• Tom

Walking The Gower

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Our first two days of walking 600 miles of the Welsh Coastal Path. Find out how we fare as we scramble around the wet and windy Gower Peninsula.


An introduction to The Gower

The Gower Peninsula was the first place in the United Kingdom to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956. With 6 castles, several Blue Flag Beaches including several more awarded the Green Coast Award in 2005, and several prehistoric caves rich with historical anthropology it’s a great place to start my tour of Wales.


Swansea Bay - Tegwen and I brace ourselves for the first day's walk on our 600 mile journey

Day 1

The rugged, jurassic landscape of my walk to Rhossili is a spectacular day to begin with. Walking the clifftops allows you to experience a sense of wild freedom as you look down upon the Irish Sea beating against the rocks. The weather is wet and windy, but it doesn’t bother me as it seems so fitting for this environment, you feel like you’re experiencing it like it should be.


With fresh feet myself, Nick and Lewis we easily covered 20 miles, passing Mumbles, Langland Bay, Caswell Bay, Pwll Du bay. Each surrounded by dramatic clifftops and untamed greenery, it makes me even more excited to have started this journey, already within my first day I’m discovering how beautiful my homeland is, more so than I previously thought!


3 Cliffs Bay - For the first day of my walk, I couldn't have asked for more stunning views

3 cliffs bay gives for some impressive photos, it’s no wonder it’s revered as one of the best beaches in the country. Walking in the nearby dunes is challenging and climbing with sand under your feet is exhausting! We take a break with some fish and chips to replenish our energy before continuing the second half of the day. The stretch between Port Eynon and Rhossili is mainly deserted and we mistakenly take the more challenging route that follows the very steep cliff edge, it’s a tiring path going up and down. Finally we reach Worm’s Head and it is a fantastic way to end the first day, to it’s left we can see Cornwall and to the right, mainland Wales. It’s possible to walk all the way to the tip of this island by a rocky causeway at low tide, unfortunately we didn’t have time or arrive at the right tidal level.


Worm’s Head Hotel has a fantastically located pub that overlooks Rhossili bay, where I tried a local ale. A beer never tasted so sweet and it definitely wouldn’t be the last on this journey.


Rhossili bay - 1st day of the unofficial 600 mile challenge, try as many local ales as possible!

Day 2

A second day on the Gower Peninsula and another day of spectacular views. It’s the first day by myself and the quiet solitude gives me time to reflect on the mammoth task I have before me. Starting on Rhossili beach I watch the surfers attempt to harness the waves as Tegwen chases the seagulls and sandpipers. We cross Ynys Lanwol and it’s rock pools, again Tegwen on the hunt for crabs to chase.


Rhossili Beach - A perfectly serene moment, walking the dunes and appreciating the fresh air

Climbing up and around the peninsula brings us to the stunning Broughton Bay, Llanmadoc beach and down towards the mainland. And despite these beautiful views, it was the sand dunes that stood out today. The long grass, the sea breeze and quiet serenity was a place of zen, it depicted my day and my mood. Just me and my dog enjoying a walk, away from the real world. The wild flowers were everywhere in numerous varieties, it’s easy to walk pass these dots of colour without appreciating their exquisite beauty. Tegwen became quite frustrated with me stopping and using my new macro phone lens (thanks Lewis). My goal is to learn their names and keep a record of them all as I continue my walk.


One of the many beautiful wildflowers I encountered on my journey.

The last couple hours or so of the day was walking alongside roads to my campsite outside of the Llanelli wetlands, and it was a struggle to come back to the harsh world of concrete and cars. Thank you Gateway Holiday Park for accommodating me and supporting my journey. As my first night in the tent, it was a challenge to set everything up after a long day of walking especially in the drizzly rain. I ask myself sometimes why on earth I’m doing this all but then I realised that if I am to be worthy of donations, then it must be a challenge, it must put me to the test.


Llangennith Beach - Tegwen already sick of photos

Walk it in a weekend?

Rating - 5*

Why? - The Gower is a fantastic, easily accessible piece of the British countryside to walk. The majority of the Welsh Coastal Path walks right along the cliff edge, away from roads and cars. Passing several beautiful beaches, bays and pubs, it could easily be done in a weekend.

Highlights - Mumbles, Caswell Bay, Three Cliffs, Worms Head, Rhossili Bay, Broughton Bay.

Tom’s Tip - Swansea is easily accessible by train, from here I’d take a bus to Mumbles stay a night and start early Saturday morning. Following the Welsh Coastal Path, I’d suggest two options; either skip the route between Three Cliffs and Port Eynon with the bus or finish in Port Eynon for the evening, with both options I would end the second day in Llanmadoc and visit their lovely community shop and café. Past this point it’s mainly following a road to the end of the Gower which isn’t nice under the feet after two days of walking on beautiful countryside paths.

Accommodation - Mumbles is awash with BnBs and Airbnb options. Port Eynon and Rhossili have both campsites and BnB options. I’d recommend the Worm’s Head Hotel at Rhossili, if only for it’s fantastic views.

Transport - Swansea train station, Gower train station and several buses connecting you to all parts of the Gower Peninsula.

About Me

Hi! I'm Tom, born and raised in Wales, now living in London. I'm raising money for Diversity Role Models with my pooch, Tegwen. I'm a traveller at heart & never shy away from an adventure, although 300 miles still won't be easy!

 

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