The Gower isn’t always an automatic choice for a weekend of adventure in Wales. Many will turn their attention to the mountains of Snowdonia, the green valleys of the Brecon Beacons or even the rugged Pembrokeshire coast.
If this is always you, you’re missing out an absolute gem in the Gower. It’s incredibly beautiful, almost in a similar way to best bits of Devon and Cornwall, and has so much to give in terms of adventure. Rob Slade heads there with his partner find out exactly why the Gower is worth a punt.
We started our trip in Oxwich Bay where, after an unbelievable lunch at a restaurant called the Beach House, we set off on a coastal walk around the headland. From Oxwich Bay we walked across the beach and along the headland under a dense canopy of trees. Gradually, the track wound its way up along the coast and occasionally a break in the trees would reveal a beautiful vista of rocks, sea and sand beyond.
The track eventually emerged from the woods and we headed along the coast track with panoramic views of deep blue waters and the surrounding coastline. There are various parts along this route where you can head up to a vantage point and we’d definitely recommend it for stunning views across the bay.
As we progressed around the other side of the headland we were treated to views of impressive, craggy cliffs that rose sharply from the ground and looked like something out of Jurassic Park. For me, this was the highlight of the walk. With imposing cliffs on one side and the wide open ocean on the other, it really is a sight to behold. Eventually, we made it to a cove called The Sands, where we turned inland and returned to the car via Oxwich Castle.
After a chilled night, we set off to the coast again the next day, but this time it was for something a bit more adrenaline-fuelled. We were going coasteering. Looked after by the fine folks at RipnRock, we spent the afternoon swimming along the coast, scrambling on rocks and taking countless leaps of faith with a series of cliff jumps.
Luckily, we were blessed with fine weather and the afternoon flew by. While Pembrokeshire is and always will be the home of coasteering, it’s definitely worth branching away to some lesser-known spots with smaller crowds and plenty of opportunities to scare yourself silly as you launch boldly into the unknown. The exact location of our coasteering is a closely guarded secret to avoid overcrowding, but my word was it beautiful. Before returning back to our cosy little shepherds hut, we nipped along to the beautiful Rhossili Bay which is not to be missed if you’re in the area!
The next day we were up bright and early for our second walk of the weekend, a circular route along Whiteford Sands and back again through the Whiteford National Nature Reserve (check out www.visitswanseabay.com for more details). Unlike our first walk, the views here offered more intrigue as opposed to smack-you-in-the-face beauty, with wide open sand flats and salt marshes being the order of the day. Afterwards, there was only one thing left to do… get a roast large enough to feed a whole family from the Welcome to Town in Llanrhidian before heading home.
Where to stay on the Gower
We did some glamping on a Scamper Holidays site near Llangennith, which proved to be an ideal location for the walks and activities mentioned in this article. We found our hut to be perfectly-equipped and incredibly cosy, while the decking and outside seating was the perfect place to watch a sunset.
Where to eat on the Gower
Head to the Beach House on Oxwich Bay to be both fed and treated like royalty with beautiful views, or the Kings Head Inn in Llangennith for a proper pub with an awesome atmosphere. The King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston is also worth checking out for delicious food in a beautiful location, while Welcome to Town in Llanrhidian is the place to be on a Sunday for an incredible roast with Yorkshires as big as your face.