Updated: Sep 1
The Gower Peninsula in south-west Wales is blessed with an abundance of sandy beaches, scenic bays and craggy coves. A number of them are award-winning, some have historical importance. Rhossili Bay is the most well-known and has been voted amongst the best beaches in the world. However, there are so many other beautiful places on the Gower to swim, surf, and sunbathe; kayak and climb. We asked Sally Haines-Hanham, owner of RipNRock, an adventure activity provider in the region, to share her favourite spots.
Langland Bay is a popular coastal holiday beach. The bay is surrounded by bright beach huts which are all privately owned, but give the beach great character! The sandy beach has another smaller beach called Rotherslade Bay which becomes isolated at high tide. The big steps here are a sun-worshipper’s dream, a really sheltered sun trap.
Besides sunbathers, Langland Bay attracts surfers. At low tide, Crab Island (reef) provides one of the best shaped and most powerful right hand waves in the country; however, many are put off by the fact that the wave breaks onto the exposed reef, so it’s considered dangerous for novice surfers. Less able surfers should try ‘Saga Point’, ‘Middle Reef’ or ‘Rotherslade Lefts’ but there is always a danger from rocks so no head first dismounts people!
Caswell Bay takes its name from the stream that meanders its way through the Caswell Valley and out along the beach. It’s a large sandy beach which is flocked to by surfers year around.
In 2006 the beach was named in the top 50 beaches in the UK, and as it stands I think the beach is still pretty special. The beach has lifeguards on between May and September and it’s a popular spot for rock-pooling and other sea and beach activities. During low tide and a short walk around the headland to the west you will come onto Brandy Cove – but be sure to keep an eye on the tides. In addition, there are some lovely cafe’s just on the brow of Caswell Bay.
Pobbles Bay is a local favourite and one of the most unique bays on the Peninsula. It has everything that the seclusion seeker, hiker and adventurer could want, depending on when you visit.
At high tide it’s a classic cove with a steep dune backdrop, easy angled cliffs, pebble ridge at the top and golden sand to the sea. This is the time for the seclusion seeker and sunbather. At mid tide, the bay reveals exploring opportunities aplenty with easy scrambling and a number of small and interestingly formed sea caves to the east end. It also becomes possible to reach the bottom of the first graded rock climbs at the west end of the beach. At low tide Pobbles merges with Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich Bay to become a ‘super bay’!
Climbers can access the Three Cliffs and Shirecombe; walkers can enjoy the seemingly never ending stretch of soft, yellow sand.
Fox Hole Bay
Fox Hole Bay is another local favourite.Those in the know cherish this little cove for its inaccessibility, temporary qualities and very quiet nature. When you go at low tide (only), this little bay shows off the charms that are so magnetic to the locals.
The sand is always wet, comfortable spaces are few. However, it’s a short walk from the National Trust car park in the village of Southgate and will give you an up close experience of the tremendous rock formations that you wouldn’t see from the cliff top. There are endless nooks and crannies to explore. Kids will love the ever-changing rockpools. The highlight of exploration around here would have to be the cave of Minchin Hole, which has an immense prehistoric relevance. For the more adventurous, Fox Hole Bay is home to the most visited sports climbing crag on Gower, with climbing routes from 3+ to seriously challenging.
Having said that, on a hot summer afternoon, don’t feel guilty if you simply want to sunbathe, in the smug knowledge that you are in a select crowd who have found this little piece of heaven that will only last for a couple of hours.
Want to find out more?
If you are keen on visiting Wales and the Gower Peninsula contact the Natural Britain team. We can introduce you to RipNRock who offer a variety of land and sea based adventure activities.