, as well as bronze age burial sites. Ponies and sheep graze on the hill. There is a footpath leading to Whiteford Sands a secluded beach, framed by sand dunes that form the Whiteford Burrow National Nature Reserve. An ornithologist haven as Oystercatchers, Golden Plovers, Knots, Dunlins, Turnstones and Redshanks abound.
Llangennith is a pretty village with whitewashed cottages and a village green. Llangennith or "Llangenydd" - meaning Church of St Cenydd is situated between the slopes of three hills; Llanmadoc Hill, Rhossili Down and Hardingsdown. College Farm stands on the site of the 6th Century Monastery founded by St Cenydd. It is a great destination for families and surfers, the home of the legendary surf shop PJ’s: http://www.pjsurfshop.co.uk which not only has boards and wetsuits for sale but also for hire. The shop is situated opposite the Kings Head 01792 386212 a popular pub serving good food and an excellent selection of real ales.
The South Gower
Rhossili is a very pretty little village at the western end of the peninsula. Steps lead down to Rhossili Bay, a fantastic swathe of sand 3 miles long that stretches to Burry Holms in the distance. Rhossili Bay is an excellent surf spot and is extremely popular in summer. From Rhossilli the fantastic five mile long Gower Coastal Pathhugs the cliff tops towards Port Eynon. En route look out for Paviland Cave, where the oldest human remain in Britain were found. The skeleton known as The Red Lady of Paviland was actually a man and dated back to around 24000BC!
Port Eynon is a busy and touristy place with two pubs, The Ship Inn and The Smuggler’s Haunt as well as two fish and chip shops, The Captain’s Table and the Seafarer, and a café and small gift shop. Port Eynon Castle, which has sadly long since disappeared, was thought to have been built by the 11th century Welsh Prince Eynon, who also gave his name to the village. In former times, Port Eynon was home to a booming oyster trade, which has since subsided, however, the oyster pools can still be seen at low tide. Below the cliffs, keep an eye out for Culver Hole, a man made cave that may have been part of Port Eynon Castle. More recently the cave is thought to have been used by smugglers, aided by the fact that it is quite hard to find! It has also been used as an armoury and a dovecote. On one end of the beach is the ruin of an 18th century salt house, also thought to house contraband at one time. The Victorian lifeboat station was decommissioned in 1919 and was re established in nearby Horton in the 1960s. The station is now used as a Youth Hostel.
Horton is a quiet and pretty village that shares the beach with Port Eynon. There are few amenities in Horton itself, though given the proximity to Port Eynon, this is not much of a problem. The Cove beach is just a minute’s walk over sand dunes from the car park and is a Blue Flag beach. Amongst other things this means that there is a dog ban in force, usually between Easter and October.
Oxwich village is a picturesque place featuring pretty cottages and not one but two castles!! There is also a National Nature Reserve, which include sand dunes, a flatland of salt and fresh water marshes, and woodland. The ever popular Oxwich Bay, is another blue flag beach offering a vast stretch of golden sand. It is a popular beach with motor sport enthusiasts. The Oxwich Bay hotel is situated on the Western end of the beach and provides excellent facilities. There is also a shop and car park, as well as toilets. For watersports enthusiasts try: http://www.watersports4all.com/
Southgate, Pennard and Three Cliffs Bay is one of the Gower’s finest beaches. A three mile stretch of sandy beach that is framed by cliffs and sand dunes. It is not the easiest beach to access as it does involve a walk along the cliffs from the car park at Southgate. This does ensure that it does not get too crowded though! The eerie remains of Pennard castle loom over Pennard Burrows, in a dramatic and proud fashion. The castle, thought to have been built in the 13th century by Henry de Beaumont and later rebuilt in stone by the de Braoses. However, the fantastic location of the castle also proved to be its downfall. The castle was blighted by sand blow which led to it being abandoned by the end of the 14th Century. Southgate itself has a lovely little coffee shop and general store, that also sells art and photography of the local area.
Bishopston is probably the largest village on the Gower Peninsula, with three beaches close by and easy access to both Swansea and Mumbles, it has excellent amenities. The three beaches close to Bishopston are: Pwlldu Bay (Black pool in Welsh); Caswell Bay and Brandy Cove. Pubs in Bishopston include: The Joiners; and The Valley. The Lamplighter in the centre of the village serves refreshments as well as selling books and gifts, Christian and non. : http://www.stteilosbishopston.co.uk/lamplighter/lamplighter.htm . There are various amenities in the village such as a butcher, a post office, hairdresser and petrol station.
Pwlldu Bay is a pebbly beach that is owned by the National Trust and backs on to a wooded ravine that is fantastic for walkers. The beach is inaccessible by car although there is a car park in nearby Bishopston village, just a mile away.
Caswell Bay is a popular beach with a car park and public toilets. As a blue flag beach there is a dog ban in force from the 1st April to 30th September. There is a small shop selling the usual array of seaside provisions, and the beach is patrolled by a lifeguard in the summer. The nearest village is Bishopston. From Caswell Bay, Brandy Cove is accessible at low tide. Although there also paths from Bishopston.
The closest of the Gower beaches to Swansea, Langland Bay is a three mile swathe of golden sand, that is popular with surfers – partly because it’s only a mile from the middle of Mumbles.
Before you book your holiday to South West Wales be sure to check out
offers of discount codes for
tickets which can give you information on free and cheap tickets
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concerts, cinemas and other top attractions!
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015