Easy Weekends: The Gower Peninsula

Earlier this week we introduced our new easy weekend feature. Kicking off the series is our easy weekend escape to the beautiful and unspoilt Gower Peninsula in South Wales.

In 1956 the Gower Peninsula was the first area designated by the UK Government as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 60 years later it’s just as remarkable and perfect for an easy weekend break.

You’ll find it ___ miles West of Swansea; 19 miles of coastline jutting out into the Bristol Channel. Home to some of the UK’s best beaches and most impressive natural scenery. Think Devon & Cornwall but without the crowds and commercialism.

What To Expect

Golden beaches, picturesque scenery and some beautiful unspoilt local villages. The landscapes here really are some of the best in the UK. Wild and windswept moors lead to rugged limestone cliffs, rocky shores and (pretty) oak woodland.

Not forgetting the beaches, by far the main drawer of the region. Gower is home to some of Britain’s best, and there are more than 15 to choose from. The highlight is Rhossli Bay, an immaculate 3 mile stretch of sand that’s been voted in Britain’s top 5 for the past four years running.

Away from the beaches there’s a host of ___ to visit, and plenty of local history to explore. Mix in some fantastic country pubs serving local food and you’ve got everything you need for a perfect weekend in the outdoors.

Things To Do

With some great beaches on offer it’s no surprise that surfing is a popular activity on the peninsula. The waves of the Bristol Channel that break on Gower’s beaches are perfect for testing yourself against. If you’re looking for some coaching check out Gower Surfing who operate all year round at Caswell Bay.

Another popular activity on the Peninsula is Coasteering. Not for the faint-hearted, this makes for an action packed day. ¬†Expect sea swimming, cliff jumps, rock climbing and exploring the coast’s cliffs and caves. A unique experience but not one to be taken without guidance. Ripnrock¬†offer sessions catered to all abilities and adventure thresholds.

Other adventure activites available in the area include horse riding, quad biking, paddle boarding, kite riding and a range of other watersports. If you’re an adrenaline junkie you’ll be spoilt for choice. There’s also the Go Ape Margam to tackle.

If you’re in search of a more leisurely weekend there’s some great walking routes in the area. The Wales Coast Path passes along the Peninsula, and the scenery on offer makes this arguably the most picturesque section of the entire walk, along the coastline. Away from the coastline there are also several woodland trails to explore. For the best walking routes check out this Walking Map of the area.

A must visit is the spectacular Three Cliffs Bay. You’ve probably gathered that this is a pretty nice looking part of the country, but no view beats that of Three Cliffs. A wild and isolated stretch of sand with a backdrop of limestone cliffs, salt marshs and sand dunes. You’ll struggle to find a more photogenic place on your weekend break.

There’s also some local to history to explore in the region. There are more then 30 different iron age sites scattered along the peninsula. The Hill Fort remains at Cil Ifor are perhaps the best example. There are also 6 castles to be found nearby, the pick being the Tudor Oxwich Castle.

Local Food & Drink

It’s no surprise that seafood features heavily on local menus. Penclawdd Cockles are a local speciaility, as are locally caught crabs and lobster. Be sure to try laverbread, a popular Welsh delicacy made from seaweed! The region’s most famous cuisine by far is Salt Marsh Lamb, which takes its name and flavour from the unique environment. Don’t return home without trying it.

Where To Stay

For traditional B&B accommodation try the Tides Reach Guest House or Langland Road B&B, both in The Mumbles, just to the West of Swansea. For a hotel stay more centrally located in the Peninsula the Oxwich Bay Hotel is highly rated. Alternatively there’s the 3 Cliffs Bay Holiday Park, or camping available at Nicholaston Farm.

Getting There

The Gower Peninsula lies just West of Swansea, a few miles along the A4067. Depending on your origin if travelling by car you will most likely take the M4 or M5 and travel across the Severn Bridge, and the M4 South West across Wales in the direction of Swansea.

Although a car isn’t essential to visit the Gower Peninsula, it will give you some extra freedom. Direct trains operate to Swansea city centre from Manchester Piccadilly and London Paddington, with connections to other destinations possible via Cardiff Central. Buses serve the Peninsula from Swansea Bus Station and there is a comprehensive service to most of the beaches and main sights. Visit here for full details.

Earlier this week we introduced our new easy weekend feature. Kicking off the series is our easy weekend escape to the beautiful and unspoilt Gower Peninsula in South Wales.

In 1956 the Peninsula was the first area designated by the UK Government as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 60 years later it’s just as remarkable and perfect for an easy weekend break.

You’ll find it ___ miles West of Swansea; 19 miles of coastline jutting out into the Bristol Channel. Home to some of the UK’s best beaches and most impressive natural scenery. Think Devon & Cornwall but without the crowds and commercialality.

What To Expect

Golden beaches, picturesque scenery and some beautiful unspoilt local villages. The landscapes here really are some of the best in the UK. Wild and windswept moors lead to rugged limestone cliffs, rocky shores and (pretty) oak woodland. Not forgetting the beaches, by far the main drawer of the region. Gower is home to some of Britain’s best, and there are more than 15 to choose from. The highlight is Rhossli Bay, an immaculate 3 mile stretch of sand that’s been voted in Britain’s top 5 for the past four years running. Away from the beaches there’s a host of ___ to visit, and plenty of local history to explore. Mix in some fantastic country pubs serving local food and you’ve got everything you need for a perfect weekend in the outdoors.

Things To Do

With some great beaches on offer it’s no surprise that surfing is a popular activity on the peninsula. The waves of the Bristol Channel that break on Gower’s beaches are perfect for testing yourself against. If you’re looking for some coaching check out Gower Surfing who operate all year round at Caswell Bay.

Another popular activity on the Peninsula is Coasteering. Not for the faint-hearted, this makes for an action packed day. Expect sea swimming, cliff jumps, rock climbing and exploring the coast’s cliffs and caves. A unique experience but not one to be taken without guidance. Ripnrock offer sessions catered to all abilities and adventure thresholds.

Other adventure activites available in the area include horse riding, quad biking, paddle boarding, kite riding and a range of other watersports. If you’re an adrenaline junkie you’ll be spoilt for choice. There’s also the Go Ape Margam to tackle.

If you’re in search of a more leisurely weekend there’s some great walking routes in the area. The Wales Coast Path passes along the Peninsula, and the scenery on offer makes this arguably the most picturesque section of the entire walk, along the coastline. Away from the coastline there are also several woodland trails to explore. For the best walking routes check out this Walking Map of the area.

A must visit is the spectacular Three Cliffs Bay. You’ve probably gathered that this is a pretty nice looking part of the country, but no view beats that of Three Cliffs. A wild and isolated stretch of sand with a backdrop of limestone cliffs, salt marshs and sand dunes. You’ll struggle to find a more photogenic place on your weekend break.

There’s also some local to history to explore in the region. There are more then 30 different iron age sites scattered along the peninsula. The Hill Fort remains at Cil Ifor are perhaps the best example. There are also 6 castles to be found nearby, the pick being the Tudor Oxwich Castle.

Local Food & Drink

It’s no surprise that seafood features heavily on local menus. Penclawdd Cockles are a local speciaility, as are locally caught crabs and lobster. Be sure to try laverbread, a popular Welsh delicacy made from seaweed! The region’s most famous cuisine by far is Salt Marsh Lamb, which takes its name and flavour from the unique environment. Don’t return home without trying it.

Where To Stay

For traditional B&B accomodation try the Tides Reach Guest House or Langland Road B&B, both in The Mumbles, just to the West of Swansea. For a hotel stay more centrally located in the Peninsula the Oxwich Bay Hotel is highly rated. Alternatively there’s the 3 Cliffs Bay Holiday Park, or camping available at Nicholaston Farm.

Getting There

The Peninsula lies just West of Swansea, a few miles along the A4067. Depending on your origin if travelling by car you will most likely take the M4 or M5 and travel across the Severn Bridge, and the M4 South West across Wales in the direction of Swansea. Although a car isn’t essential to visit the Gower Peninsula, it will give you some extra freedom. Direct trains operate to Swansea city centre from Manchester Piccadilly and London PAddington, with connections to other destinations possible via Cardiff Central. Buses serve the Peninsula from Swansea Bus Station and there is a comprehensive service to most of the beaches and main sights. Visit here for full details.

 

What do you think to our first recommendation? Have you visited the Gower Peninsula? Get involved and leave a comment below!

 

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